Monday, November 27, 2006

Aftemath of the asu game

Not only did Tempe Normal fire their coach after beating the UA Saturday, the UA also lost one. Mike Canales resigned today as Offensive Coordinator after 3 years at the U. Could being 115th out of 119 teams in total offense have something to do with it?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Does the name Zendejas sound familiar?

Who doesn't remember what Max Z. did for the Cats, or hate Luis Z. for going to Territorial Normal. Kicking's in the blood. And the new blood will be wearing cardinal and navy for the next 4 years. Alex Zendejas - of Glendale Ironwood - will take over placekicking for the Cats next year, as we get yet another Pheonix(sic) star to see the light. Nice coup, Stoops.

Alex Zendejas arguably comes from the most famous family of kickers in football history. He has three relatives who have kicked in the NFL, an uncle who was a famous Wildcat in Max Zendejas and an uncle who was a famous Sun Devil in Luis Zendejas. On Wednesday, he was given an offer to follow in the footsteps of Max and he accepted.

Yep, it's really there, Sparky

Normal school gridders could rub their eyes all they wanted, but it still wouldn't go away. There it was, right on their field. "Bear Down" and the AZ "A" were painted on their turf. A red "A" was also painted on their beloved A Mountain.

Let the games begin.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Comparing the Sophomore QB's

I'll take Willie over ruddy anyday. Like comparing apples to rotten oranges.

No Excuses, please, Sparky

Reading through this article it sounds like Tempe is making excuses already, and the game hasn't even been played. Sure, they've suffered through some injuries, but isn't that football? Where's the depth, Dirk? Some of it went north to Nebraska, leaving just crybabies in the Valley of the Scum. I don't remember Stoops with a hanky out when Willie went down for a few games. Or Steptoe. Suck it up, girls.

Speaking of girls:

"I think this was a real talented team at the beginning of the season," ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter said. "But who are our most talented guys? They haven't been playing. They've been hurt or they've had things happen. I'm not making excuses but that is the truth."

Suppose this hammerhead will take the next bus out with Koetter?

Remembering Lee Franklin

Former Wildcat baseball player Lee Franklin battle leukemia for 9 years, but passed away this week in the Bay Area. Here's a touching story about Lee, his struggles and triumphs, and the type of man that he was. The Wildcat family mourns his passing.

Cats Bully the Bulldogs

The Wildcat basketball team is starting to put it all together - witness last night's drubbing of the Samford Bulldogs. Playing a slowdown team for the first time this season, AZ had little trouble, leading by 28 at the half. Lute even managed to play some of the bench guys, too. Except JP Prince, who was nowhere to be found. I'll wager he's looking for another school right now, someone who will "appreciate" him for the great player that he is.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cats Adopt Nothing-to-Lose Attitude

And it's working. Take a new-found running game, add Dana Dimmel as a co-ofensive coordinator, fire up the defense, and see what it gets you? Some positive national press, immensely grateful fans, and maybe the head of Sparky's football coach on a platter.

Fork you, Devils.

Cancer claims two former Wildcats

From the Tucson Citizen:

Two former University of Arizona athletes known for their big, bright smiles and inspiration as much as their achievements in competition have died.
Former football player Zaharius Johnson died Tuesday after a battle with colon cancer and former second baseman Lee Franklin lost his fight with leukemia on Monday.

The Wildcat Nation feels their loss and grieves for their families.

Rest In Peace, Z and Lee.

Cancer claims two former Wildcats

From the Tucson Citizen:

Two former University of Arizona athletes known for their big, bright smiles and inspiration as much as their achievements in competition have died.
Former football player Zaharius Johnson died Tuesday after a battle with colon cancer and former second baseman Lee Franklin lost his fight with leukemia on Monday.

The Wildcat Nation feels their loss and grieves for their families.

Rest In Peace, Z and Lee.

Koetter to be Cut??

