Yes, a few college football pundits out there are mentioning Steve Sarkisian as the heir apparent at Southern California if, indeed, the Seattle Seahawks lure Pete Carroll back to the NFL as their new coach.
And let's make something clear – the USC job is something that would always be attractive to him, growing up near that campus in Torrance, Calif. and basically growing up as a coach, too, spending seven seasons as a Trojans' assistant:
Here are five reasons the 35-year-old UW coach wouldn't return to USC anytime soon:
1, HE'S JUST NOT INTO … MESSES!Reggie Bush's alleged gifts. Joe McKnight's curious sports utility vehicle. Other minor infractions within the program.
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Does Sarkisian want any part of guiding a program that might be headed for possible NCAA sanctions? No, especially since he's been a part of one clean and headed in the right direction.
2, HEY, JAKE, WANNA STICK AROUND?As much as everyone is saying Jake Locker's decision to return to the UW program for his senior season was only his decision – that might be 95 percent true.
Behind the scenes, Sarkisian got Locker in contact with others who were facing similar circumstances as Locker on whether to enter the NFL Draft or not as an underclassman. It was Sarkisian who has, all along, said the best group of offensive coaches he could learn from in 2010 is himself and UW offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
It was Sarkisian who needed Locker to bridge the gap in grooming a future quarterback – something the UW coach can now entertain with Keith Price learning another year, and prep star Nick Montana entering the program early.
No way – not even in the coldest of blood – could Sarkisian turn his back on Locker after the millions of dollars the Ferndale product left behind to help his coach take another step in getting the Huskies back to prominence.
3, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, SARK WANTS TO MAKE A NAME FOR HIMSELFThe quickest way early on to get under Sarkisian's skin was to call him "Pete Carroll Jr" or call the Huskies "USC North."
Extremely gracious for his time under Carroll, Sarkisian is obsessed with being not only a great coach, but one of the greatest coaches in the sport – even if that means bypassing one of the best in the business in his ex-boss.
Sarkisian did his homework on this particular job when he took it in December of 2008. He's not about to give it up to follow in bigger footsteps.
4, SERIOUSLY, WHAT HAS HE ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR?Agree … one 5-7 season does not make a Pacific-10 Conference czar?
Yes, the UW fan base is fired up by the Huskies' near-run to a bowl game in 2009. The athletic brass could not be more pleased with Sarkisian's work, on and off the field. And in a 12-month span, what Sarkisian has implemented and got the ball rolling on has been quite remarkable.
But it's still 5-7.
And it's not credible enough to take USC's reins.
5, HE JUST WON'T!And he's already said so.