Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian knows it – the new stadium brings higher expectations than ever before.
As Dawg fans will learn next Saturday night, the new Husky Stadium will be the loudest, most intimidating setting in the entire Pac-12. Without a track, fans are right on top of the field like Autzen Stadium in Eugene – but Husky Stadium holds 16,000 more fans. Home field advantage is now greater than ever in Seattle – and the Huskies must come through on their home turf.
If they don’t – history tells us there WILL be consequences.
I’m not a UW alum – but I’m pretty sure what the fan base will say if the Dawgs falter at home: We didn’t pay 280 million dollars to watch our team lose.
Just ask Jeff Tedford at Cal. His 11-year run as Bears head coach ended last year after they went 2-5 in their brand new stadium.
Walt Harris didn’t last more than a season at Stanford when they didn’t win a single game in their brand new stadium in 2006.
So while Steve Sarkisian has done a respectable job in his four seasons in Seattle – this is the most important one of all.
After three straight bowl games and consistently solid recruiting classes, the Huskies need to take the next step – and that includes an overwhelming dominance at home.
After all, they’re already a good team in Seattle. The Huskies have only lost two home games in the last two years. This year, there’s no reason the Dawgs shouldn’t go at least 6-1 at home – not with a fifth-year quarterback, and a dangerous defense based on athletic talent alone. Sorry Coug fans and those from Boise State – Husky losses to your school at the new stadium should be considered inexcusable.
The new Husky Stadium is beautiful upon arrival – but will be just as ugly after a loss.
Call me tough for setting the bar too high. But I’m sure the Husky coaching staff would call it a basic standard. No one comes into our house – our expensive new house – and pushes us around.
And if they do – it’s a reflection on the head coach – a coach who comes into his fifth year with an admitted chip on his shoulder – but also a seat that’s hotter than some might think.