Sarkisian has high praise for USC upon return

Just days after publicly ripping former disciple Reggie Bush for his handling of the Heisman Trophy controversy, second-year Washington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian spoke a much different tune of his previous stomping grounds during a Monday morning conference call.

“In my opinion they are the most talented football team in our conference from top to bottom,” Sarkisian, who spent seven seasons as an assitance coach at USC, said.

Currently heading in to this weekend’s showdown with Washington at the Coliseum, No. 18 USC trails Pac-10 foes No. 4 Oregon, No. 9 Stanford and No. 14 Arizona in the AP Top 25 Poll.

The Huskies’ coach — who is 6-9 in his young tenure in Seattle — also didn’t shy away from bestowing praise upon his friend and former colleague, Lane Kiffin.

“He’s done a nice job, I think we’ve done a nice job,” Sarkisian said. “These are both jobs we thought were special ones, especially in the Pac-10. It’s a unique experience, this early in our careers, to be facing each other in such a pivotal ball game in the Pac-10 race.”

For Sarkisian, pulling off a second-straight upset against his previous employer will be arduous task to say the least. The Huskies come in to town off a much-needed bye week, following an ugly defeat at the hands of No. 6 Nebraska, 56-21.