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Past and Present Husky Football Coaches Share Spotlight at Alamo Bowl

The contrast in the two football leaders wasn't hard to see.
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Steve Sarkisian and Kalen DeBoer sat at the head table on each side of an Alamo Bowl official, answering easy questions during a Thursday media sesssion for the Dec. 29 postseason game in San Antonio, Texas.

The similarity between these two men has been well-documented since the game participants were revealed: one used to coach the University of Washington football team and the other does now.

They're both 48, with Sarkisian seven months older than his third Husky coaching successor.

Each is at his third school as a college football leader.

DeBoer owns a career 90-11 record, 10-2 in his 12 months on the job at the UW; in his second season at Texas, Sarkisian is 59-46 overall, after going 34-29 in his five years with the Huskies from 2009 to 2013.

Together, they spoke for nearly a half hour on a range of topics, nothing too controversial, though DeBoer, when asked about the coming Pac-12 realignment and Colorado's hiring of Deion Sanders, joked that it was a 'loaded" question.

Both coaches were respectful of each other, talked glowingly about their players and were grateful to be in the Alamo Bowl.

Outside of different colored sports coats, one couldn't help but see the contrast between these two football coaches and middle-aged men while watching them conduct themselves at the head table.

DeBoer seemed a lot more polished in presenting himself and offering his tactful views on a number of college football topic; certainly he was more comfortable in his own skin.

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Sarkisian spewed out cliches and continually searched for the right words to say as his voice got higher and higher before he actually stumbled while trying to pay the Alamo Bowl a compliment.

"It's a a great game," he said. "That's the beauty of what the Alamo Bowl is: I know we're not a New Year's 6 game, but, man, to get two top 20 teams battling at a high level on a national stage, this is what it's all about."

Word of advice to Sarkisian, especially if you're on a date, recruiting some talented teenager or going to a bowl game: don't tell somebody who they're not, just remind them what makes them special.

DeBoer was happy to report that high-profile Husky quarterback Michael Penix Jr. would be playing in the Alamo Bowl and returning for another season, yet Sarkisian said he had no answer for what Bijon Robinson, his All-America candidate at running back, was going to do.

While the odds-makers have the Texas as an early 6-point favorite, Sarkisian appears to be about a 50-word underdog at this point.


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