Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne had some big names in his luxury box Friday night.

Ken Kendrick, the managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, stood on the field with Byrne and then spent time in his box.

Kendrick and UA coach Rich Rodriguez are old friends; he graduated from West Virginia in 1965 and is a major booster for the Mountaineers' athletic department.

Dick Tomey, who coached the Wildcats from 1987-2000, also sat with Byrne and Kendrick.

In a different box was Ken Griffey Jr., the former Major League Baseball All-Star and future Hall of Famer whose son Trey Griffey is redshirting on the football team.

Griffey attended Monday's basketball game, too.


The Territorial Cup had its usual handful of bowl representatives on hand Friday.

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl both attended the game. The San Francisco-based Fight Hunger Bowl, played on Dec. 29, selects sixth in the Pac-12's seven-game pecking order. The New Mexico Bowl, played Dec. 15, selects seventh.

There was one unusual bowl at Friday's game, though: the Independence Bowl, played in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 28, which typically features teams from the ACC and SEC.

Wait, what?

It appears that one or both conferences won't be able to produce enough bowl teams to reach the Independence Bowl - in part because the ACC's North Carolina and Miami are ineligible after committing NCAA violations.

So the nation's 11th-oldest bowl game must look elsewhere.

"We're looking at our options," said Eric Barkley, a member of the Independence Bowl selection committee who was dispatched to Tucson. "Frankly, we're very interested in this game, both these teams. Exciting ball, good fan bases."

He said the bowl is "having to prepare for that possibility," that neither the ACC nor SEC will produce a team for them.

The game seems more likely to get the loser of Friday's contest; the Pac-12 would have to fill all its bowl slots before another league's bowl game can select.

'Glasses Ref'

The referee Friday night was a cult hero - well, a fake version of him is.

The bespectacled Jay Stricherz called the Territorial Cup contest. On Twitter, a fake version of Stricherz called "Glasses Ref" waxes poetic about officiating, and has about 400 followers.

Our favorite Tweets from @GlassesRef:

• "I am glad I am not a Big10 ref. Between Leaders, Legends, B1G (whatever that is) and low number of penalties, place is a joke."

• If I work the #USC #UCLA game does that mean I could throw a flag on @USCDrumMajor for stabbing the field with his sword?

• You see how many extra words I get in when I call roughing the passer? That takes skill. #TVTime

The big number


Time left in the first half when the Arizona State marching band began leaving its upper-deck perch for the halftime show. The band was placed in the last dozen rows of the upper deck.

Another big number


Friday's attendance, a sellout and the largest crowd of the season


This was as cool as anything we saw all day.

During a break in the third quarter, the Wildcats honored Jim McGeorge, a volunteer who had worked on Arizona Stadium's sideline chain gang for 41 years. McGeorge, holding a down marker, looked into the camera and waved while the crowd cheered.

Friday night was his last game.


The end of the home season marked the end of a few other aspects of UA football:

• Grass. The school figures to switch to artificial turf, at Rodriguez's suggestion, during the offseason

• Cranes. The Lowell-Stevens Football Facility is supposed to be completed by the beginning of next season, meaning the construction cranes and concrete bases will be gone by opening kickoff of the first home game.

• Uniforms. Nike is expected to tweak the UA's unis.