Steve Sarkisian's First Season Validated by Victory in the Apple Cup

Ian PetersonCorrespondent INovember 30, 2009

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies gestures from the sidelines during the game against the Washington State Cougars on November 28, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated the Cougars 30-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Many of the more rabid Washington Huskies fans were upset with the losing streak going into the 102nd Apple Cup on Saturday.

In many ways there was a little too much optimistic feeling around the program after the win over USC. The core of the team was the same as the winless 2008 squad. 

The 30-0 victory over the Cougars righted the ship, and will help the Huskies transition into the offseason.

It was the first shutout since 1964 in the series, and the first time that the Huskies shut out an opponent in 12 years. It also stopped the Cougars from achieving a third straight victory over the Huskies, something they've never done.

The Huskies can feel really good about this win, even in spite of the fact that the win is mitigated by how bad the Cougars look this season.

The Huskies are on the rise; the Cougars are sliding down. Sarkisian has already achieved more than Paul Wulff in half as much time. The situations may be different, but Husky fans have to be happy while Cougar fans may start to simmer.

In any case, with a potential top-25 recruiting class coming in, there is a lot to look forward to for Husky fans.

While the Huskies still have one more game to play, with no bowl hopes it is merely for pride. 

Sarkisian has already achieved the second best Husky turnaround in the programs history, slightly short of 1970, when the team went from 1-9 to 6-4.

Don't expect the Huskies to just take what they can get against Cal, and move on to the offseason. The players want to win that game, and the doubtfulness of Jahvid Best plays into the Huskies hopes.

For now, the Huskies can enjoy a fantastic win over their cross-state rivals.