The Pac-10 games are wrapped up for the decade and not even a late surge could save Arizona from the bottom of the 10-year standings. Thanks, John Mackovic.
Arizona’s 4-20 conference record under Mackovic from 2001-03 was the second-worst three-year mark for any team in the Pac-10. Only Washington State in the past three years (4-23 playing a nine-game league schedule) was worse.
What Mackovic razed, Mike Stoops has raised. Perhaps the 2010s will be better for Arizona.
The chart below is the breakdown of how the Pac-10 fared this decade, with only this season’s bowl games to be played.
Pac-10 All-Decade standings
Best travel pair: Not even USC could lift Los Angeles to this title. The Oregon-Oregon State pairing was the decade’s best with a combined 108 conference victories. The Los Angeles schools were next with 105.
Wither the Washingtons? The Washington schools had a combined 42 league victories in the first four years of the decade, then had a measly 22 in the next six seasons. That’s 1.8 conference wins per team for six long seasons. The last winning league record for a Washington school was WSU’s 6-2 mark in 2003.
Tough to stay on top: Only two of the seven teams that had winning conference records in the 1990s followed up with winning Pac-10 marks this decade — USC and Oregon.
Arizona: The Wildcats are 14-8 in conference games dating to late in the 2007 season. Before that, Arizona was a miserable 16-48 in league games this decade.
Arizona State: Finished with a winning conference record just three times, and went only 2-18 in conference games in the state of California.
Cal: Conference record looks like better when starting with the Jeff Tedford era in 2002: 41-27.
Oregon: The Ducks were superb in the first two years of the decade and in the final two years, posting a 29-5 conference record in those four seasons. In the middle, Oregon was fairly average.
Oregon State: It seems almost impossible to believe that this is the same program that went 13-65-1 during the 1990s. From one decade to the next, the Beavers went from having a 17.1 winning percentage to a 60.7 winning percentage.
Stanford: In a six-season span (2002-2007), the Cardinal won only 13 conference games.
UCLA: The Bruins have lost at least four conference games in every season except 2005, when they were 6-2. UCLA can still add to its bowl total as it will be invited to the EagleBank Bowl if Navy beats Army on Saturday, thereby eliminating the Black Knights from bowl eligibility.
USC: The Trojan Decade ended with a thud, but the streak of seven consecutive league titles and seven consecutive seasons with double-digit victories was utter dominance. Those 15 first-round picks are more than twice any other Pac-10 team.
Washington: The far-and-away Pac-10 King of the 1990s (58-21-1) would have tied for last this decade if it hadn’t defeated Cal on the last weekend of the regular season.
Washington State: From 2001 to 2003, no team had more than the Cougars’ 19 conference victories (USC did, too). Those memories will have to keep Wazzu warm; in the seven other seasons, WSU managed a mere 14 league wins.
If you see any corrections, send them to me at anthonygimino (at) gmail.com.
Vote for the top UA football stories of the decade at our sports network partner wildaboutazcats.com