Hi everybody, and welcome to the latest in our weekly series of Arizona Wildcats football chats. The UA is coming off its most unexpected win of the season, a 39-36 upset of No. 10 USC last weekend. There's plenty to chat about: Matt Scott's health, Arizona's new national ranking and the Wildcats' chances of upsetting UCLA — and getting bowl eligible — on Saturday. Fire away; I'll try to answer as many questions as I can in the next hour.
Arizona has a quarterback, a scheme and a chance. And — for what it's worth — UCLA has arguably the worst home-field advantage in the conference. If Arizona can stick to the same formula it used to beat Okie State and SC — score, force turnovers and make stops — it can win. in fact, I think the Wildcats will.
Right teams, wrong sport. (But no, he hasn't been cleared by the NCAA yet.)
Nothing immediate: Any rules change would have to start at the NCAA level. Unfortunately, cheap shots are often a down-side of running a quarterback so much.
UCLA's first eight opponents are a combined 25-27, giving the Bruins the 70th-toughest — based on results — schedule in the country. Arizona's opponents are 36-8, the highest opponent winning percentage of any team in the country. Strength of schedule is a bit different, and more prone to interpretation: Jeff Sagarin has Arizona in his top-10 in SOS.
I'd say both. Part of Rodriguez's undoing at Michigan, I think, was that fans were unwilling to accept that the program had fallen so far under Lloyd Carr. Also, the Big 10 five years ago and the Pac-12 now are VERY different leagues, especially up front.
Unsure — he said that a few weeks ago, too, and then nothing happened. Arizona's KOR and PR teams have struggled this year, though Richard Morrison's punt return for a TD against Washington was nice to see.
I agree to a point. I think Rodriguez liked their odds of getting 3 yards, given the way they moved the ball and how gassed USC was. It was a risk that, while probably worth taking, blew up in his face a bit.
It wasn't even the helmet-to-helmet stuff; it was the penalties. USC continues to be the nation's most-flagged teams. That starts at the top, and Lane Kiffin isn't winning too many friends or admirers in Los Angeles.
Never heard that, and he still has never mentioned it. Rodriguez wouldn't touch my questions about a "special season" or "doing big things" with a 10-foot clown pole. I think the Rose Bowl becomes a less-ludicrous question if Arizona can beat UCLA.
Apples and oranges given their schemes and sizes. Both will play in the NFL. If I had to pick one this very second, I'd say Carey. He's younger and, I think, more explosive.
Doubt it. But don't be surprised if Sonny Dykes ends up on Kentucky's short list. He was an assistant there under Hal Mumme, and seemed to have really enjoyed his time there.
I think, on paper, the teams are about even. The oddsmakers' edge would probably go to UCLA, playing at home and having a slight edge on defense, but you never know.
Good question. Allow me to dream: Holiday Bowl, San Diego, against West Virginia. Rich Rod versus his alma mater. Bill Bedenbaugh vs. the offensive line he helped recruit. Matt Scott against Geno Smith. It'd be the most exciting non-BCS game on the schedule. Who's with me?
Sure, athleticism helps when it comes to stopping spread teams. But USC, Stanford and Oregon State are FAR more athletic than the Bruins, and the struggled. As bad as Arizona's offense has been, its allowing just 72 more yards per game than UCLA. And that's while playing a much tougher schedule.
ABSOLUTELY. I thought USC would win — who didn't? — and was pretty surprised to see the Wildcats step up, and the Trojans implode, in the second half. It's going to be an interesting final four games, for sure.
WOW. Talk about a storyline. Sooners may be too good for Alamo, tho.
I've been asked this question 50 times this week, and my simple answer is that: It's complicated. If Oregon beats USC this weekend, and the Ducks and Wildcats both win out and play each other in the Pac-12 title game, Oregon could punch ticket to BCS with win, while Wildcats could go to Rose Bowl by pulling a road upset. Arizona could MAYYYYBE sneak into Pasadena by winning out and then losing the Pac-12 title game, but they'd have to be ranked in the top-15 in the BCS to do it. Would going 4-1 down the stretch boost the Cats from 22nd to 15th? Unsure.
Yes. Everything that happens at Michigan is big news. There has been no word on whether Scott was concussed or not, but from everything I've heard/seen, Scott appeared dazed on sidelines but was NOT concussed. I'll reserve judgment on the series of Forbes stories.
You're reading my mind. Utah's the toughest challenge left on Arizona's schedule, ESPECIALLY if the teams end up playing at night, in SLC, in late-November. The cold — and Utes DT Star Lotuleilei, the conference's most underrated player — could be a difference-maker.
I think that it would have taken a MASSIVE conspiracy on all levels, from the players to the trainers to the team docs to the coaches to the AD, to pull off a lie about whether Scott was concussed. Scott's story checks out, and I like to think I'm tuned in to detect BS.
It'd take a special performance and a special team for Carey to be even considered for the award. Look at Matt Scott and Geno Smith, two quarterbacks who put up massive numbers but won't win the award because of their defenses. This is all-too-often a best player on the best team trophy; unless Arizona can climb into someone's top-10 this season or next, it's not happening.