Arizona head coach Mike Stoops met with the media on Monday and had plenty to say about Oregon.
Arizona-Oregon becoming strong rivalry
Much of that disdain revolves around recruiting and Stoops has made no secret of how much he dislikes Oregon coach Mike Bellotti's recruiting tactics.
In 2007, linebacker Terrance Pritchett was completely solid to the UA. He made no mentions of any other schools and simply said that he would take his only official visit to Arizona in order to confirm what he already knew.
Weeks later, Pritchett was going to Oregon and there were questions abound. At the time, Pritchett told Allen Wallace of Scout.com, "I didn't ever really feel like I was 100% committed to Arizona (where he committed in June). I visited Arizona the week before I went to Oregon and I didn't really feel it. I told the Arizona coaches on Monday or Tuesday I was going to Oregon instead."
Pritchett never gave a solid reason for the switch, except to say that he liked Oregon better. Now he is suspended from the Ducks, but that seems to be an entirely different story.
Speaking of stories, the one of Will Tukuafu may be the worst. Tukuafu committed to Arizona by choosing the Wildcat hat over numerous other schools, none of which was Oregon.
Literally days later, Tukuafu was going to Oregon. He too talked to Allen Wallace and stated, "I know that there are a lot of Arizona fans mad at me. But, I have to do what feels right. I called Coach Mike Stoops from Arizona the next day (December 5) after I met with Coach Bellotti.
"I told him that I had changed my mind -- that it wasn't right to commit to a team where I wasn't going to give 100%. He was stunned and shocked. He didn't see this coming. I feel really bad, but it just didn't feel right to commit to the Wildcats. That's all it comes down to--a feeling."
Tukuafu said that he assumed his family wanted him close, which was surprising considering it was very involved in his recruitment. Once again, the UA was shocked by a switch to Oregon.
Stoops was vocal about Bellotti's recruiting at a kick off dinner, which seemed justified considering that Oregon going after Arizona's players is no secret.
These two cases are just the tip of the iceberg and the rivalry is now bigger than it has been in quite a while. You can not only thank recruiting tactics, but you can thank the fact that the UA plays Oregon well.
Whether it is last year's upset or Chris Henry dominating the Ducks two years ago, Stoops always had his troops ready to go come the Oregon game and it will be interesting to see if the same holds true for this Saturday.
WildcatAuthority.com Recommended Stories
By the Numbers: Arizona vs. Washington State
Arizona will travel to Pullman this week to take on Washington State. Read on to get a closer look at the match up, including where Connor Halliday ranks on the national leaderboard, how good both…Read More
Hamilton plans to visit
Timmy Hamilton is one of the best junior college players in the country. Read on to see his thoughts on Arizona, other schools involved, and more.Read More
Smith impressed on official visit
Ray Smith took his official visit to Arizona this past weekend. Read on to see what he thought of it, what the coaches told him, and more.Read More
9 Players You Must Consider
You must consider these NINE players! You simply must. And while doing so, allow us to tell you about FanDuel's Fantasy Football Championship. You could be one of 100 finalists winning a trip to the…Read More
Giants Strike First In Game One Rout
The San Francisco Giants came out swinging in Game One of the 2014 World Series, scoring three times in the first inning and never looking back.Read More