Like Auburn beating Georgia two weeks ago on a last-second Hail Mary, the sport's volatility never ceases to amaze.
But UCLA won.
USC probably would not have hired Steve Sarkisian as head coach had Washington lost another Apple Cup to Washington State on Friday. That would have locked up just another so-so, seven-win Sarkisian season.
But Washington won.
You shouldn't call Pat Haden's hiring of Sarkisian a Hail Mary, though. It was more like a Stanford handoff up the middle.
The hire wasn't dramatic or sexy, and nationally it was met with a tepid response.
However, unless I missed the next Bear Bryant on the list of candidates, USC's choice was understandable
The headline above an Oct. 3 column I wrote on the subject was: "USC's coaching search should end at Steve Sarkisian's doorstep."
The column suggested: "The easy answer to all this is Steve Sarkisian. If he is willing to leave Washington, I'd call off the search. Sarkisian checks off all my boxes. He is foundationally rooted in USC's culture but nimble enough to adapt. He would respect USC's power tradition even as he upped the tempo, as he's doing now at Washington."
The premise became shaky after Washington lost three straight games, but the Huskies pulled out of their fade just in time to make Sarkisian viable.
And so, after USC players failed to play well enough against UCLA to keep Coach O, it came around again to Coach S.
Some USC fans are disgruntled, but they don't offer better alternatives.
Jack Del Rio? The last time he was on a college campus was probably when he played for USC.
Chris Petersen? He wasn't leaving Boise State and, by the way, was waxed by Sarkisian's Washington team in the season opener. Petersen is a great coach but is severely untested as a big-city guy. He thinks four reporters at a news conference is a throng.
Kevin Sumlin? He is 8-4 at Texas A&M this season, the same record Sarkisian posted, except Sumlin had Johnny Manziel at quarterback.
James Franklin? He has done an outstanding job at Vanderbilt after taking over a program that finished 2-10. Franklin is young and energetic and led the Commodores to 9-4 and 8-4 records the last two seasons despite playing in a rugged conference. He sounds a lot like Sarkisian, except Sarkisian inherited an 0-12 team at Washington, was raised in Los Angeles, is a former USC assistant and knows how to recruit Southern California.
Ed Orgeron? He did a great job as interim coach and supporters said he learned how to become a head coach after going 10-25 at Mississippi.