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Where does Washington go from here?

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

USC didn't seriously pursue James Franklin, might Washington?
USC didn't seriously pursue James Franklin, might Washington? (USATSI)

As of Monday afternoon Washington found itself with a coaching vacancy after it was announced that Steve Sarkisian was leaving to take the same job at Southern California. So what does Washington do from here?

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman listed a couple of possible candidates for the Huskies in current defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter, Boise State's Chris Petersen and UCLA's Jim Mora. However, it's being reported that Wilcox is going to follow Sarkisian to USC.

Guys like Mora and Petersen may seem like reaches, especially considering that Petersen removed himself from consideration from the USC job -- though, you never know, that could have been because he knew Sarkisian was getting the job. Meanwhile Mora seems to have awoken a sleeping giant at UCLA.

Still, with all that being said, Washington is an attractive destination for a coach right now.

It's certainly in better shape than it was when Sarkisian took the job. While plenty of detractors have used Sarkisian's 34-29 mark at Washington as a knock against him, it's important to remember that in the six seasons before Sarkisian took over the program Washington had gone 18-53. That's a remarkable turnaround.

Washington also just revamped Husky Stadium, upgraded its facilities and is located in a beautiful city with a roster filled with talent. In other words, with the right offer, Washington is a place that could lure a coach away from his current job.

You heard the name of James Franklin connected to the USC job in recent weeks, and although Vanderbilt says the Trojans never contacted the school to talk to Franklin, don't be surprised if Washington does.

The Huskies may find themselves in a position they didn't expect to be in, but they're also in a position where they won't have to settle for anyone either.

What might seem like a reach right now could soon be a reality.

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