How did you feel watching the Oregon/Oregon State game Thursday night? Bitter? Resentful? Angry at the football world?
I was definitely a little sad. Two plays in Arizona’s favor and that game wouldn’t have mattered. One play in the Oregon game and our game with USC would’ve been the one for the roses.
Most of all I was jealous. Jealous of the teams getting to that final game with the big prize on the line. Envious of the students who rushed the field (after the game was over) to begin the biggest celebration of their lives.
But I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t feel hopeless, like I watching the princess ride by from my peasant knees. If anything I felt revived. Watching the Ducks and Beavers battle to the end and seeing the waves of excitement wash over the Oregon faithful reminded me why we do this college football thing.
No, our Arizona Wildcats aren’t going to the Rose Bowl this year. But we got close enough to know it’s possible. Don’t give up the dream. Don’t give up on the Cats.
Football at USC, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC
As bad as we feel for the Beavers (getting knocked out of the Rose Bowl by your archrival two straight years cannot be fun) this was the result we wanted. Now the Pac-10’s second-best bowl is very much in play.
I stand by my prediction that Arizona ends up in the Sun Bowl with one more win but you never know. A victory over USC may be just what the Holiday Bowl officials need to start a stream of red-clad fans flowing west on I-8.
We just have to beat USC.
Piece of cake, right? The Trojans are only the only Pac-10 team Mike Stoops hasn’t ever beaten. USC is actually the only team in our league Stoops hasn’t gotten at least twice.
In fact, Arizona has only beaten USC six times…ever. 1981, ’90, ’91, ’93, ’99, 2000. That’s it.
So a win would definitely have some added symbolism. Even in a down year USC is still ranked and the Coliseum remains one of the toughest places in which to play. It would be a big statement for the UA program to cap the regular season with a road win against the conference’s marquee franchise.
You don’t have to worry about the Cats coming out flat like in the Cal game. Our guys have been gunning for that cardinal and gold bulls-eye for five years and they’ve played the Trojans close the last two. I expect a similar energy level and performance and we’ll just have to see if Arizona can make enough plays at the end to get the win.
Lucky win #7.
Basketball at Oklahoma, 5 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU
If this game would have been played last year it would have featured four NBA draft picks, including two of the top eight. This year it features two teams with a combined record of 7-6. Oklahoma’s 4-3 mark is actually the worst in the Big-12 right now.
That’s why you get the U at the end of the channel and not the 2.
The young Wildcats are just looking for a win of any kind. After the heartbreaking UNLV loss (is it possible to lose in double-overtime without breaking some hearts?) the UA has lost three out of four. The start of the Pac-10 season is less than four weeks away so it would be nice to build a little momentum but, alas, we only get to play Lipscomb once.
Enjoy the games and may your Wildcat Weekend be full of Wonderful W’s!