Cal vs Arizona Football Commentary

Posted: Updated:

I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t sure that UA Wildcat football deserved to move all the way to number fourteen in the nation in the AP poll after the upset win of the Iowa Hawkeyes.  Don’t figure me wrong here, I’m certainly thrilled for the program, but a little worried at the same time about how to handle it.

I do think the program though, for the first time in more than a decade, is in a position under Mike Stoops to handle the pressure that is now squarely on everyone’s shoulders.  Arizona Wildcat football might be on the brink of taking steps in the direction of someday being called a "well oiled" machine.  Now how much has to happen for that to become a reality?  Lots and lots, but at least the program is up for consideration for something special these days.

Think of it like this, Arizona is ranked higher than everybody else in the Pac-10, according to the AP, with the exception of Oregon who is ranked 5th.  So here’s the deal, the 'Cats are inside the Top 15 in the country, again according to the AP, for beating two cream puffs along with the memorable thrilling win over Ioa-What on Saturday (love that pun by the way).  They still have to go Stanford and Oregon as well as hosting Oregon State, USC and Arizona State.  And take my word for it, Stanford is good, like way better than you think.  I don’t know a ton about their defense at this point, but I think their offense can score whenever they feel like it.  This season is a long way from over, and the 'Cats better have the Iowa game as a distant memory, and that’s not me being stingy about it, that’s just the way it works and needs to work, and Mike Stoops knows that without fail.

And of course Arizona can’t overlook California this weekend in Tucson.  Conventional wisdom would suggest that the 'Cats are gonna steam roll those guys, after all, they just got boat raced at Nevada last week.  But, and isn’t there always a "but", the Golden Bears are probably hoping to bank on the fact that the 'Cats just put all their emotion into the biggest game in Tucson in forever.  Both are worth arguing, and both are worth watching for this weekend.

Brad Allis, the General of wildcatsportsreport.com, talked on the Sunday FOX11 Sports Force about Cal QB Kevin Riley being essentially Jekyll or Hyde under center for California, and if you follow Pac-10 football you are aware that Mr. Riley has a history of either being good or bad, not much in the middle.  The Cal offense certainly goes or doesn’t depending on how he plays.  Running back Shane Vereen is talented behind Riley, and Cal historically under Jeff Tedford turns out stud RB’s, but I wouldn’t expect the Bears rush attack to dent the Arizona defense to the point of no return.

And I realize that nobody that bleeds "Bear Down" wants to hear this, but there is a LONG WAY TO GO this season.  The start is tremendous, it’s always amazing to me how much better 3-0 sounds compared to 2-1.  The dinner table looks yummy for your tummy right now with the reeling Golden Bears on the way followed by a bye week.  And if Arizona is able to conquer the first third of the season unblemished record wise, you really shouldn’t be able to ask for any more than that.  Besides, with what looms ahead, you really don’t have much choice but to stay perfect!  Bear Down Arizona!