UCLA Should Feel Lucky Washington didn’t Fire Steve Sarkisian, Hire Jim Mora

By Patrick Schmidt
Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

In his first season at UCLA Jim Mora has led the team to its finest season in years with a 9-4 record and has them ranked 17th in the nation and earned a trip to the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl vs. Baylor.

The arrival of Mora to LA would not have happened if I was running the Washington athletics department.

Washington had a lot of work to do to erase the memories of the 67 points they gave up last season to Robert Griffin III and Baylor in the Alamo Bowl that led to defensive coordinator Nick Holt getting axed.

However, the school should have also fired Steve Sarkisian and hired Jim Mora to lead his alma mater.

Mora is one win away from a 10- win season and one of those wins came against Washington State, the same team that overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat Sarkisian’s huskies in the Apple Cup.

That collapse could be enough to get the coach fired, but after another loss in a bowl game–one where they blew a lead in the final minutes–the school has to be kicking themselves for not being proactive with Mora.

The former walk-on defensive back played in two Rose Bowl’s under legendary Huskies coach Don James from 1080 to 1983 and got his first coaching job there as a graduate assistant in 1984.

After four seasons and a 26-25 record Sarkisian’s proven that he is nothing more than a guy that maxes out at seven wins a season.

Is that good enough for Washington?

The answer should be a resounding no. Sarkisian is an average coach, he’s not so awful that you have to fire him right away, but at the same time, he’s not that good where you feel like you’re making any progress with him in charge.

Washington is a middle-of-the-pack program with him, but with Mora they could be a team that challenges for conference titles with one of their own leading the way.

However, after the 2010 Holiday Bowl win and a 7-6 season, Sarkisian was rewarded with a contract extension.

Apparently, Washington is happy being average and rewards that type of performance with a raise.

Good luck winning any recruiting battles, conference titles and bowl games while being average.

Meanwhile try not to look at the renaissance of the Bruins football program under the guidance of Mora who looks to put his stamp on the end of his first season with a bowl win over Baylor.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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