UA FOOTBALL

Arizona football: Waiting for next game tough for Cats, coach

2012-12-01T00:00:00Z 2014-03-18T18:33:03Z Arizona football: Waiting for next game tough for Cats, coachRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 01, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Rich Rodriguez adheres to a "24-hour rule" after every game. Well, most of them.

The Arizona Wildcats' first-year coach is still bothered - to put it mildly - by last week's Territorial Cup loss to Arizona State, he said Friday. Rodriguez's mood isn't helped by the fact that Arizona's next game, and upcoming opponent, rests in the hands of four bowl committees in four states.

"I'm not sure that I'm not still ticked off" about the ASU game, Rodriguez said following Friday's practice on campus. "You've got to move on. When you find out who you're opponent is, it's easier to move on."

Rodriguez managed a half-smile.

"Thanks for (ticking) me off," he said.

His spirits should brighten soon.

Coaches welcomed a group of recruits to campus Friday night.

Sunday, the team will hold its end-of-the-season banquet. And by the time the last speech is given, the Wildcats (7-5 overall, 4-5 Pac-12) will know their bowl opponent.

Arizona and three other 7-5 schools - USC, Arizona State and Washington - are expected to fill spots in the Sun, Las Vegas, Fight Hunger and New Mexico bowls.

Rodriguez talked about bowls, banquets and more Friday night. Here's what he said:

On whether it's been strange waiting for a bowl assignment: "Not really. We keep forgetting that we're done earlier (than other teams). I'd rather be playing tonight, but we've got plenty of time. If we have a seven-day turnaround it'd be a little rough, but that's what we deal with during the season."

On how his team practices without knowing its next opponent: "Today was a spring practice, it really was. Everybody was getting reps, we banged around a little bit, did some fundamental stuff. Truthfully, the first five or six bowl practices are usually like that anyway."

On how he spent the last week: "Recruiting. It was the first contact period. I kept my frequent flier miles up this week. That's the hardest part of all this: scheduling, recruiting, bowl practices and finals. Getting that all scheduled in will be a challenge."

On where he wants to play: "I'd never tell ya. … Our department has done a great job of putting things together to lobby for us at all four possibilities. Of course I'm biased, but I think we bring a lot to the table - from a good fan base to having a couple of the most exciting players in the Pac-12. We'll travel well and all that stuff. Our department has done a good job of marketing that to the bowls."

On his first team banquet at the UA: "I don't like the long ones. Who does, right? I looked at the time frame that they had today and made quite a few adjustments. I want to honor the seniors and recognize the guys that had great years, but I don't want a three-hour deal where you say, 'Jeez, who else is speaking?' It's not as fast as our offense, but it'll be a quicker one than normal. We give out a lineman of the year, a hard-edge player of the year, and MVP or two. Most of it's recognizing the captains or the seniors."

On the importance of getting back on the field: "It's good to spend a little more time with the seniors. The reality is that once the seniors are done playing, even if they have another semester of school left, you hardly see them again. It's almost like they're a part of your family that's moved on to the real world and left this fantasy world that we live in. To be able to spend a couple weeks or another month with those guys, I'm really going to enjoy it."

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