While a report surfaced Sunday night that USC’s coaching search had centered on Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Boise State’s Chris Petersen, it appears a head coach at a Pac-12 school is under consideration. Or, at least, he had been under consideration.
According to ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed for the same position with the Trojans. The interview reportedly took place this weekend, after UW’s win over rival Washington State in the Apple Cup.
Despite the Sarkisian interview, Franklin and Petersen are still viewed as the Trojans’ top two targets. As was the case with his former boss, Sarkisian could be a fallback option.
Sarkisian, who has previously denied interest in the position, at least publicly, has extensive ties to the Trojans and the coach who last led them to greatness. Twice a member of Pete Carroll‘s coaching staffs at USC, Sarkisian spent the 2001-03 and 2005-08 seasons as quarterbacks coach and, his last two seasons, offensive coordinator before moving on to Washington in 2009.
With Sarkisian in charge, the Huskies have been a middle-of-the-road Pac-12 school. After five wins his first season, the Huskies won seven games each of the past three seasons before stepping up to eight wins in 2013. UW has played in the Holiday, Alamo and Maaco bowls, and are in line for another mid-tier bowl game this year as well.
Regardless of who, an announcement on USC’s new coach is expected soon, perhaps no later than this weekend.
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”