Arizona Football

Arizona beats USC team ranked in top 10 in Tucson for first time: What are the implications?

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Emphasis is on Pac-10 and Pac-12 era coaches. Arizona did not join Pac-10 until 1978. Tony Mason also coached the Wildcats in 1978 and 1979 before his firing amid alleged NCAA violations.
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* – at least four games remaining

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— If Arizona runs the table against UCLA, Colorado, Utah and ASU, the Wildcats would finish 9-3 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-12. If this happens and USC loses once (the Trojans host Oregon next weekend), the Wildcats would represent the Pac-12 South in the conference title game. That means the Wildcats could get another shot at the Ducks in Eugene.

Rich Rodriguez

— Arizona is not only one win away from becoming bowl eligible, the Wildcats are also a victory away from notching the best record for a first-year coach in the Pac-10 and Pac-12 era. Rich Rodriguez has already matched Tony Mason, Larry Smith and John Mackovic with the most wins at five. No UA coach in his first season in the Pac-10 and Pac-12 era has experienced a winning season. Rodriguez is two wins away from notching that honor.

— If you listen to some national media types, the USC loss hurts the Pac-12 because it lessens the impact of next week’s Oregon-USC game on the BCS standings. Not so fast (sorry, Lee Corso). If Oregon beats USC on the road, the Ducks will be in prime position in November to play for the national championship by season’s end if they run the table.

— The “Colorado Curse” continues. FBS teams that have played Colorado are 0-6 the week after playing the Buffaloes. Washington State is the only team that has lost to Colorado and the Cougars lost the following week to Oregon 51-26. The teams that have beaten Colorado in this stretch — Colorado State, Fresno State, UCLA, ASU and USC — have trounced the Buffaloes by an average of 33.4 points. Oregon, which defeated Colorado 70-14 on Saturday, plays at USC next week, so the curse could very well continue. Colorado hosts Stanford next Saturday. The Cardinal hosts Oregon State the following week.

— One USC blog — — published a poll after USC’s loss to Arizona asking readers if coach Lane Kiffin should be fired. Approximately 80 percent of the respondents to this point have selected yes, that Kiffin should be canned. The Wildcats’ 5-3 record, considering their lack of defensive depth and wrath of injuries in Rodriguez’s first year, is phenomenal. The two obvious best hires heading into this season are Urban Meyer at Ohio State and Rodriguez at Arizona. Rodriguez and the UA face another first-year coach who is succeeding — UCLA’s Jim Mora — next weekend in Los Angeles.

Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner

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