Arizona Football

Wings Over Broadway Arizona Wildcats Football Countdown (9 Days Until Kickoff): What Are You Looking Forward to the Most?


Arizona is a program in which eight wins in a season is deemed a high success amount.

At a place like Alabama, eight wins is considered a failure.

The Wildcats, without a national brand when it comes to college football, will take their eight wins — maybe even seven — in a season without problem.

That leads into our next topic of what fans are looking forward to the most: A winning season, which means at least a 7-6 record.

8 wins or more — Sharif Ahmed
Winning — Karen Schlesinger Hyman
I don’t know, wins maybe? — Tait Hansen
Winning — Russell Moffet
Just hoping for an 7-6 or 8-5 record ? Never know? — Emilio Pepe Bustamante

As a program, dating to 1899, Arizona has a record of 613-465-33, a winning percentage of 56.7 percent. In a 12-game schedule, that equates to 6.8 wins a season. That is what Arizona fans are accustomed to in their program.

So anything above that 6.8 threshold is considered a success until winning becomes the norm, which sadly for Arizona, has not occurred with regularity.

Kevin Sumlin (Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)

Unbelievable: The longest stretch of winning seasons in Arizona history is only six years, during the Larry Smith era, from 1981 to 1986. The average number of wins in that span? Only 7.2.

So is 7 wins mediocrity or the standard by which the Wildcats operate?

Eight wins or more for Arizona is considered highly successful and many fans are fine with that. Will that mentality ever change? It has not changed in the 120 years of the program.

Quotable

“I’ve always known I’ve wanted to get into coaching. The opportunity to work with Coach (Kevin) Sumlin, I’ve known him since I was 18 years old. It was a blessing to get a phone call from him. … It’s all about the kids, and being able to work with them on a daily basis. I’m letting them know that football is why you are here, but academically, that’s key. That’s more important than running touchdowns.” — New Arizona running backs coach DeMarco Murray, a former NFL back who was recruited by Sumlin to Oklahoma when he was coming out of high school at Las Vegas.

By the numbers

202.4

Number of rushing yards a game by Arizona in 2018 (topping the Pac-12) without QB Khalil Tate much of a threat. Tate rushed for only 224 yards after gaining 1,411 in 2017. J.J. Taylor and Gary Brightwell combined for 1,959 yards last season. No reason to believe Arizona’s running game will drop off with a healthy Tate and Taylor and Brightwell returning in addition to third-year sophomore Nathan Tilford ready to make an impact.

Nathan Tilford gets the hand off from Grant Gunnell (Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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