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Rodriguez hired to rebuild Arizona

Tue., Nov. 22, 2011

Rich Rodriguez turned West Virginia into a national championship contender before flaming out as Michigan coach under enormous expectations.

Those turbulent three seasons with the Wolverines didn’t keep Arizona from hiring Rodriguez to overhaul a program that has been mired in mediocrity for most of the past decade.

Athletic director Greg Byrne posted on his Twitter account Monday a picture of himself with Rodriguez, wearing an Arizona baseball cap, the coach’s wife and two children. The tweet said “And the new Arizona football coach and his family is …”

The 48-year-old Rodriguez will be introduced today during a news conference in Tucson at the McKale Center, home of the Arizona basketball teams.

Byrne fired coach Mike Stoops last month after he went 41-50 in seven-plus seasons at the Pac-12 school. The Wildcats have not won more than eight games in a season since 1998. The Wildcats are 3-8 this season.

Rodriguez will try to change that with a fast-paced, spread attack that has produced prolific offenses.

He was fired by Michigan after last season, following three difficult years. He went 15-22 with the Wolverines and the program was cited for rules violations by the NCAA during his tenure.

Rodriguez has been working as an analyst for CBS Sports Network this year.

Renewed hope for Broncos

A bounce-back win and losses by three higher ranked teams have given Boise State a glimmer of hope that a BCS bowl game may not be out of the question.

One week after a stunning defeat at home against TCU, the No. 7 Broncos rebounded Saturday with a 52-35 victory over San Diego State.

Boise State’s (9-1, 4-1 Mountain West) weekend of good fortune also included shooting up three spots in the Associated Press poll thanks to losses by Oregon, Clemson and Oklahoma – all of which now have two losses on their resumes.

In typical fashion, coach Chris Petersen declined to engage reporters Monday on postseason what-ifs.

“There is no way we’re going to spend any time worrying about somebody else and hoping that they get beat or play poorly,” said Peterson. “We told (the players) after the TCU game that there is so much football left to be played, not only by us but by others. So don’t even concern yourself with anybody else.”

The Broncos close out the season at home with games against Wyoming and New Mexico.

Contrite Pinkel apologizes

Suspended Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said he “failed miserably” as a role model after his recent drunken-driving arrest and guilty plea.

Speaking on the fifth day of a weeklong, unpaid suspension handed down hours after the Nov. 16 incident, Pinkel met with reporters at his attorney’s office. The coach said he convened the news conference to reduce distractions as the Tigers prepare to face Kansas.

“As you know, I’ve taken full responsibility for my lack of judgment and poor decision,” he said. “I’ve hurt and disappointed a lot of people. Now it’s up to me to begin earning everyone’s trust and respect back.”

Pinkel, 59 and in his 11th season with the Tigers, did not coach during a 31-27 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, a victory that makes Missouri (6-5) eligible for a seventh consecutive bowl appearance.

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