Rich Rodriguez Arizona: 5 Reasons Rich Rod Will Fail Again at Arizona
If you want to really succeed in life, make sure that you are mediocre.
That seems to be the sentiment as middling college football coaches continue to get job after job. The latest head coach to come out of the analyst booth and back to the sidelines is Rich Rodriguez.
Rich Rod flamed out in Michigan and will torch the Arizona Wildcats something fierce as well. There is a saying going around Wildcat circles recently, "It can only get better." You would think.
After a season in which they saw Mike Stoops pout during his final game in Arizona, things looked bright for Arizona as they beat UCLA in epic form. The Bruins were humiliated, and Arizona was able to hold their heads high for a week.
Well, it was immediately back to humbled means in the next few games, and it was clear Tim Kish wasn't the man.
So now we must beg the question: Is Rich Rodriguez the man? Well, it is clear what Arizona football is about to become, but I am not sure that you will like what you see when all of Rich Rod's changes are implemented.
We are going to see a team that can air it out with the best of them but can't stand to win the big game, as was the case in Ann Arbor.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and that is what scares me most about Rodriguez taking over the Wildcats. You know what you are about to get, and it will surely be entertaining, but will lack substance.
Here are five reasons Rich Rod will fail again at Arizona.
Above photo taken from Tweet posted by University of Arizona Director of Athletics, Greg Byrne.
5. Arizona Doesn't Need the Spread
There is the obvious notion that Arizona is about to get a lot more spread than it currently utilizes. This is different than when Sonny Dykes was the offensive coordinator.
The reason is simple. Dykes came in and saw what Arizona needed and what they were good at and developed a system perfect for that, just as this ESPN report dictates.
The problem with Rodriguez is that he will continue to mash his set of beliefs into a structure that may not benefit from it.
4. Doesn't Play by the Rules
There is of course the Detroit Free Press report that cited multiple rule violations like coaches attending unofficial scrimmages and making players work out more hours than is permitted by the NCAA.
Rodriguez of course denied all wrong-doing, and the university imposed its own set of sanctions. The troubling part is that anonymous athletes contributed to the report.
That means you have some very disgusting student athletes who randomly want to do this coach in, or he is really a monster behind the scenes.
What Arizona really could use right now is a defense that has some consistency in the message they are receiving.
Rodriguez will come in with hopes for a high-octane, no-huddle offense. Well, there are other schools in the Pac-12 that do that, and do it better.
The first thing he needs to address is the defensive sensibilities. This will instead get ignored, leading to yet another failed experiment.
2. He Is Not Pragmatic
It's obvious to most that you just can't fit a square peg into a circular hole. That concept never made it to Rich Rod and is one of the reasons he failed at Michigan.
He got to Ann Arbor, and instead of building around the system in place or using the best in personnel to compliment his style, he imploded the whole thing and started over.
We are sure to see the same thing at Arizona. It's his way or the highway, until he hits the ol' dusty trail himself.
1. Separation from Players
Michigan wasn't just losing games when Rodriguez was there, they were losing players as well. The exodus of some talent lead to allegations that Rodriguez was quick with an insult for berating behavior for many of his players.
Former offensive lineman Justin Boren went so far as to call it a deterioration of family values. In an ESPN report he stated:
I have great trouble accepting that those family values have eroded in just a few months. ... That I am unable to perform under these circumstances at the level I expect of myself, and my teammates and Michigan fans deserve, is why I have made the decision to leave.
It's never good when a player calls out a coach for values.