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Links: Bryne had Rodriguez on radar, UA not in top party schools

Steve Greenberg of The Sporting News writes that time and patience is important when letting Rich Rodriguez do his thing. We all have talked about that. But there are a few interesting details given about the hiring of Rodriguez.

Athletic director Greg Byrne had shared a meal with the then-Michigan coach a few years back, and RichRod was on his mind while he contemplated dumping Mike Stoops, according to Greenberg. He called Rodriguez the day after Stoops was let go.

  • The University of Arizona somehow failed to show up on the Associated Press' top-25 party school list. RichRod's WVU Mountaineers landed the No. 1 spot with Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and Georgia rounding out the top five. Not one Pac-12 school made the cut, and that leaves a taste of East Coast bias in my mouth.
  • Greg Hansen has a comparative take on Tucson -- and in a sense, the whole Pac-12 -- and its fair-weather fans. Winning is all that matters out here, and that's making it hard to fill Arizona Stadium. Heck, even the Oregon Ducks are struggling to sell out their opener.
  • Backup quarterback BJ Denker is apparently a "vanilla Vick."
  • A neat story on the unheralded walk-on linebacker, Shadow Williams, by Anthony Gimino.
  • Gimino also released Lindy's rankings for college basketball. The Arizona Wildcats come in at No. 18 and are picked to finish second in the Pac-12 to UCLA, who is ranked by the magazine this preseason as the No. 10 squad in the nation.
  • Maddux Sports gives their preview of the Wildcats' football season, and they point out that Athlon Magazine predicts UA to finish 6-6 this year. Not bad considering all we know.