Chris Petersen has been linked to every vacancy in college football since turning Boise State into a powerhouse, but Washington was finally able to lure him away from the blue turf Monday.
The hiring of Petersen to replace USC-bound Steve Sarkisian makes sense on many levels. Petersen will have the financial resources to keep his assistant coaches, after losing many of his top hands in recent years to the likes of Washington and Texas. Petersen won't have the overwhelming media or booster obligations that would come with coaching in Los Angeles or Austin, Texas. Petersen inherits a gifted roster that will become even stronger if running back Bishop Sankey or tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins decide to delay entry to the NFL.
Petersen has long been an outstanding force in identifying and developing talent, helping turn Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, and Chicago Bears defensive end Shea McClellin into first-round draft picks. Petersen will have to bring that track record to a loaded Pac-12.
The hiring of Petersen confirms the Pac-12's emerging status as the most competitive conference in the game. Petersen, 92-12 in eight seasons at Boise State, joins a Pac-12 North where every coach has reached a BCS bowl or won at least 10 games in a season.
With a nine-game conference schedule, there simply aren't enough wins to go around. Someone is going to have to fail, but given his outstanding track record, it is unlikely to be Petersen.