After some time confusion the first two weeks, UW coach Steve Sarkisian finally was on the Pac-12 coaches conference call today. This is designed largely for out-of-town media to talk to coaches, so there wasn’t a lot here related directly to the Huskies.
One questioner asked Sarkisian about UW’s philosophy in scheduling FCS schools, such as the Huskies are playing this week in Portland State, and whether it’s designed to try to find the most competitive team to play or to make it a game in which the Huskies could work on some things. Sarkisian said: “I think naturally now in football when you are looking at the FCS schools and some of the better ones, especially here in our region, the parity is starting to become more relevant with the number of scholarships limitations growing as they have over time, the FCS schools are getting better over time and guys are going there and they are playing. So I don’t know if you are seeing so much of a discrepancy anymore. I think what we’ve tried to do is identify teams in our region that not only can support our home game and all of that but also them and their program. We played Eastern (Washington) last year, obviously playing Portland State this year, we’ve got Idaho State coming down the road (in 2013), we’ve got Montana coming down the road (in 2017). So we are trying to do both things there for us, quite honestly.”
He was also asked if UW has any hesitation in scheduling FCS teams, especially with some FCS teams having pulled some upsets in recent years. Sarkisian said: “I don’t know. Every game counts and you’d better play well because if you don’t, you will get beat, and we are seeing that more around the country now than ever. Obviously saw it last weekend and seen it for a couple of years now beginning with Appalachian State and what they did with Michigan and so on and so forth. So the treality of it is, if you are not ready to play you can get better no matter who you are playing.”
Sarkisian was also asked his thoughts on what was a big weekend for the Pac-12 in terms of national perceptions with a number of wins against teams from other BCS conferences. Sarkisian said: “I think it’s great for us. I think it’s good that we get some non-conference wins in some high-profile games. I think that at the end of the day, those types of wins begin to add up, and obviously we had a good weekend last weekend probably excluding ourselves. And then as you move forward through the season and ultimately into bowl season you kid of get graded again there in the bowl season and how you do in the premier bowl games, as well as not so much the top-tier bowl games but the second kind of tier games. We are constantly fighting to get the respect that we all believe we deserve in this conference. It’s a tremendous conference with great coaches and great players and wonderful universities and if we can continue to win more of those types of games we will only benefit from it.”