Copper mining: Arizona Wildcats add new-look helmet

Rich Rodriguez has never been afraid to meddle with tradition.

Just take his offense, which at one time flew in the face of conventional football wisdom. Now it’s not so crazy, but the man is always tweaking it.

The changes he made at West Virginia after taking over for legendary coach Don Nehlen received a lukewarm welcome, until eventually becoming wildly popular. What he did at Michigan just never caught on (and you can blame whoever you want on that one).

But now he’s doing it again at Arizona.

The Wildcats have unveiled a new copper helmet that pays tribute to the state’s mining history, as well as the influence it has had on the campus architecture.

Rodriguez doesn’t have much to lose on this one. Arizona’s football tradition is right there with say FAU. The addition is minor compared to the uniform overhauls we have seen at other schools over the past decade.

In fact, the copper helmet is a nice look and should look good with most (if not all) of Arizona’s uniform combinations. The University did say the copper helmet will not replace the traditional white helmet, but I’m sure it will be worn for signature games — most notably the rivalry with Arizona State.

Throwing in a few diversions in Rodriguez’s first season is not a bad idea either. Coming into 2012, Rodriguez’s combined first-season record is 9-32-1. If history holds up, his first year in Tucson is going to be a long one — for everybody.