This was an exciting week with lots of things going on in the foreground and background. That being said most of you have probably had your fill of Lane Kifffin who now has probably moved into the position as the most hated coach in the Pac 10 Conference if not the entire country.
We used to have a guy like that in Rick Neuheisel and I think we can all appreciate what Steve Sarkisian is currently bringing to the table over in Montlake.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times opens this morning with a nice story on Steve Sarkisian.
It's further proof that the Huskies hired the ideal coach to lead their rebuilding. That's not to say Sarkisian will never leave. In the future, if he enjoys the success many project him to have, he'll get wooed and may be tempted to leave. But right now, he's concerned with leaving his mark at Washington, not using the school as a steppingstone.
One thing Sark has mentioned from his past is the first time he visited UW as an assistant coach with Pete Carroll. He remembered coming over the bridge to the stadium and talking with Pete about what an awesome setting it was. Interesting that in the space of a year both men have moved to Seattle and have become residents.
Coaches say a lot of things but what impresses me about Sark is he seems to speak from his heart most of the time. in an ego driven proffesion it is nice to see that a few guys are still like that.
Huskies Take on Stanford Tonight
Moving on to what is going on the rest of the week the basketball team is hosting Stanford tonight at Hec Ed in a must win game. Actually mark this down as a must win series after the debacle in Arizona last weekend. The Husky basketball team is floundering right now and they need something good to happen to shake themselves out of it.
One of the things that coach Romar should do is start shaking up his starting lineup. Perhaps it is time for Overton and Breshers to move into the starting line-up for a change of pace because the line up he currently has isn't working very well together. They could also use some early pop from somebody like Elston Turner from the outside to keep defenses from packing it inside.
Overall this is a young team still fighting to find it's identity. Romar has had teams like this at Washington before. some of rebounded such as the B-Roy and Nate-Rob team. Some have continued to fizzle such as the Hawes team which featured more first year stars than any other. This one could go either way but the simple key is they need to come out and start jumping on people.
The Huskies will have as many as 18 players on campus this weekend for the biggest recruiting weekend of the season. Even though the Huskies have 26 on board currrently this is a huge weekend. Maintenance and cementing will be done with existing verbals and the Huskies also will have at least three or more visitors who haven't made up their minds yet. Keep an eye out Sunday night for more commit news. Look for Washington to get at least two more commitments this weekend which will basically wrap up the class until signing day.
The Tennessee Situation
The Volunteers are reeling right now and there aren't many writers out there who have a lot of sympathy for the program. Sure losing Lane Kiffin in the manner it went down was traumatic but only a year ago the Vol's fired a coach who never had any intention in leaving named Phil Fulmer. Before hiring him they fired UT legend Johnny Majors after a long career. The crux is fans and boosters demand loyalty but only show it in return when the teams are winning. in a disposable age everyone and everything is disposable.
As for the candidate to take over at UT we have even heard Fulmer's name mentioned as a potential coach and even a potential replacement as AD. Expect the Volunteers to go hard after Will Muschamp and Jon Gruden through today then turn to David Cutcliffe, Troy Calhoun, Chris Petersen, Gary Patterson, or even Mike Leach.
Petersen was rumored to be in Knoxville last night interviewing for the job which seems unlikely to me since he is so firmly entrenched in Boise and the Northwest. TCU's Patterson is another tough get since he is very happy living in the Dallas area but as they say all my ex's live in Texas and that is why I hang my hat in Tennessee.
If you look at this list it will probably end up going to Cutcliffe, Calhoun, or Leach. All three would take the job if offered and as we have found in coaching searches that is biggest factor...who will actually take it. My friend Kim Grinolds says don't count out Jim Harbaugh because he is rumored to be searching for that big paycheck. UT is probably best off staying East of the Mississippi and selecting someone who is willing to stick around a long time.
(Update) NCAA to Investigate Kiffin and Orgeron
Many of us speculated how long it would take Lane Kiffin and his staff to make their first recruiting violation and it seems they may have done it before they even left the Tennessee campus. This has to be a new record. Even Rick Neuheisel waited a couple of days when he took the job at Washington.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said rules stipulate that "an institution cannot contact a student-athlete enrolled at another institution without permission from the current school. A currently enrolled student-athlete who transfers must sit out a year before becoming eligible to compete. An enrolled student-athlete is one who is officially registered and enrolled in a minimum, full-time program of studies in any quarter or semester of an academic year, as certified by the registrar or admissions office, provided the student was present at the institution on the opening day of classes."
It looks like what we have here is a matter of semantics. The UT recruits were on campus but had not begun attending classes which were scheduled to begin today. The NCAA however is saying that since they were registered and enrolled it may be a violation even though classes had not started yet.
So it has only been a day and the NCAA is already investigating the dream team for what will be described as a minor violation.
Mike Garrett, USC's athletic director, said he hadn't explored Orgeron's contact with Tennessee recruits and wasn't comfortable responding to questions about how he would handle the matter.
"I don't even want to get into it," Garrett said. "Are you kidding me? It doesn't even make sense."
Well Mike you better get used to things that don't make sense from this crew that you hired. What really doesn't make sense is why you would hire a renegade staff in the eyes of the NCAA when your athletic program is on the verge of probation for lack of institutional control.