Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
The list of links and notes on Friday includes the approved contract extension of Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez and the basketball team waking up atop the Pac-12 standings.
- The Arizona Wildcats awoke Friday morning with sole possession of the Pac-12 lead after the Oregon Ducks fell to the Colorado Buffaloes Thursday night. All of a sudden, the conference landscape has seemingly found a bit of order. While it's too soon to say the Wildcats should be considered on their own level, their No. 4 RPI ranking and No. 7 rankings in all three of the BPI, AP Poll and USA Today Coaches' Poll seems to point to that being the case. Meanwhile, Oregon, UCLA and ASU make up the next level of tournament-worthy teams (all are 7-3 in the Pac-12). Below that are bubble teams in Colorado, Stanford, Cal, Washington and USC (all 5-5). Oregon State is the big disappointment and sits with Wazzou and Utah at 2-8 and in the bottom of the conference.
- Rich Rodriguez received a pay-raise and a contract extension that on Thursday was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents, according to Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star. After leading the Wildcats to a 8-5 season in his first year at the helm, Rodriguez's contract now runs through 2017. Anyway, his base salary of $1.23 million gets a quarter-million bump on top of peripheral payments from Nike, IMG and bonuses. Remember, he is actually a damn good deal. As Finley notes, USA Today wrote earlier that he is No. 8 in the Pac-12 salary-wise ... that doesn't include private institutions like USC.
- Mark Titus of Grantland has the Wildcats No. 3 in his NCAA Power Rankings, though he was only watching the Washington game to learn Spanish. Titus, a former Ohio State walkon, also offered a new nickname for Angelo Chol -- Cholberg, in that the fans should yell "Chol-berg" a la Goldberg.
- Zack Rosenblatt of the Daily Wildcat writes on Mark Lyons finding his inner point guard against the Cardinal on Wednesday. While the test of time will be the ultimate slice of evidence that Lyons has discovered how to run the team, there's no doubt that he has the talent to do so. And whatever the case may be, the Wildcats haven't had a start to a season like this since the Jason Gardner days. A weak conference schedule or not, winning that consistently means something.
- Anthony Gimino did a composite ranking of the Pac-12 football recruiting classes. The Wildcats are just behind ASU with a 36.75 average, good enough for seventh in the conference.
- Matt Scott is going to the NFL combine, and that is a good bet he'll be drafted. By who, you ask? Well, former UA quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and there are rumblings that the Jags are interested in the dual-threat quarterback, writes Alfie Crow of SB Nation's Big Cat Country.
- The Wildcats have picked their pseudoturf. Here's a picture of what it'll look like.