Arizona opponents give the gift of a BCS standing

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

No, you don’t need to wake up from a strange dream that doesn’t seem to make sense.   Yes, Arizona was ranked 22nd in the first release of the college football BCS standings.  I truthfully was just giving it a quick once over after the standings were released until something, that had to be wrong(?), right, caught my attention.  Arizona was listed in top 25 of the BCS standings.  Not Arizona STATE or NORTHERN Arizona, but Arizona!  Shock value I suppose just because we’re more accustomed to seeing a squirrel water ski than we are Wildcat football getting a strong nod from the BCS computer system.

Makes ya wonder what might have been had Nick Foles played the entire game at Iowa and or the pigskin not bouncing off body parts left and right in Seattle.  The current mission is one third in the books, and that was to knock off Stanford at home.  Somewhat stressful, but the job is done.  The remaining two thirds shouldn’t appear as daunting as the first third.  UCLA comes calling on Saturday with Washington State the week after the bye week on the first Saturday in November.

And you might be wondering how and why Arizona got so much love in the first 2009 release of the BCS standings.  Well, allow me.  The ‘Cats struggled to a season opening win over Central Michigan.  Or did they?  The Chippewas haven’t lost a game since, (6-1) as we speak.  Their schedule hasn’t exactly been as scary as Halloween costumes this time of the year, but wins are wins.  So thank the CMU for enabling the computers to like Arizona a little bit.  What else helped?  Well, the ‘Cats essentially laid an egg at Iowa while staying in the game most of the way.  Oh, Iowa is (7-0) and ranked in the top ten in the nation.  So a huge thanks to the Hawkeye nation for doing their part to launch Arizona into the BCS standings.  And here’s one more for ya, the ‘Cats have played only one team with a losing record as we speak, meaning at the end of the last week.  Don’t under estimate how much that is pressing things in the forward direction.  And that one team is Washington, the goofy “immaculate interception” game who, may I remind you, pulled the home upset of mighty USC in late September.  Suffice it to say that things have worked out really well for Wildcat opponents, helping Arizona, through the first eight weeks of the regular season.

And so now it’s the powder blue boys from Westwood on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.  If they’ve had a hint of one thing during the short term of the Rick Neuheisel era its been defense, not offense.  The Bruins move the ball about as effectively as Arizona did during the Mackovic era, bad.  But even their defense looks a little suspect this season.  Last week California ran up and down, and right and left, and slant ways and sideways and backways and, okay, enough with the Willie Wonka jokes, you get the point.  But this is the second of those almost "gimme" opportunities.  I mean, it’s not gonna be that easy, but the point is that things couldn’t be looking any nicer the rest of this month and the start of the next.  I’m actually gonna play hard ball and say that Arizona has no excuse for not being (6-2) by the end of the Washington State game on November 7, and that’s not cutting any corners, that’s telling you the way it is.

Arizona went to a bowl game last season with a (7-5) regular season.  My guess is that the ‘Cats are looking at an (8-4) finish to 2009 if things play out the way they likely should, but I think (8-4) is still possible even if a few trump cards are flipped along the way.  Bottom line, do to UCLA what Bruin basketball has been doing recently to Arizona, make ‘em start thinking about next week before Saturday is even over!  Bear Down Arizona!