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
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
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
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
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.