Yes, it's still week No. 2 of the college football season, and the Washington Huskies have 99.9-percent of their sights put on the Idaho Vandals.
But you can't resist a peek into next week, can you?
Sark vs. Pete.
Offense vs. defense.
Mastermind vs. Master motivator.
UW vs. USC.
Nobody has dared asked Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian about his feelings about the week-three blockbuster at Husky Stadium when his old team comes to town.
That will start exactly 45 seconds at the end of the game Saturday.
Let's be clear on something about Sarkisian and his USC tenure. Even though he spent all but one season under Carroll since 2001, Sarkisian's development as a play-caller has been more influenced by others.
In junior college at El Camino College, he was introduced to a philosophy that is popular among Bill Walsh disciples – scripting a game's first 15 plays beforehand.
Fred Peterson, Sarkisian's first quarterbacks coach at El Camino, adopted that philosophy from Norm Chow (now at UCLA) in the 1990s, and guided Sarkisian along in it as the team's quarterback and leader.
When Sarkisian left for Brigham Young – and Chow – he used it there, too.
And at USC, there, too.
"That is the way I've been raised. All the players will know the first 15," Sarkisian said last week. "It gets a little bit skewed because obviously when you get into third down, and short yardage and red zone and goal-line (situations), it gets thrown off."
And Sarkisan talked about the comfort level that goes along with a pre-determined run of plays.
"It always felt comfortable for me. You know what plays are coming. Even if they don’t come in that exact order, I have a pretty good idea that the first 15 plays were coming in the first quarter," he said. "You just felt good, as a player, like you could really execute them well. It’s been that way as a coach. I think they players appreciate knowing what we’re going to call in the situations."
The real question is if Carroll believes his insight about Sarkisian's play-calling at USC will help him game plan for the Huskies, or if Sarkisian has differed his approach once he took over his own program.
My guess – and it's just a notion – the USC-Sarkisian and the UW-Sarkisian are different enough, Carroll might be sailing in the same boat as the rest of the Pacific-10 Conference.
Other stuff from this week:
• Tailback Chris Polk had 21 carries in the opener against LSU. And in those 21 rushes, he was pounded, pounded and pounded by a mean-hitting Tigers' group.
He walked with a gimp the early part of this week. When asked if his frame – only 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds – could hold up over an entire season, he laughed out loud.
"I am very sore," Polk said. "I know I can stand up (to the punishment), as long as I have ice, and our trainers are there."
• A common theme story all week has been eight UW assistants' ties to the Vandals. One of them is running backs coach Joel Thomas, who played at Idaho.
He was asked if he still had any memorabilia left over from those days.
"I still have one T-shirt from when I played," Thomas said. "It's a little baggy. I was bigger then. And it doesn't smell too good."
• It's always interesting to hear one person's account of the past. Sarkisian was USC's offensive coordinator when the Vandals came to Los Angeles in the 2007 season opener.
The one play Sarkisian recalled vividly was an interception made by safety Shiloh Keo, who is still with the team and a threat to pick off passes and go the distance.
"We'll take some things from that ballgame - some of the scheme stuff we saw – and look at it and learn from it," Sarkisian said.
• With fall quarter not yet underway, Sarkisian has switched up practice times in an effort to simulate daylight conditions closest to that week's kickoff time.
Last week, the Huskies practiced mostly at night. This week, it was mid-afternoon.
"I think it’s good to keep things fresh. Sometimes when it’s the same old, week-in, week-out, by that 13th, 14th week, when you start counting byes in there, it can get a little bit dry," Sarkisian said. "So it’s good to have a little shakeup in schedule. Obviously, we’ll be able to do that as well when the bye week comes up. But I kind of enjoyed being able to switch practice times around.”
• Ticket update: UW spokesperson Richard Kilwein said, as of Friday afternoon, 12,000 tickets were still available for the Idaho game.
Marques Tuiasosopo, the former Huskies quarterback and now the assistant strength and conditioning coach (as he waits for an NFL job to come available) will be honored as the "Husky Legend" in the west end zone at the end of the third quarter.
Ex-UW running back Corey Dillon was last week's honoree.
Also, Saturday is "Band Day" at Husky Stadium, as 3,500 high school marching band students will play with the UW band during a halftime show.