No question, University of Arizona football has been lousy at best for about a decade now.
Alums like ourselves who pay attention to such weighty things quietly were suffering through yet another mediocre season until -- Hallelujah! -- the Wildcats throttled ASU down in Tucson a few weeks ago and then beat a very decent BYU squad 31-21 on Saturday night in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl.
This year's edition turned out to be a very entertaining bunch, led by a pair of gritty little runners (Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin), a bunch of guys who could catch just about anything hurled at by senior quarterback Willie Tuitama -- what a game he had in his career finale on Saturday! -- and an occasionally stout defense.
The Wildcats' back-to-back losses to the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers in November had set the stage for a terrible finish, with potential defeats at the hands of archrival ASU and their bowl opponent seemingly a distinct possibility.
But it didn't happen. Instead, once-beleaguered head Coach Mike Stoops is looking at a contract extension instead of another job. That could prove to be more curse than blessing, but we'll see. Such are the vagaries of bigtime college football.
But an 8-5 record, a bowl win, and a rout over the Sun Devils make for a fine season from where we sit.-- Paul Rubin