Steve Sarkisian is an American college football coach and former college quarterback. He is now the head coach at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is expected to turn the program around after it has been led to a few disappointing finishes over the past couple of years. Before he ever took over at UTA, though, he was in charge of the Florida Gators’ offense and did considerable work repairing the program’s mistakes on the field. Now he has one more chance to turn things around for UTA. Here’s how he might go about it.
First, there is the matter of the offense itself. The new coaches will inherit a program that has had trouble on the gridiron. They’ll have to find a young quarterback to replace Tim Couch, who was fired after just two seasons, and a line to replace Charlie Frye, who left after only one season. Sarkisian hopes that transfers like Braxton Kelley from Ole Miss and Blaine Magee from LSU do not affect the quarterbacks and running backs he already has in place.
Second, there’s the matter of who will be the new offensive coordinator. This will be a big job, so any head coach will want to see a significant amount of playtime with recent starters like Matt England and David Johnson. Sarkisian will need to see the recruits understand the offense and work well with the existing skill players. His evaluation of his position players is critical for his future job security.
Finally, there will be an overhaul of the recruiting and player hiring staff by the end of the next year. The turnover at that level of the college game means the odds are better for Sarkisian to take another job at a good program if his last hurrah as a college coach doesn’t pan out the way he expected. That should give him some confidence in his abilities to turn around USC and turn it into a consistently successful program. But there will still be upheaval, like transfers, injuries, and others all add up to a head coaching job change by January of next year.
So what’s in store for Steve Sarkisian next season? Well, firstly, he needs to win the bowl game to cement his legacy at the school. The Trojans haven’t been to the bowl since 2021, and their lack of success is widely suspected to be the main reason for their downfall. Even if they do win the Bowl, however, the way they did in this past season means that they’ll likely struggle to stay in the field due to injuries to key players. Sarkisian may have a tremendous offensive system in place, but it may not be enough to keep the Trojans ahead of everybody else.
Steve Sarkisian also has to contend that he’s probably going to have to fire some of his stars, such as USC transfer Devon Allen and star receiver Adoree Jackson, as well as have the services of a new quarterback. But Sarkisian doesn’t have to worry about any of this if he can keep his job. After all, in six years at USC, he’s been able to assemble a stellar staff and a slew of excellent players. He may even be able to recruit some top-notch athletes out of high school this January, as well as some of the top high school prospects in the country, come to campus this January.
But beyond this, the most significant intrigue surrounding Steve Sarkisian right now revolves around turning around USC. The Trojans are one of the most respected programs in the country and are synonymous with success. They’ve won the national title five straight years, they’ve cruised to the top of the rankings, and they’ll likely return to the Bowl Championship Series once again. However, beyond the obvious this season is shaping up to be, can Sarkisian turn it all around and get USC to the promised land of the Orange Bowl in April? The answer may surprise you.
Right now, the answer seems to be yes, but only if Urban Meyer is let go. While Sarkisian needs to retain some essential contributors on the field – namely quarterback Matt Davis and running back Stepfan Taylor – the Trojans need to dramatically improve their recruiting class to keep their bowl chances alive into the next year. And if Meyer is let go by February, that means an awful lot of talent will be gone after just one season at USC – which could set the program back so dramatically that even USC fans may not be cheering for them in January.