Historically, Arizona has held the perch of college basketball greatness in the southwestern desert. No other school in the region could hold a candle to the consistency of the Wildcat basketball program,a team that has made the NCAA tournament in each of the last 24 seasons.
Unfortunately for UA fans (and no one else), their long-awaited collapse is finally at hand. In an ironic twist, it just so happens that right at the same time, the Sun Devil basketball program is on a meteoric rise to stardom. The timing is so antagonizingly perfect that it must be chronicled.
In the meantime, the 2008 college football season began with Arizona finally appearing to be as good as advertised. Starting off with a 4-1 record, when a Sun Devil fan looked at the recent standings and saw their beloved ASU squad standing at 2-6, it felt as though the world was ending in Tempe, with calls for Rudy Carpenter to be benched, and Offensive Coordinator Rich Olson to be fired.
But now, as we take a gander at the standings, we see ASU has won 2 in a row, and is now 4-6 with two games left to play. Their schedule is at home vs. UCLA, and on the road to Tucson to take on the Wildcats in the season finale. Arizona, on the other hand, has gone 2-3 since their 4-1 start, and is now 6-4 and has two home games to close out the season, against Oregon State and ASU.
Oregon State is not to be taken lightly, and I believe they will take care of business against UA, making them 6-5. UCLA is a poor team, and ASU should beat them at home. That would make ASU 5-6.
That would ensure that it was down to the Territorial Cup game to decide the fate of UA and ASU in the bowl season. Would ASU resurrect their season and go to a bowl? Or would UA return the favor and keep ASU out of the postseason?
Should ASU and UA both finish 6-6, ASU would actually be 5-4 in conference play, with UA being 4-5. ASU would go to a superior bowl, and have another year of bragging rights over the boys down south.
In the end, there is nothing sweeter than beating Arizona. ASU has gotten particularly used to the feeling, winning the last 3 football matches and sweeping the men's basketball series last year. Inevitably, it can only continue, as UA scrambles to save their basketball program from the depths of mediocrity and at the same time maintain a professional atmosphere in a football program led by a bumbling coach, Mike Stoops.