With the college football offseason among us, Fox Sports passes time by releasing an article ranking the pecking order among 66 BCS schools.
In the midst of Spring/ Summer, college athletics begin to wind down for the year, and fans are left with little entertainment to pass the time. Fox Sports thought they’d breakdown their ranking of 66 BCS schools based on their College Football pecking order.
The article ranks the college football team based on four tiers (Kings- top, Barons, Knights and Peasants- bottom). So where did the Wildcats end up? At the bottom!
Yep, tier four, among the other college football “peasants.” Also in that tier? College Football’s perceived bottom dwellers like; Boston College, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Rutgers, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt among others.
More from Wildcats Football
- Arizona Football begins Conference play against Stanford
- Arizona Football starts slow but runs away from UTEP
- How Wildcats Fans Can Claim $200 INSTANT Bonus at BetMGM Betting $10 Right Now
- Costly Mistakes doom Arizona Football in loss to Mississippi State
- How can Arizona Football beat Mississippi State on the road?
Fair? Certainly open to criticism, as this list seems purely subjective. However, perhaps not too far off in some ways.
At the top among the Kings, firmly sits programs like; Alabama, Ohio State and USC to name a few. Albeit the occasional “down year” for those respective programs in the last 10-20 years, comparatively speaking Arizona has seen much worse.
For instance, in the last 10 years alone, the team has a combined 74-66 record, with seven bowl game appearances, including a 4-3 bowl record. In that same stretch, the Wildcats have also posted three seasons, where they failed to win six games or more.
Alabama in the last 10 years has lost just 27 games, even with the vacated wins in 2006 under previous head coach, Mike Shula.
Peasant? Maybe, but again, this certainly is open to debate. But to be compared to Indiana or even Kansas? Ouch!
What plagues Arizona Football? Realistically speaking, let’s look at it. The fan support is inconsistent to say the least. Even with the team going 10-4 in 2014, Arizona still only averaged a little over 50,000 fans per game. The stadium holds nearly 56,000.
Late start times? Hot weather? Poor results on the field? Seems like excuses to me.
Plus, there seems to be a growing discontentment towards head coach Rich Rodriguez among some fans after a difficult 3-9 season this past year.
Even with the team seeing arguably their best four-year stretch in school history under Rodriguez, the recruiting and current state of the program has been, and is being scrutinized, especially by some in the media.
Make no mistake though, Arizona is tough to recruit to. Disregard the basketball comparison, as that program has had an established brand for a number of years. Top recruits flock to Tucson to play basketball. Football, hasn’t nearly seen that same success, and the top recruits rarely even consider playing for Arizona.
The facilities certainly don’t make it any easier either. While the Lowell-Stevens Facility was a great addition to Arizona Stadium, it was also necessary to just be on par with other programs in the country.
With that said, Arizona still doesn’t have an indoor practice facility, which most programs seem to have. Nowadays, it’s almost a must, especially in the hot, Tucson heat. Having one would certainly put us on the same playing field as others, and would also allow the staff to practice around the monsoons that come through during fall practices.
Lastly, and perhaps the most difficult thing to overcome, are the high expectations from fans. Fans’ frustrations grow with each year Arizona fails to make the elusive Rose Bowl. Additionally, fans nowadays are becoming more vocal with the emergence of social media to use as a platform to speak their minds.
So how does Arizona overcome this? Maybe we don’t, and we are forever relegated to being an average program with the occasional great year.
However, the investment needs to be there from top, to all the way down. Coaches need to buy in, players need to buy in and give everything they got, there needs to be a strong financial commitment, and the fans support is vital.
Be frustrated, sure, but not showing up, or expecting the world is only going to lead to heartache when the team doesn’t achieve what you want, or hope.
Rich Rod may not be the best coach for the job, although plenty of athletes would disagree with you, but he is still the coach and has proven he is at least worthy of our respect and patience. After all, it was fans who seemingly ran off Dick Tomey (the schools’ winningest football coach), only to be graced with the everlasting presence (*slightly shuddering) of John Mackovic who put the program into a 10-year death spiral.
If there is one thing we can continue to be proud of as fans, is that at least we hold the head-to-head advantage against the team up north, despite them being more highly regarded as a program according to the referenced article.
Here again are those sweet highlights from that drubbing of ASU to hopefully you make you feel a little better.
At Zona Zealots, I highly encourage fans to support the team. Try being realistic about the challenges the program faces, and stop expecting us to be Alabama 2.0, and at the end of the day, the program is still respectable and needs our support now more than ever. Bear Down, Arizona.