For the first time since his blind-sided move away from Montlake, tonight marks the official start.....of "Sark Week."
The Huskies, finally with a chance to face the coach who abandoned them less than two years ago.
Of course, I get it: Coaching changes happen everyday - guys jumping ship for more money or better opportunities. It's a shame, but it's part of the business. My problem comes from the way Steve Sarkisian left - an abrupt, tactless move that ran contrary to the strong rhetoric we'd consistently heard.
Not only did Sark continually reassure us that he planned on being here for a "long, long time," he went so far as to call it a "dream job."
But when he tried to explain his departure to USC, he said "people don't understand, THIS is my dream job."
Really? Talk about speaking from both sides of your mouth.
Whether fans are over it or not, the players Sark recruited need to revisit that sense of abandonment - that bitter feeling of betrayal - and harness it this Thursday night at USC. They'll tell you before the game that it doesn't matter - that Sark is a distant memory - but I'm hoping it's not. I'm hoping this week feels like an open wound - and the guys who once fully bought into Sark, will band together to heal it the only way they really can.
Not surprisingly, Sarkisian is now assembling some of the best recruiting classes in the country. But his wildly talented Trojans haven't been immune to the same lapses into mediocrity that his seven and eight win Husky teams were known for either.
And while it's somewhat satisfying to watch the USC fan base jump on Sark and his coaching staff like a pack of wolves, the ultimate satisfaction would be watching an upset Thursday night.
Because ultimately, this game means more to his former players than his current ones. And it wouldn't be the first time that a group with more heart overcame an underdog status to beat a team with more talent.