Unlike the previous rumors, this one has legs, folks.
After hearing a lot of rumors in the past week about Mike Bellotti becoming Arizona's next head coach, many prominent reporters went to Twitter to say that Rich Rodgriguez will be named the next Arizona Wildcats' football coach within the next few days, if not tonight.
Bruce Feldman of CBS was first to report the news, adding that the announcement would be made within 48 hours. Arizona Daily Star football beat writer Ryan Finley said that makes sense, as he has recently been hearing that Rodriguez might be the man. The Associated Press shortly afterward had the same report.
Arizona officials announced that a previously-planned post-practice media session that was due to go down at 5:55 p.m. was cancelled at 4:13 p.m.
And for what it's worth, NBC Sports wrote this afternoon that Rodriguez won't take the Tulane job. Was Arizona on the former Michigan Wolverine coach's mind then?
Expect RichRod to be rejoined at Arizona by many of his former staffers from WVU and Michigan... The Pac-12 just got tougher.
Football Scoop wrote the following shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon:
We hear the new head coach will be announced tonight by AD Greg Byrne on Twitter (@Greg_Byrne)...multiple sources have confirmed to us that Rich Rod will be named the new head coach.
Not sure of Byrne announcing the news on Twitter is for real, but it certainly wouldn't be out of the norm for the new Arizona athletic director. He announced the firing of head coach Mike Stoops via his email newsletter earlier this football season.
Of all the names out there, from Mike Leach to Mike Bellotti, Rich Rodriguez's name is right up there in prominence. Whereas the Urban Meyer hire was far fetched as far as it becoming reality, Byrne grabbing Rodgriguez should be considered a win if this is true.
While he struggled mightily at Michigan, behind a lot of pressure mind you, Rodriguez has the big-time name and the motivation to prove critics wrong by taking the Arizona gig.
Rodriguez went 60-26 at West Virginia from 2001-07, winning the Big East four times. But at Michigan, he only had a 15-22 record from 2008-10.
And with Ohio State, Penn State, likely UCLA and maybe even ASU on the market, grabbing Rodriguez should probably be considered a success at this point. If this is official, Byrne should be applauded for making the Stoops fire as early as he did.
That gave him a jump-start on almost everyone else in the country in this search. While you could argue he should wait for the season to be over -- allowing Byrne to chat with assistant coaches on other NCAA teams -- he likely felt that it's grab Rich Rod now or let him slide elsewhere.
It is indeed a risky move for Byrne. Rodriguez didn't handle the pressure at Michigan well, but Arizona is the perfect place to get a fresh start without that.
Plus, with Arizona already having the tools to run a spread offense, especially with mobile quarterback Matt Scott back next season, the time it takes for the Wildcats to adjust to a new system will be lessened with a Rodriguez offense in place.