The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 11 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.
This Web site is in its infancy with a vast majority of Arizona Wildcats followers not knowing one bit about it. That’s okay. Everything has its beginning.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net currently does not generate revenue from ads (other than the very minimal amount from Google Ads placed on the site). A few readers have donated to help fund my time on the site, and I thank you very much. The money received has gone to marketing efforts through promoting posts on Facebook in order to get more people interested in the site.
Why should people care to read WILDABOUTAZCATS.net anyway, you might ask? I like to think this site offers a professional review and analysis of daily topics concerning Wildcat athletics.
My reporting and writing extends to when I started as a stringer at The Arizona Daily Star in 1985. My journalism career took me as high as covering the UA men’s basketball beat for the Star and sitting courtside when the Cats won it all in 1997. I continue to do work as a freelance reporter for various sites and publications.
I have followed Arizona sports since I was in grade school, attending UA games since the early 1970s. I have communicated directly with Fred Snowden, Lute Olson, Dick Tomey and Sean Miller. The number of athletes totals a lot more. I know I have a sense of what UA sports is all about, and I handle the reporting of the Wildcats with professionalism because that’s what this endeavor deserves.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net has become more than a hobby for me. It’s a passion. I am excited that at least two people have come forward recently to volunteer their time to contribute features to the site. That makes me know that people believe in the product and the professional way it is presented.
The site started as UAHoopsCoach.com as it trailed the coaching search to replace Olson in 2009. It later became WILDABOUTAZCATS.com. Due to time constraints, I was forced to stop. I couldn’t stay away. WILDABOUTAZCATS.net is the new Web site and it has evolved within the last year.
In the last four years, I have been fortunate to team with friend and former co-worker Anthony Gimino at TucsonCitizen.com as a blog writer. Between that site and this one, I have generated a few features related to Arizona football — including this “100 Days ‘Til Kickoff 2013” countdown. Here is a few others I believe you would like to catch up on:
— The Top 50 Games in Arizona History that I generated last season and will update going forward.
— The best plays in the last 40 years of Arizona football. The No. 1 play, in my opinion, was Cecil’s 106-yard interception return for a touchdown against ASU in 1986.
— The All-Time All-Pac-10/12 Team in the Wildcats’ history in the conference dating to 1978.
— The top five games against Pac-12 football foes series is not quite done yet. The games against ASU will be published next.
As long as I am able, more features such as these will be produced about UA football and basketball in the future.
The best Arizona player to wear No. 11, according to TucsonCitizen.com’s Anthony Gimino, is cornerback Chris McAlister (1996-98). He was a shut-down corner who might be the best athlete, ever, to play at Arizona.
Last year, this site and TucsonCitizen.com ran a Top 50 Games in the history of Arizona football series. 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, which landed as No. 38 on the list. Note, after clicking on the link, you will notice last year’s ranking. The list on this page is the current ranking.
No. 11: The Desert Swarm is born in 1992 near-upset of top-ranked Miami at the Orange Bowl
No. 12: Zendejas’ 57-yard FG ties UA record, keeps ASU out of Rose Bowl again
No. 13: Arizona blows 20-point lead and shot at the Rose Bowl with 1993 collapse at California
No. 14: UA upsets No. 2 UCLA in 1980 when Bruins appeared ready to be No. 1
No. 15: L.A. Times reporter: Arizona shows “fight of wildcats” in 1914 game vs. Occidental
No. 16: UA leads UCLA late in third quarter but loses big in 12-1 season
No. 17: Unranked Arizona upsets Ohio State, Woody Hayes in Buckeyes’ 1967 opener in Columbus
No. 18: Arizona and hasty coach Mudra lose Ultimatum Bowl to ASU in 1968
No. 19: Arizona keeps “The Streak” without loss to ASU alive in ’87 with bizarre finish that ends in tie
No. 20: Arizona fit to be tied with Cal despite leading 26-3 in third quarter
No. 21: Zendejas’ last-second 45-yard FG vs. ASU generates momentum for “The Streak” to endure
No. 22: Arizona wins its first bowl behind “Heat-seeking Missile” Chuck Cecil
No. 23: Collapse vs. Utah after leading 27-0 in fourth quarter changed the face of UA football
No. 24: UA shuts out ASU, Kush during dominating run for Sun Devils coach
No. 25: Arizona’s defense and Doug Pfaff’s last-second FG enough to upset sixth-ranked Oklahoma
No. 26: UA upsets ASU from Fiesta Bowl consideration in program’s best stretch
No. 27: Trung Canidate rushes for record 288 yards and three long TDs in ’98 shootout against ASU
No. 28: UA dominates No. 3 SMU, highest ranked non-conference foe to lose to Cats
No. 29: Arizona stuns second-ranked Oregon in most significant victory in Mike Stoops era
No. 30: Arizona’s win on last-second FG over ASU ends Frank Kush’s dominance in the series
No. 31: Arizona reaches its zenith under Mike Stoops with victory over Brigham Young in Las Vegas Bowl
No. 32: Arizona owed Cal a couple, knock Bears out of BCS title, Rose Bowl run
No. 33: Arizona’s 10-9 loss at Oregon in 1994, derailing its Rose Bowl hopes, still hurts
No. 34: ASU ripe for picking in banana uniforms for “The Streak” to reach eight
No. 35: Arizona tries risky fake PAT to beat California but loses in epic 4 overtime game
No. 36: Veal to Hill “Hail Mary” pass highlights “The Streak” reaching seven games against ASU
No. 37: USC outlasts Arizona 48-41 in one of most wild games played in Tucson
No. 38: Arizona Wildcats’ comeback against Nevada No. 38 in Top 50 games list
No. 39: Arizona shows signs of life under Mike Stoops with rout over No. 7 UCLA
No. 40: Art Luppino “The Cactus Comet” rockets toward 38 yards per carry and five touchdowns
No. 41: Fumblerooski enables Arizona to sweep USC, UCLA in L.A. for first time
No. 42: Sun Devil nemesis Dan White quarterbacks Arizona into Fiesta Bowl with win over ASU
No. 43: Struggling UA gets improbable win against ’83 Pac-10 champ UCLA
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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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.