Arizona Wildcats have limited past vs. SEC programs



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The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 44 days away. From now until then, this Web site will count down the days with facts about the Wildcats, their players, coaching staff and opponents. This is not a ranking, only a list of 100 facts and observances related to the 2013 Arizona football team and coach Rich Rodriguez.


The SEC is so big and bad, with their seven consecutive national championships, that they can not confine all of their teams into one media day. The best conference in the nation most hold media “days”, which started Tuesday and concludes Thursday in Birminghan, Ala.

The Pac-12 media day is set for July 26 at Culver City, Calif.

With ASU’s loss at Missouri and Washington’s defeat at LSU last year, the SEC holds a 13-12 lead over the Pac-12 since 2000. Arizona has two of those losses, against LSU, by a combined score of 104-16 in games played in 2003 and 2006.

The conferences meet again this year with Washington State traveling to Auburn for the season-opener and Oregon hosting Tennessee on Sept. 14.

Arizona will not play an SEC team in the foreseeable future. No SEC teams are listed on the Wildcats’ future schedules. The Wildcats have played only 11 games in their history against teams from the SEC and two of those games were not originally scheduled. They played two SEC opponents in the Sun Bowl — Auburn in 1968 and Georgia in 1985.

The Wildcats lost to Auburn 34-10 in the infamous “Ultimatum Bowl” game in which Arizona coach Darrell Mudra threatened Sun Bowl officials to invite the UA before its last regular-season game against ASU or the Wildcats would play elsewhere. The Wildcats tied Georgia 13-13 when the normally reliable Max Zendejas missed a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.

The next shot Arizona has against an SEC team may have to be in a bowl game, but the conferences are not aligned with any bowls. That means the Wildcats’ chances of facing an SEC team, for now, are in the new college football playoff system that starts next season.

Arizona’s record against major conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC) is listed next. The Wildcats are 41-76-7 against those teams. They have achieved the most victories against Iowa with a 7-6 record between 1966 and 2010.

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The best Arizona player to wear No. 44, according to TucsonCitizen.com’s Anthony Gimino, is running back Hubert Oliver (1977-80). He ranks fifth in school history with 3,096 rushing yards. Gimino ranked Oliver No. 49 in his Top 50 Players in Arizona Football History.

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Last year, this site ran a Top 50 Games in the history of Arizona football series at this site and TucsonCitizen.com. I will relive that list here with less than 50 days to kickoff and add one game to it: Arizona’s improbable 49-48 win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl last December. I will keep the ranking of that game secret in the new top 50 list until the day I publish it.

No. 44 — Closing chapter of “The Streak” includes Arizona’s dramatic fourth-quarter heroics

No. 45 — Arizona overcomes rival Texas Tech with unfathomable late-game rally

No. 46 — Dick Tomey, the Desert Fox, does a number on UCLA by changing offense in midseason

No. 47 — “The Streak” reaches three games, UA achieves best Pac-10 finish

No. 48 — Arizona’s first game at Arizona Stadium in 1929, a 35-0 win over Cal Tech

No. 49 — Underdog Arizona’s 2011 thriller over arch-rival Arizona State

No. 50 — Arizona’s first win over arch-rival Arizona State, then known as Territorial Normal

Dropped out — Arizona’s first win in program’s history: 22-5 over Tucson Indians

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The Butkus and Lombardi awards watch list was announced Monday. The watch-list announcements will continue through July 19. This site will update after the announcements.

The current Pac-12 breakdown (by school) of players on the watch lists:

1. Stanford 20
2. USC 17
3. Oregon 15
4. ASU 14
5. UCLA 13
6. Oregon State 10
7. Colorado 4
Washington 4
9. Arizona 2
California 2
Washington State 2
12. Utah 1

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WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.


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