Maybe the Arizona Wildcats were not who we thought they wereby Javier Morales on Dec. 30, 2010, under Sports
Everybody thinks they are better than Arizona coach Mike Stoops right now, including the guy who drank a six-pack during the Alamo Bowl and did not know the difference between No. 6 Travis Cobb (punt returner and wide receiver) and No. 6 Jonathon McKnight (cornerback).
Arizona should have passed more and rushed a lot less against Oklahoma State.
Why did Stoops send Alex Zendejas back on the field to try another field goal (only to miss) when he just missed another attempt?
Why didn’t Stoops try Matt Scott at least for one possession?
Why did Arizona not try to score before halftime when it seemed like the Wildcats had an opportunity with a third-and-25 at its 46-yard line?
Here’s a news flash to some: Maybe Arizona, 36-10 losers to the Cowboys, is not as good as most of us thought. Before some accuse this post for being too negative, what I’m writing is not to suggest the Wildcats were horrible. They were just not as good as we thought after a 7-1 start.
The only teams that qualified for a bowl game in that 8-game stretch: Toledo, Iowa and Washington. Their combined record: 22-16. Each of them had at least five defeats. No doubt: Arizona’s start was fool’s gold.
The best way to look at this through rose-colored glasses: Arizona mostly beat the teams it should have in its first eight games. The Cats lost to the opponents they should have lost to (except Oregon State, USC and ASU). Fans can take Stoops to task about the losses to the Beavers, Trojans and Sun Devils at home, but how can they ask for Stoops’ head regarding the losses to Stanford, Oregon and Oklahoma State?
The combined records of those teams: 34-3.
Ironically, the worst thing to happen to Stoops is Arizona’s mirage of a 7-1 start. The more magical season would have been a 1-7 start with a five-game winning streak at the end. Judging from Arizona’s schedule next year, a 1-5 start is not a far-fetched idea.
After the UA hosts NAU on Sept. 3, the Wildcats play in succession: at Oklahoma State, against Stanford and Oregon at home, and then at USC and Oregon State. That could mean a 1-10 stretch for Stoops between this season and next. Will he survive?
He is only the second UA coach to endure a five-game losing streak to end a season. The other is Dick Tomey, who was ousted after finishing with a five-game skid at the end of the 2000 season.
CHECK OUT SOME VIDEO OF THE GAME AT WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM