Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Pac-12 [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Don't be surprised if ... Arizona

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

First in a series of Pac-10 thoughts that might come from unusual angles.

 
  Chris Morrison/US PRESSWIRE
  Sonny Dykes' offense averaged 36.6 points and 402.4 yards per game in 2008.

Don't be surprised if...

Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes becomes a hot head coaching candidate when the Wildcats new starting quarterback posts surprisingly strong numbers this fall.

Dykes, 39, has completely transformed the Wildcats offense.

In 2006, the year before he moved to Tucson from Texas Tech, Arizona averaged 16.6 points and 252.8 yards per game. Yes, those are horrible numbers. In 2007, Dykes' offense rewrote the program's offensive record book, and in 2008 they did it again, averaging 36.6 points and 402.4 yards per game.

Yes, that's a stunning transformation.

Dykes is widely considered an outstanding recruiter. His final season at Texas Tech he won the All-American Football Foundation's Mike Campbell Top Assistant Award.

He learned passing offense from Hal Mumme and Mike Leach. And last year he proved he could create balance, see 504 rushes and 412 passes.

As for his coaching genes, he's the son of Texas Tech coaching legend Spike Dykes.

The key, however, is this season. While the NFL's lack of interest in former quarterback Willie Tuitama tends to suggest Dykes deserves even more credit for the offensive transformation of the past two seasons, his proving he can develop a guy from scratch -- either Matt Scott or Nick Foles -- will raise more eyebrows among programs looking for a new leader.

In other words, if the Wildcats again rank in the top half of the Pac-10 in most offensive categories on their way to a second consecutive bowl game, Dykes might not be long for Tucson.