The Sark Virus Vaccine


The Sark Virus

Dictionary: vac·cine (văk-sēn, văksēn’), n. A preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, such as a bacterium or virus, or of a portion of the pathogen’s structure that upon administration stimulates antibody production or cellular immunity against the pathogen but is incapable of causing severe infection.

Paragon commented below on Chip Kelly’s visits with Jon Gruden and their likely collaboration on a scheme to defeat USC’s Tampa 2 defense. While there is little doubt that Kelly learned much from Gruden, in football there is no substitute for practice followed by live experience and further practice to help you perfect your scheme. A perfect scheme can give a team “immunity” against an adversary.

When Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt moved to the University of Washington they installed offensive and defensive systems virtually identical those at USC. Sark and Holt were able to create a scheme to defeat USC on Sept. 19th thanks to their intimate knowledge of every phase of USC’s playbook. That game produced a wealth of information for all of USC’s future opponents, but in addition a total of 6 of USC’s adversaries have or will have had the opportunity to practice against USC by playing a “weakened pathogen” or vaccine known as the Sark Virus of Washington.The Sark Virus vaccine contains attenuated USC offensive and defensive structures (or antigens) that can produce strong or even absolute immunity against USC infection.

If only the CDC could be this efficient


The following table shows that Stanford, Notre Dame, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, and UCLA all get Sark Virus immunization this year before playing USC:


Washington at Stanford


Washington at Notre Dame


Arizona at Washington


Washington at Arizona State

USC at Notre Dame


Oregon at Washington*


USC at Oregon


Washington at UCLA

USC at Arizona State


Stanford at USC




Arizona at USC

*Oregon was vaccinated exactly one week before facing USC

Predictable Results?

The Oregon and Washington debacles show the extreme value of a perfectly crafted gameplan and live experience. In retrospect, this makes USC’s victory at Notre Dame seem a little bit more remarkable.

Everyone has heard of “scheduling for success,” but this years schedule, front loaded with tough road games and with opponents that are fully informed and extensively practiced against USC’s methods is a schedule for misery. Difficult times may lay ahead against ASU, Stanford, Arizona and perhaps even lowly UCLA unless USC’s coaches are able to develop new weapons or “antigens” that will defeat fully developed “antibodies.”

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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