USC has terminated Steve Sarkisian. Though UCLA is not involved with this situation, they are more involved than you think.
The USC Football world was shaken to its core Sunday as the school put Steve Sarkisian on a leave of absence from the program. It was announced yesterday that Sarkisian has in fact been terminated as head coach of the Trojans.
Per our Fansided USC sister site, Reign of Troy, “His termination however, is not performance related. This is a reaction to Sunday’s incident in which he was sent home after [Athletic Director Pat] Haden noticed he was “not healthy” less than two months after an incident with alcohol at Salute To Troy.”
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Steve Sarkisian has a problem and it has affected his work. Because of that, his employer deemed him unfit to hold his position. Though we hope that this is something Sarkisian can kick, for USC, he is not their problem anymore.
So now USC is heading in a different direction and that means something for UCLA.
The USC Football program has not been the healthiest program the last decade. They just came off of sanctions last year (which they are still feeling with depth this year) and have had an embarrassing string of head coaching misfires.
Let this tweet from ESPN’s ‘Mike & Mike’ describe the USC coaching situation in terms of “USC coaches vs Notre Dame” to give you a picture of what has happened in the last few years:
Because USC has been an embarrassment in this regard for so long, this leads me to believe that they will not be bad for very much longer and here is why…
Pat Haden will not make the mistake of hiring a coach that does not meet the approval of the fans, boosters and extended USC family.
But what if Haden is fired because of this whole Sarkisian situation? Well then the next AD will not make the mistake of hiring a coach that does not meet the approval of the fans, boosters and extended USC family.
That means a great deal for UCLA Football.
USC has been a punching bag for UCLA recently, simply because Bruin head coach Jim Mora has been a better leader than anyone the Trojans have put up against him. If USC actually does the right thing and goes after a proper coach, then not only could that bring back USC back to national prominence, but that means the Trojans will have someone with the capabilities to actually give Mora a run for his money.
That is where it gets a little spooky for UCLA. Bruin fans have basked in the glory of defeating their crosstown rival for the last three years, but with the hiring of a new coach, things could be changing for the better for USC.
Already, there is a list of potential candidates to replace Sarkisian and several of them do not seem that far fetched. Some of these names include Chip Kelly, Kyle Whittingham, Mark Dantonio, Gary Patterson and Kirby Smart. The point is USC is not going to screw this up which means that Mora and company are going to see a Trojan uprising.
How the Bruins respond to that is yet to be seen, but just know that things are going to change and for UCLA, who I have stated are fantastic at making improvements (sans Arizona State), they can also make long term adjustments in response to the changing landscape in LA. This, I believe, will be the real test for Mora.