Replacing Mike Stoops: Arizona AD Greg Byrne Talks Dan Mullen

In the third quarter of the Arizona Wildcats' bludgeoning of the UCLA Bruins, athletic director Greg Byrne mercifully crowded Craig James out of the booth to answer a few questions from Rece Davis. The primary topic, of course, was the replacement of former Zona coach Mike Stoops, who was fired 10 days prior to the game.

Of most interest were his thoughts on Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen, whom Byrne once hired as MSU's AD. As transcribed by Brandon Marcello:

"Dan was an offensive coordinator when we hired him there," Byrne said during the third quarter of the telecast late Thursday night. "We just want to make sure we have the right fit. If that's an existing head coach, that's great. If it's a coordinator, that's wonderful as well. As you go through this process, I knew with Dan, as soon as we spent tome time together, I felt that would be a great fit. I think we'll have the same thing happen here at Arizona as well."    

No definite way to take any of that, of course, but it's only going to further stir speculation that Mullen could be considered for the Zona job, which would offer him both better resources and a less competitive division.

Moments later, Jesse Palmer speculated on potential Wildcats hires, listing Mullen and Houston Cougars coach Kevin Sumlin along with former Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Mike Leach. He listed Leach as a candidate for a job at a school that would be an upgrade over Texas Tech, and did so mere feet away from James, who got Leach fired for no good reason in the first place.

For one evening, Palmer was the Internet's favorite college football television analyst.

For more on the Arizona Wildcats, head over to the blog Arizona Desert Storm and SB Nation Arizona. For comprehensive coverage around the NCAA, check out SB Nation's College Football hub.

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