A few thoughts:
1. I was curious if Pat Haden would be smart enough to hold off the populist hoopleheads that wanted to make Ed Orgeron permanent head coach after rallying a talented, but poorly motivated USC team down the stretch. He was. Maybe the drubbing at the hands of UCLA helped him there. Or maybe he's just capable of thinking past next week.
2. Second, though Sarkisian isn't a sexy hire, he checks the Trojan favored son boxes that seem important to USC faithful and he did a solid job rebuilding a moribund Washington football program. But he never really got the Huskies over the hump, did he? If he is the right man, USC got a 39 year old head coach with five years experience under his belt on someone's else dime and could be set for the next 15 years. This is a high ceiling hire, no matter how you spin it.
3. Forgetting tradition, weather, the lure of LA and all of the trappings, USC is a fantastic job, mostly because of its location in the middle of the largest pool of FBS recruits in the country with minimal competition. The state of California has more FBS recruits than any place in the country, and those recruits are inordinately located in SoCal. Add in the fact that UCLA and Cal (the Golden Bears barely) represent the only other major FBS programs in the most populous state in the country (Stanford represents its own alternate recruiting universe)...any competent coach should have a roster loaded with talent.
4. Sarkisian's next most important recruitment will be Orgeron.
5. If Sarkisian can retain Orgeron and convince crack UW recruiter Tosh Lupoi to also come to USC, they'll have the best recruiting staff in the country even if the rest of their guys never leave the film room. My guess is that Lupoi will keep his options open until the UW job clarifies.
6. The job opening at Washington is a solid gig. Although Jim Mora Jr had previously expressed interest in going to Seattle (once calling it his dream job a few years ago) he'd be foolish to leave UCLA. But the human heart knows no logic.
7. Here's where it gets interesting: USC apparently sent out feelers to Chris Petersen. He rejected them. They also took an interest in Vanderbilt's James Franklin, but preferred to go with the Carroll legacy. Kevin Sumlin is rumored to have sent out his own feelers to USC. Their lack of interest helped prompt his A&M contract extension. A&M fans won't like hearing that, but that comes from USC people with no stake in our in-state rivalry pissing contests. Maybe Sumlin didn't like the look of the post-Manziel world. Or maybe USC is just a pretty freaking cool job uniquely situated to take advantage of the burgeoning Pac.
8. The timing on this hire was smart. USC's new staff can hit the ground running, get bowl practices, secure their 2014 class (and ditch or add who they like), and build out a staff ahead of the rest of the open job competition.
Texas should take note. Make that announcement right before or after the Baylor game. Then we can all say nice things about Mack, try to win one for the Gipper, and turn a page that needs turning.