Arizona football looking to win on and off the field

Feb 3, 2012, 1:09 AM | Updated: 1:24 am

Rich Rodriguez just signed his first recruiting class for
the University of Arizona, adding 24 new players to a
roster that won just four games last season.

But his biggest challenge going forward?

“I think the biggest challenge that we face is changing a
little bit of the mindset and culture that maybe our guys
have right now that maybe we’re not the best program in
America,” Rodriguez told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and

Rodriguez said he polled his team, asking who was the
best, and only about 10 players said Arizona.

“I can understand that, because they think the best
program in America is the one that wins national
championships,” he added. “Well, we’ve got to believe that we’re going to be the best program in America, and we’ve got to work to that end.”

The former West Virginia and Michigan coach said his
players have a good attitude and are working hard, but
they’ll need to take things to the next level.

“You’ve got to do a little extra, and I think that mind-set is the biggest challenge that we face right now,” he said.

So, really, it’s about perception. And whether it’s the
players on the team or just how people around the country
view Arizona football, that is what has to change.

Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne, who was also a guest
on Doug and Wolf, said that’s happening right now,
especially with the Pac-12’s new television contract.

“Kids are going to want to go to a place where they’re
going to be on TV, they can get exposure, their families
can watch them play,” he said. “And all of a sudden
Arizona and the Pac-12 is going to be talked about in
another light than we ever have before.”

Byrne said it’s up to the school to take advantage of
that, and that’s why they are working hard to promote the
University of Arizona brand every chance they get.

“Obviously Tucson’s our foundation, but we need to be
strong up here in Phoenix.”

It will help if they are also strong on the football
field, and Rodriguez seems to be well on his way to making
that happen.

Penguin Air

Arizona Football

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to a game against the Carolina Panthe...
Arizona Sports

Wildcat product, Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski announces 2nd retirement

Buccaneers tight end and Arizona Wildcat product Rob Gronkowski announced Tuesday that he will walk away from the NFL for the second time.
6 days ago
In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, the Pac-12 logo is displayed on the field at Sun Devil Stadium d...
Nikash Nath

Athlon Sports’ 2022 All-Pac-12 teams include 9 Sun Devils, 7 Wildcats

The college football season kicks off in just more than two months. Athlon Sports' Steve Lassan released the All-Pac-12 teams.
10 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@arian_parish)...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Wildcats football receives commitment from 3-star DB Arian Parish

The Arizona Wildcats football team received another three-star recruit for the class of 2023 on Friday in DB Arian Parish.
17 days ago
Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Davonte' Neal #19 runs upfield during the first half of the Pac-12 c...
Kellan Olson

Former Wildcats WR/CB DaVonte’ Neal charged with 1st-degree murder

Former Arizona Wildcats wide receiver and cornerback DaVonte' Neal has been charged with felony first-degree murder in Arizona.
24 days ago
Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the first half against...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Wildcats football future non-conference games

Arizona coach Jedd Fisch continues to build the program as the Wildcats have a handful of non-conference Power Five matchups down the road.
1 month ago
Arizona State linebacker Kyle Soelle carries out the state flag as the team takes the field to face...
Wills Rice

ESPN’s Connelly: ASU’s Soelle, Arizona’s Cowing players to watch in 2022

ASU's returning leader at LB and Arizona's transfer at WR are among players to watch in the Pac-12, according to ESPN's Bill Connelly.
1 month ago
Arizona football looking to win on and off the field