Is Koetter era over at Arizona State? Everybody wants to know, but nobody's talking. As a die-hard Cat fan, I'd like nothing more than for aswho to honor the contract extension he was granted earlier in the season (when the Sparkettes were winning) and enjoy smacking him around a few more years. Bring back Rob Evans, too.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How sweet it is

Can anyone remember when the outcome of the UA/Tempe game would determine the fate of the head coach from that other school? Loos like the honeymoon is really over in Tempe.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Get the Duck Out of Here

Arizona rolled into Autzen Stadium with the fog yesterday, and by the time the skies had cleared the Cats had rolled to their third straight victory over a ranked opponent. Did anybody see this coming? After league losses to UDub, the Beavs, and UCLA, you would have been declared crazy and demented to even think the Cats would make themselves almost bowl-eligible by the time the Sparkettes showed up at AZ Stadium. With development of the O-Line, and the promotion of Dana Dimmel to co-offensive coordinator, the running game has kicked it up a notch or more. After 7 straight losses to the Ducks, and 20 years of frustration in Eugene, the Cats put their best game on the field and dominated from the get-go. The keys to the game were 1) win the turnover battle 2) win time of possession and 3) get the running game going, and the Cats did it all. And shut out the vaunted Oregon offense in the second half. My, oh my.
  • Chris Henry up for week twelve Cingular  All-America Player of the Week.  And why not, after his 3 TDs and 200+ total yards?  Now he is the beast of a back we thought he could be.
  • First fumbled punt was the beginning of the end.  There was still plenty of time for the Cats to gather in 5 more turnovers, though.  And they scored 24 points off those 6 turnovers.  Talk about the Pillsbury Doughboy!
  • The Sparkettes are going South next weekend, along with their season.  Do I hear a life-time option for Coach K(oetter)?
  • Cats win the coin flip for the first time in 12 games.  What are the odds?
  • Cool irony fact.  After Ohio State beat Michigan 42-39, the Pick 4 game of the Ohio lottery drew - you guessed it - 4-2-3-9.  Good for 5 grand if you picked 'em.
Go Cats!  Fork the Devils!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cats do what the Scum Devils couldn't

Yep. They beat NAU. So they're a mid-major, so what? The 'jacks are a good mid-major team, the kind of team that can give the Cats fits come tournament time. We'll take it....and we're keeping Chase.

Cats Have Full Attention of the Ducks

Arizona won't be sneaking up on Oregon this weekend. After two straight victories over ranked teams (including #8 Cal) the Quackers are aware of what's in store.

"They've got a lot of swagger and they have every right to after beating teams like (WSU and Cal). Great wins. We have to come into this game and have total focus, especially coming in off a loss, because we know they will," Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon said.

Can't wait to tee it up.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Well, the Wildcats weren't the party-poopers last night against Virginia.  In the Grand Opening of John Paul Jones Arena, the Cats rolled belly-up in the second half, letting UVA come back from 19 points down and losing by three.  Worst yet, that hated word "soft" was heard from a few Hoos.  Nice to see that Mustafa was fired up for the game...wait, he forgot to show up.  The loss cost the Cats 5 places in the latest polls, dropping them to #15.

Hey, at least Arnie Spanier is back.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


As Wilma and I watched the Homecoming fans pour out onto the field following the Wildcats' 24-20 victory over #8 Cal, I realized this might be - finally - the beginning of the Stoops era at Arizona.  The game was loaded with bizarre plays, freakish moments, and a replay-it-to-death mentality by the officials.  Still, the Cats managed to pull this one out, outscoring the Bears 21-3 in the second half.  So now we're 5-5, with Oregon and Tempe Normal left.  Do I dare even think it?  I'm not even thinking the B word for fear of a jinx.
  • Just like last week, when we beat Wazzu, Cal is talking about "not showing up" or "not our best effort."  Hey!  Give us some props, man.
  • The football program needed that.  So did the school.  So did the fans.  Amen, Corky.
  • "The whole game was like plays going their way," (Cal) cornerback Daymeion Hughes said. "I was like, 'Man, this can't be real.' "  Believe it.
  • Even the SF Follicle noticed the rousing cheer for Nick Folk's first-quarter field goal.  Those were the first points AZ had scored against Cal in 2 years.  And they were just the beginning.
  • Cats Bear Down on the Bears, overcome big plays, and win one for the Gimper.  (That's for you, Wilma)
  • Arizona ruins Bears' BCS title dreams.  Get over it, California.  Or have you already forgotten what Tennessee did you?  You don't have the guts, desire, or class to even think BCS.  Bears Couldn't Score when it needed to.
Go Cats! 

