Without playing, Arizona vaults into the AP Top 10by Anthony Gimino on Oct. 03, 2010, under Sports
Not playing has its advantages.
The Arizona Wildcats, despite being idle Saturday, jumped five spots in the AP poll, landing at No. 9.
That’s a combination of other teams losing and at least one voter coming into the light.
Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant, criticized in this space and elsewhere for leaving Arizona off his ballot last week, suddenly elevated the Wildcats to No. 13 this week.
Arizona (4-0) also moved ahead of idle Utah, which is a bit strange, but perhaps UA’s win over Iowa, which handled Penn State fairly easily on Saturday, looks even better this week than it did a week earlier.
The Wildcats also jumped in front of LSU (which barely beat reeling Tennessee in a bizarre ending), as well as Florida, Stanford and Wisconsin, which all lost.
Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer gives Arizona its highest rank, at No. 7.
Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives Arizona its lowest rank, at No. 19.
This is the first time Arizona has been in the AP Top 10 during the season since the end of the 1998 season, when the Wildcats were fourth after beating Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. They also were fourth in the 1999 preseason poll before losing badly at Penn State.
Saturday game against visiting Oregon State will be the first Arizona has played at home as a Top 10 team since the seventh-ranked Cats beat Arizona State 50-42 on Nov. 27, 1998.
(As a side note, last week we pointed out that eight voters had Iowa ahead of Arizona on their ballots. This week, that number was down to three.)