What would you do if Arizona made it to the Rose Bowl at season’s end? No, seriously.
Have you planned that out for four decades now since Arizona joined what was the Pac-10 in 1978? Buy tickets and go to the Rose Bowl Parade? Have a huge party at your place? Slap yourself to make sure you were not dreaming?
One fan is looking forward to Arizona making the Granddaddy of them All this season.
To finally make it to the Rose Bowl and win it — Michael Iacovetta Jr.
I was asked the other day what would be more significant — Arizona winning another national title in basketball (with the fact the Wildcats have not been to the Final Four in 19 years) or the Wildcats finally advancing to the Rose Bowl.
Um, the Rose Bowl, without question. Arizona has won a national title in basketball. A trip to the Rose Bowl would complete the lives of many Arizona fans, who may not be disappointed if the Wildcats bypassed Pasadena, Calif., for the College Football Playoffs, but let’s not get greedy.
The Rose Bowl drought brings to mind the long stretches of non-fulfillment for men’s basketball, and to a lesser degree, softball, because Mike Candrea’s team last season ended a nine-year stretch without a trip to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series. The eight-time national champs are still in search of their first title since 2007.
Total games for men’s basketball without reaching the Final Four since 2001: 619.
Total games for softball without winning the Women’s College World Series since 2007: 725.
Total games for football without making the Rose Bowl since joining the Pac-10/12 in 1978: 486.
Will any of these numbers reach quadruple digits?
“A guy that I played college ball with at Washington State, him and Shawn Springs are business partners. And he knew I was coaching at Arizona and Samari had done a great job where he was at in Virginia. He said ‘I got a kid, he has a lot of potential, I think he’s a Pac-12 player. What do you think about meeting him?’ So Shawn Springs brought him up here to meet us and we knew that he was a good player because he went (to Richmond) and started as a freshman.” — Arizona linebacker coach John Rushing on how defensive back Samari Springs, son of Shawn Springs (Seahawks and Redskins) and grandson of Ron Springs (Cowboys) transferred to Arizona.
By the numbers
Total amount of points scored in two games in 1993 and 1994 when Rushing played for Washington State against Arizona. Those were the Paloose Noose vs. Desert Swarm years. The Wildcats won 9-6 at Arizona Stadium in 1993 and 10-7 at Pullman, Wash., a year later. In the last two seasons, the schools have combined for 192 points. After the 1993 game, the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review wrote that Rushing, a free safety, “disrupted” Arizona’s offense with a series of blitzes 10 feet from the line. Arizona QB Dan White completed only 14 of 32 attempts for 215 yards and the Wildcats were held to 68 yards rushing. Washington State had only 38 yards on the ground in 39 attempts. In the 1994 game, Arizona held Washington State to only 5 yards rushing while the Wildcats amassed only 45. Rushing had five tackles in that game in which Arizona was on the fortunate end of a 44-yard field goal miss by Tony Truant with 16 seconds left. In the previous year at Tucson, Aaron Price missed a 49-yarder at the end that could have tied the game.
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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.