Friday, November 10, 2006

A look ahead to Sunday

When the Cats travel to Virginia this weekend to take on the Cavs, it will mark the opening of John Paul Jones Arena.  (Did you know that was not his real name?)  After getting by UVA two years ago back there, let's hope this version of the Wildcats is ready to show up and play.

College basketball welcomes back the big man

A rebuttal to my previous post:

College basketball is thinking big again.

The past few years, teams were turning to three-guard and four-guard
lineups in response to the dwindling number of dominating centers at
the college level. The small but quick ball-handlers and playmakers had
become the stars and the focus of the game, as the intimidating giants
in low post typically bypassed the college game and went directly to
the NBA.

But suddenly, the NBA's new minimum-age rule and a few coincidences
have altered the evolution of the game, and the big man is back.

Greg Oden, a 7-foot-1 dominator, would have been the No. 1
pick in the June NBA draft, but instead he's at Ohio State, and Arizona
coach Lute Olson says he's the best big man to come out of high school
in a long time.

"He has a chance to be a (Bill) Walton or a (Kareem) Abdul-Jabbar, someone of that caliber," Olson said.

In fact, the current crop of giants is reminiscent of the days
when Patrick Ewing, Ralph Sampson, Walton and Abdul-Jabbar (Lew
Alcindor, then) and Tim Duncan ruled the college landscape.

The 7-foot Lopez twins (Brook and Robin) at Stanford and 6-11
Spencer Hawes at Washington could have been lottery picks two years
ago, but they are college freshmen instead. Connecticut's 7-3 freshman
Hasheem Thabeet is swatting shots away at an alarming rate, and he
could challenge Oden as the best freshman big man this year, at least
until Oden returns from his wrist injury. Duke's 7-1 Brian Zoubek and
Kansas State's 7-2 Jason Bennett should make immediate impacts as

They join a strong group of returning big men. Florida's 6-11
Joakim Noah was expected to be the NBA's No. 1 overall pick last June,
but having a father (Yannick Noah) who was a champion tennis player
eliminated the financial necessity to turn pro, so he's back.

Aaron Gray, a 7-footer at Pittsburgh, came back, too as did
Kentucky's 7-foot center Randolph Morris and Georgetown's 7-3 Roy
Hibbert, who had improved by leaps and bounds and is ready to emerge as
a star.

Gonzaga's 6-11 Josh Heytvelt might replace Adam Morrison as
the Zags' main man, while Alabama's 6-10 Jermareo Davidson is a
challenge for Noah in the Southeastern Conference.

LSU's 6-9 Glen Davis, Duke's 6-10 Josh McRoberts, North
Carolina's 6-9 Tyler Hansbrough, and Nevada's 6-11 Nick Fazekas are not
really centers, but they play like big men, and they all could be in
the NBA right now. Instead they are stars on ranked teams, and most of
the preseason top 25 schools have a big man as their star.

Even the Pac-10, the cradle of point guards, will be heavy
with dominant big men. The conference's tradition of passing point
guards to the pros - Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Jason Terry, Damon
Stoudamire, Mike Bibby, Luke Ridnour, Brevin Knight and Gilbert Arenas
are all NBA starters at the moment - could change, because this season
the Pac-10 is short on point guards and long on centers.

Cal 's top NBA prospect is 6-11 DeVon Hardin, a likely
first-round pick, and the best low-post player in the conference could
be Arizona State's 6-9 Jeff Pendergraph.

