The Stoops era is over in Tucson
Published: October 11, 2011 @ 7:29am
I was told by a very reliable source that some very important UofA boosters wanted at least 6 wins this year in order for Stoops to keep his job. There has been some major discontent with the job Stoops has done over the last year and a half and a lot of that stems from what was a very messy divorce that many boosters feel affected the Wildcats recruiting.
The Wildcats did go to three straight bowl games, which doesn't happen that often in Tucson, so Stoops should feel some sort of satisfaction in the job he did while there. In fact, he made mention of that and also the way his players improved in the classroom during his farewell statement through his agent. I kind of get the feeling that a lot of U o f A fans liked Stoops, but think it is time for change.
Arizona Director of Athletics Greg Byrne has kept a very close eye on this situation from the start of the season. We all knew there was a great chance that U of A would struggle out of the gates because of one of the toughest schedules in the country. Byrne wanted to see how the team competed against the likes of top ten teams in Oklahoma State, Oregon and Stanford, but also how they responded to those losses in the games against USC and Oregon State.
Obviously, the Oregon State loss was the final dagger. It also didn't help that Stoops missed his weekly radio show in Tucson the last two weeks as well.
With Stoops out the University will now turn to defensive coordinator Tim Kish to lead them the rest of the season. Yes, the defensive coordinator whose defense is currently ranked 115th out of 120 college football teams. They are on pace to give up more than 6,000 yards of total offense this season. That guy is now in charge! Only for a minute, though.
Byrne now has the task of hiring the next coach to come and rebuild the Wildcat program, just as Stoops did when John Mackovic nearly destroyed it forever. I have heard that Byrne has a wish list of three names.
The number one name on that list is Chris Petersen of Boise State. Petersen and Byrne are boys and I have heard that Petersen would have some interest in the Arizona job. That shocked me, but you were ever to leave Boise, now might be the time as they are about to get left out of everything with all the shifts in college football's realignment. I still say it doesn't happen, but that's his number one name.
The second name on the list is ESPN's Mike Bellotti who spent over a decade leading the Ducks to national prominence. He will be 61 in December. Is that too old? I actually could see Bellotti having some interest in this job even if it was for that final big payday.
The third name is a guy that many won't know, but is the guy I could actually see getting this job. Larry Fedora, who is the head coach at Southern Mississippi right now. He has spent a lot of time in the Big 12 at Baylor and was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. He also served as the OC at Florida under Ron Zook. He is considered a great offensive mind.
Back in the day, I always enjoyed having Mike Stoops on as a guest. He always seemed to say something controversial (usually about ASU) and it got everyone talking. I think he did a good job while at UofA, but sometimes when you are doing a good job it is still time for you to go.
This was obviously that time.