November to remember? Can Arizona Wildcats finally break through in 11th time heading into month with one Pac-10/12 loss?

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The only Arizona team that has tied for the conference championship (but lost the tie-breaker to UCLA)

Rich Rodriguez is 23-11 in his three years with Arizona

Rich Rodriguez is 23-11 in his three years with Arizona

The Arizona Wildcats enter the venue (Rose Bowl) tonight in search of a return trip there as the conference champion after coming up short the previous 10 times with so much hope this late in the season.

The pivotal Pac-12 South game against UCLA marks the 11th time Arizona heads into the month of November with only one conference loss in their Pac-10/12 years. It is Rich Rodriguez’s first venture at that plateau in his three years in the program.

Arizona, which lost a tough game against USC three weeks ago on a missed 36-yard field goal at the end, has never gone undefeated in conference play through August, September and October. When in the WAC, Arizona was unbeaten in conference play four times — in 1963, 1968, 1972 and 1973 — heading into November but did not win the conference title.

Arizona finished in second place in the Pac-10 six times when it had only one loss going into this month. In 1993, the Wildcats actually tied for first place with a 6-2 record with UCLA and USC. The Bruins won the tie-breaker and represented the conference in the Rose Bowl.

In two of the 11 years Arizona had only one conference loss into November, in 1982 and 1992, the Wildcats also had one tie. They finished fifth and fourth, respectively, in the conference standings those years.

Arizona also finished fifth in its last one-loss showing into November, in 2010, after Mike Stoops’ team fell apart by losing its last four conference games.

Can this finally be the year for a breakthrough? Beyond-hungry Arizona followers will certainly get a better idea tonight.

ARIZONA WITH ONLY ONE PAC-10/12
LOSS HEADING INTO NOVEMBER

Year PreNov Final Finish
1982 2-1-1 4-3-1 Fifth
1985 2-1 5-2 Second
1986 3-1 5-3 Fourth
1989 4-1 5-3 Second
1992 3-1-1 4-3-1 Fourth
1993 4-1 6-2 Second*
1994 4-1 6-2 Second
1998 4-1 7-1 Second
2009 3-1 6-3 Second
2010 4-1 4-5 Fifth
2014 3-1 ??? ?????




ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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