TUCSON, ARIZONA- I have been an Arizona Wildcat football fan for my entire life.
Yeah….. yeah… sure….Everybody says they’re a fan of their favorite team and then proceeds to tell some self righteous tale filled with hyperbole and some sort of lesson that lends credibility to their fanaticism.
A lesson which often includes a cliché or two about sticking with their team through the pain and misery of losing seasons or the joy felt when their team overcame the odds and was victorious against a superior opponent.
The story of Wildcat Football has all of those dramatic elements, however, if I was to sum up my twenty- six years of experience and translate them into a few words, for me it would be simple:
A lot of change and inconsistency……
As we sit on the stoop of the 2010 college football season……well….. Scratch that line………I don’t care for puns. As we are eagerly awaiting the start of Arizona’s pigskin season, we enter what many fans hope to be the pinnacle of the Mike Stoops era wildcats.
With USC out of the bowl picture and talks of the conference being down this year, Arizona is in good position to at least make a good bowl showing. Aren’t they?
Without even doing a single thing to improve the team in practice or with new recruits, Arizona would still have a great opportunity this season. Due to USC’s bowl eligibility, or lack thereof, Arizona has automatically statistically improved their probability of a bowl appearance by a significant amount.
In fact, because of the nine eligible teams and the five automatic conference bids (and of course assuming winning records for the top five teams), the Cats have a greater chance of making a bowl than not making one.
As a perennial Arizona fan, I hope this season is not left to chance. I hope Stoops prepares his team for the early season games so no easy win is left on the field dashing end of season bowl hopes. Arizona fans know all too well that early season letdowns and relying on chance spells disaster for the program.
After all, is it really even possible for a team which joined the conference over thirty years ago to have never qualified for a Rose Bowl and be the only team never to do so? It seems to be a statistical anomaly that a team with so many great winning seasons and great NFL players could have a drought of such epic proportions.
If Arizona does not receive a Rose Bowl Appearance as winner of the PAC-10 this year, then they never will. Albeit an obvious statement, seeing as though next year the conference will become the PAC-12 after adding Colorado and Utah, it would be a great way to finish such a storied participation and history with this grouping of teams.
A lot continues to change and inconsistencies remain for the Arizona Program. I hope that, among this change, we can end our glaring Rose Bowl streak. It would be only fitting for the Wildcats to stick to their inconsistent ways and put an end to their only consistency; missing out on the Rose Bowl. A Rose Bowl appearance, in this, the farewell PAC-10 season, would thus, be the perfect irony, the settler of a mind boggling statistical improbability and the perfect outcome for this football fan.
By Tom Cracovaner