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Arizona Wildcats Football: Can New Coach Rich Rodriguez Turn the Program Around?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01:  Head Coach Rich Rodriguez of the University of Michigan Wolverines during the Gator Bowl at EverBank Field on January 1, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida  (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
Rick Dole/Getty Images
Roberto PayneContributor INovember 21, 2011

The state of the Arizona Wildcats football program has gotten a heck of a lot better in the last couple days.

First, the team upset rival Arizona State 31-27 on Saturday, and now former West Virginia and Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez is to be announced as the new head coach.

As reported by multiple sources, including ESPN's Joe Schad, Rodriguez will take over the vacancy left from the firing of Mike Stoops. Rodriguez brings his spread offense to the Cats, who have the perfect quarterback for his offense in Matt Scott.

Rodriguez should help bring stability to an Arizona program that fell apart so quickly after rising from the depths of college football under former coach Mike Stoops. Rich Rod will be tasked with quickly recruiting players that fit his system, and turning the Cats around after a very disappointing season.

Wildcats fans better hope that the Rodriguez of West Virginia comes to Tucson, rather than the Rich Rodriguez that drew NCAA sanctions at Michigan. Luckily, Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne is plenty observant, and definitely will not allow for anything like that to happen.

As long as Rich Rod can put the right players into his system, Arizona will be a team on the rise, and the fans in Tucson will have a successful team to again cheer on.

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