Top 10 reasons Arizona should be thankful they hired Rich Rodriguez
Published: November 23, 2011 @ 3:46pm
Arizona Wildcat fans should be especially thankful this Thanksgiving week.
They hired an offensive genius who has coached a team in a BCS game and will bring an exciting brand of football to Tucson, the state of Arizona and the Pac-12.
1. Winner. Rodriguez has proven he can win as a head coach. At one point in the past 10 years he was a proven winner as the head coach of a BCS school.
2. Experience. Rodriguez brings the experience of winning four Big East conference titles and two BCS game berths. He only coached in one of those because he took the Michigan job before his team played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
3. Recruiting. Brady Hoke is winning with Rich Rodriguez's players. West Virginia went 9-4 the year after he left. It doesn't matter who is coaching, the players he brings in give anyone a chance to win.
4. Going National. He's not afraid of recruiting
- Arizona ties (two are currently on the Michigan roster)
- Denard Robinson (Florida)
- Tate Forcier (San Diego, CA)
- Pat White (Alabama)
- Steve Slaton (Pennslyvania)
5. Biggest Weakness. Rodriguez addressed the defensive coordinator position in his initial press conference. He's not hiding from the fact that the DC is the reason he's not in Ann Arbor anymore.
6. Offensive Guru. He's offensive. In the Pac-12, offenses do well. You can't be atrocious on D and win but your O can win you games. See, Oregon.
7. Been There. Rodriguez has been around big time football. Coaching at Michigan will teach you a few things about culture and expectations. There is no doubt he learned a few things and will apply them to his future.
8. Rose Bowl. Say what? Yes, the words "Rose Bowl" were brought up at the press conference. I don't care if Arizona has never played in the game. The aspirations are there -- and they should be.
9. Hunger. Rodriguez is hungry after failing in his last job. He's not an old coach (48 years of age) and is eager to get back to coaching kids. He wants to erase the bad taste Michigan left in his mouth.
10. Exposure. The national media will be giving Arizona attention because of his past success (and failing at the high profile Michigan). Their spring practice will be intriguing and talked about more than it ever has before. He's a big name. He's a splash. People around the country and Pac-12 are going to be keeping a close eye on Tucson.
Last week I decided to make a bet with the producer -- Joe Huizenga -- of Karie & Chuck from News-Talk 92.3 KTAR-FM. If Nebraska beat Michigan I would be part of Family Feud on their show and if Michigan beat Nebraska I had to dedicate my Outtakes to Michigan football.
This is going to be painful but it's what one must do when your team plays as poor as John Skelton's Sunday in San Francisco.
What I learned this week…
The Big House is BIG. OK, yes we already knew that. I think this puts it in perspective the best for me, Saturday's game was the largest crowd Nebraska has ever played in front of. Nebraska has played at Penn St., the Rose Bowl and in the new Cowboys Stadium. Saturday trumped them all. I have to get to a game in Ann Arbor one of these fall Saturdays.
Tweet of the week…
@BFeldmanCBS: Hats off to Mich DC Greg Mattison: #8 in the nation in scoring D. Last year at this point, the Wolverines were #108.
What a difference a year makes.
Suggestion of the week…
Michigan hosts Ohio St. Saturday. This should get you ready. ... I'm predicting a two touchdown win for Go Blue.