Kevin Sumlin to Arizona: The definition of an A+ coaching hire

Since 2001, I’ve been to 120 University of Arizona football games. I haven’t missed one played in the state of Arizona since 2007. The Wildcats’ record in those games? A pedestrian 63-57. But two decades of mediocrity ends now…

In the words of the late, great college football broadcaster Keith Jackson, “WHOA NELLY!”

I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited for an Arizona football season as I will be in 2018!

Sunday’s announcement that the Wildcats were hiring former Houston and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin might have been overdue to some but was welcome news to this alum and UA football diehard.

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Four Downs – January 8th: National Championship Game Pick, UofA’s coaching search, & NFL Playoff Thoughts

FIRST DOWN – The winner of College Football’s National Championship Game will be…

ALABAMA. Let’s say 31-21 over Georgia.

Nick Saban has never lost to one of his former assistant coaches in his illustrious career…I believe he’s 11-0. Well make it 12-0 as Alabama’s offense cranks it up in the 2nd half against a Georgia team that will have to abandon the run after falling behind early.

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Quick Thoughts on RichRod’s Departure from Arizona

Am I surprised that Rich Rodriguez was fired by the University of Arizona? NO.

Am I surprised that it happened on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018? YES.

I wrote back in September that a change needed to happen after the ugly Friday night loss against Utah when Arizona’s attendance dipped to lows not seen during the ugly John Mackovic years. Clearly the Tucson fanbase gave up on these Wildcats long before I did.

Heck, even despite the emergence of QB Khalil Tate, Arizona didn’t come close to a sellout during Homecoming against a ranked Washington State team. Something had to be done.

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Friday, 12/29 Quick Hitters: Reacting to Arizona’s bowl loss, Picking every CFB game this weekend + Best Bets

As discussed in last Friday’s column, I honestly believe that Wednesday night’s Foster Farms Bowl is quite a setback for Arizona’s football program. The reaction in Tucson towards Rich Rodriguez’s team is one of apathy as is…fans have proven that they aren’t going to pay to watch star QB Khalil Tate nor an underachieving program. I feel as though most people in Tucson wait for the bottom to drop out when watching Arizona football…and it did so once again with under two minutes to play on Wednesday night in a 38-35 loss to Purdue.

So what can be done to rectify the problem? In my opinion there are only two realistic solutions:

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Friday, 12/22 Quick Hitters: Looking ahead to the next week of bowl games – what does a win mean for UofA & Rich Rodriguez?

Late Thursday night it was announced that legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg passed away at the age of 82. His career was one all sports broadcasters dream of: the voice of 8 Super Bowls, the Olympics, March Madness, tennis championships, Major League Baseball, college football, golf, horse racing and so much more. Unfortunately I also remember him as the play-by-play voice of two of my least favorite sports games of all-time…Super Bowl XXXII (Broncos over Packers) and the Arizona-Illinois Elite 8 matchup in 2005. Truly an elite talent who provided a soundtrack to many memorable moments in so many different sports. Rest in peace to one of the all-time greats…”OH MY” what a loss.

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Monday Musings – December 11th: Are the Eagles toast without Wentz? And is ASU basketball top-5 worthy?

Well folks, the answer to both questions to lead off this column is unfortunately yes.

-If Eagles QB Carson Wentz sustained a torn-ACL as feared late-Sunday, Philadelphia’s chances at winning the NFC are all but over. Sorry Eagles fans, while I’m somewhat of a Nick Foles believer (considering he’s a fellow Arizona Wildcat), he’s not going to be able to win your team a big game in January. Sorry, just not happening. The Eagles defense, as we saw on Sunday vs. the Rams is good, but far from elite. To win the NFC, the Eagles will have to rely on running the ball 65% of the time. Good luck if and when they get behind.

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Four Downs – November 20th: Is RichRod back on the hot seat? Seriously…

Only two blogs this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday (none on Friday) so look for a GIANT column previewing the huge football weekend ahead on Wednesday…

FIRST DOWN: If ASU beats UofA, should the Wildcats be looking for a new head coach?

As a diehard University of Arizona football fan / alumnus of the university, I like to keep my eye on the pulse of the program throughout both the good times and bad times. On Sunday morning I was reading the 24/7 Sports UofA message board where I found multiple threads discussing Rich Rodriguez’s job security.

Earlier in the year I made it known that I was in favor of RichRod to move on after the season. And then came the emergence of Khalil Tate. Let it be known now, in light of Oregon’s 48-28 blowout win over the Wildcats on Saturday night, that I don’t feel the same way. Rich Rodriguez deserves another season at the helm of the Wildcats’ football program regardless whether Arizona wins or loses at ASU on Saturday.

I didn’t expect this team to achieve seven wins this season much less beat a ranked Washington State squad by three touchdowns on Homecoming Saturday in late-October. I thought Khalil Tate might be a difference-maker but I didn’t expect him to be a Heisman candidate (though that suggestion is likely finished after Saturday’s game). Through 11 games in 2017, Arizona football has exceeded my expectations.

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