Arizona didn't hire a celebrity offensive coordinator, some guy with his own system, some guy with a link to BYU or even Boise State. It hired two guys, a fullback and a center. Neither has ever called a play.
This isn't the way they do it at USC.
Two guys for one job: Seth Littrell, a fullback from Oklahoma, and Bill Bedenbaugh, a center from Iowa Wesleyan.
At any other time, you would call Littrell and Bedenbaugh old-school guys, but they can't be that because they're not old enough. Littrell is 31, Bedenbaugh 37.
Yet the man who hired them, Mike Stoops, says, "I'm not really worried about scoring points. I really think we should be able to do that pretty consistently."
Under co-coordinators Littrell, who coaches running backs and tight ends, and Bedenbaugh, who coaches centers, guards and tackles, Arizona will commence to run the Two Chaw offense. Isn't that cool? The Two Chaw. Nobody else runs it.
Littrell and Bedenbaugh are tobacco-chewing tough guys, so unlike the others who coach and call offense in the Pac-10. And that's a good thing. The head coaches at the other nine Pac-10 schools all grew up on offense; bomb's away glamour boys who built their reputations (and their bank portfolios) with NFL-bound quarterbacks.
It isn't like that at Arizona. The two most valued players could be Colin Baxter, a center, and Adam Grant, a tackle. They will clear the way for the Two Chaw.
At Arizona's spring game Saturday afternoon, Littrell, a former powerlifting champion from Muskogee, Okla., crouched with his hands on his knees, his shirt untucked, his lip bulging with fresh chew. It was symbolic of the way Arizona approaches football: it's not going to be a finesse program.
The key development of spring was the emergence of 260-pound fullback/tight end Taimi Tutogi, who is apt to be used as a power-running tailback on occasion. You don't see that from the fly-boys at Oregon.
"Coach Stoops gave me, and Bill, a great opportunity," Littrell said. "These jobs are hard to come by. Now we need to get after it, and as a staff repay Mike's confidence in us."
At 31, Littrell isn't the youngest Division I offensive coordinator in the country. That would be his friend and former Texas Tech associate Lincoln Riley, 26, who is now the OC at East Carolina. But it's likely that few trained for this role longer than Littrell.
"It's kinda weird, but when I was in junior high, my dad asked me what I wanted to do for a living," Littrell remembers. "I told him I wanted to coach football. That's all I ever wanted to do. My goals and aspirations have always been to be an offensive coordinator one day, and, after that, a head coach."
Littrell was a fullback and linebacker of note at Muskogee High School who was destined to play for the Oklahoma Sooners. He eschewed all recruiting visits to become, as his father, a Sooner.
In 1974, Jim Littrell played fullback on OU's national championship team.
In 2000, Seth Littrell did the same.
There wasn't a demand for 215-pound fullbacks in the NFL, so Seth Littrell chose to pursue a coaching career. His networking in the Oklahoma system that produced future Kansas head coach Mark Mangino and future Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach got him his first two full-time coaching jobs, at KU and Tech.
He was at Arizona, his third BCS job, by the time he was 30.
Now comes another advancement: calling plays. "Seth and Bill will set up the daily game plan, and then Seth calls it," Stoops said.
But don't expect this to be an I'm-a-celebrity situation like the one Norm Chow operates at UCLA or the one Chip Kelly created at Oregon.
"My job hasn't changed much," Littrell said. "We're all in there game-planning. We put in the same hours. We've had an unbelievably good addition this year with Frank Scelfo as our quarterbacks coach. He's a set of outside eyes that we needed. We're all involved. Bill, Frank, everybody. It won't be my offense."
Littrell and Scelfo will be in the press box together on game days.
"I'm not calling every single play out there, trust me," Littrell said. "Guys will step up and make calls when need be. Some guys may see something I don't see. Ultimately, that's how it should work. Input from everyone."
During their days at Kansas, Mangino said Littrell "has the heart of a lion.
"He's the ultimate overachiever."
And that is likely to be the personality of Arizona's Two Chaw offense.