Predictions: North Carolina added three McDonald All-Americans
to aid Hansbrough; Kansas, led by Brandon Rush, is loaded with talent,
and Ohio State brought in several top freshmen besides Oden. The
pressure of repeating usually gets the better of teams, so preseason
No. 1 Florida might struggle.

We are picking North Carolina, which will be a lot better in
March than in November, to win the NCAA title, but keep an eye on
Alabama, which has the nation's best point guard (Ronald Steele), and
Georgetown, which might regain dominance under John Thompson III.

Unranked bliss: Two of the past four national champions -
Florida in 2006 and Syracuse in 2003 - were unranked in the preseason
poll. Maybe a team such as Louisville can pull off a similar surprise.

Return engagement: Florida is the first team since Arizona in
1998 to return all five starters from a national championship team. The
'98 Wildcats were clearly better than their 1997 version, finishing
first in the Pac-10 rather than fifth as the '97 Wildcats did, but the
'98 Arizona team lost in the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

The 1995 Arkansas Razorbacks returned the top eight players
from their 1994 national championship squad. They struggled more than
expected in 1995 but got to the NCAA championship game before losing to

The 1968 UCLA squad appears to be the only team to win a
national championship after returning all five starters from the
previous season's national championship team. However, Kenny Heitz, a
starter in 1967, came off the bench in '68, when the Bruins started
Alcindor, Mike Lynn, Lucius Allen, Mike Warren and Lynn Shackelford.

Coaching changes: Sixty-one Division I teams have new head
coaches, with the most significant being Kelvin Sampson at Indiana,
Sidney Lowe at North Carolina State, Jeff Capel at Oklahoma, Sean
Sutton at Oklahoma State, Herb Sendek at Arizona State, Fran Dunphy at
Temple, Bobby Gonzalez at Seton Hall, Mike Anderson at Missouri and Bob
Huggins at Kansas State.

Huggins is already bringing in big-time talent to K-State.
Besides Bennett, he recently added Bill Walker, one of the nation's top
players, for this season, and signed Michael Beasley, rated as the
nation's No. 1 high school senior prospect by several recruiting
services, for next year.

The coach: Texas Tech's Bob Knight needs 10 wins to tie Dean Smith's record of 879 career coaching wins.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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Copyright 2006, Knoxville News

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Where have all the towers gone?

Have you noticed the lack of big men in college basketball these days? Some of them used to go straight into the NBA, but these days it just ain't cool to play with your back to the basketball. Check it out.

Blame part of the lack of low-post talent on poor coaching, from the youth to the college ranks, that analysts say fails to develop players with consistent games around the basket. But also blame the "Arizona effect," which turned some college programs away from building around a big guy.

Led by stellar guards Mike Bibby, Miles Simon and Jason Terry, the Wildcats won the 1997 national title. Big men Bennett Davison and A.J. Bramlett, though talented, provided little more than enough players to field a team.

But more than enough to win the title!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cats Win! Cats Win!

What a day. Not only did the Basketcats win big in their exhibition game today, but the Footballers got their second Pac-10 road win as well. And neither game was on TV - imagine that. Of course Wilma and I, true fans that we are, listened to both games on the radio, six glorious hours of Wildcat highlights. We live for this.

  • WSU let any momentum get away from them when they tried a fake punt in the 3rd quarter.  And the Cats took it from there.   Willie T put his new concussion helmet to good use, and lasted the entire game.
  • Have the Wildcats finally turned the corner, or is that just the blinker I see?  So much for being 16+ point underdogs.
  • Bud-N-Wise-R lead Cats to Victory over Team Georgia.  The two freshman put on quite the show today in McKale.  Nice game for a couple of rookies.  And don't forget Jordan Hill.
  • Guess who has the #4 2006 Fall recruiting class?  Sorry, Sparky - Lute ain't retiring.
Coming up - Cal is here for Homecoming.  And we're welcoming Jeff, Zenna, and Christopher in for the weekend.  Yeah!