Arizona Wildcats Top 50 Football Games: We’re at No. 11 and counting

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Our Arizona Wildcats Top 50 Football Games ranking is shown as a slideshow starting at No. 50 (click on “next” at the upper or lower right to get started) …

Every day we will have data related to the number of days remaining to kickoff — Texas-San Antonio vs. Arizona — on Sept. 3 at Arizona Stadium. That game is only 11 days away.

Anthony Gimino compiled Arizona’s best player by jersey number while with TucsonCitizen.com three years ago. The best No. 11 according to Gimino is cornerback Chris McAlister (1996-98). He was a shut-down corner who might be best athlete, ever, to play at Arizona. McAlister (pictured above within the No. 11) a three-time All-Pac-10 selection and a unanimous All-American in 1998. He is the only Arizona player with more than one 100-yard kickoff return, achieving the feat in 1996 against UCLA and in 1998 against Hawaii. His 18 interceptions ranks third in Arizona history behind Chuck Cecil (21) and Jackie Wallace (20). He went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL, highlighted with a Super Bowl XXXV title and three Pro Bowl selections.

Arizona senior safety Will Parks figures to be an important player on the Wildcats’ defense.

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For the third straight year, AllSportsTucson.com presents the Arizona Wildcats’ Top 50 games in the program’s history.

The ranking corresponds to the number of days left to the opening kickoff for the Arizona Wildcats against Texas-San Antonio on Sept. 3 at Arizona Stadium. We are only 11 days from the start of the 2015 football season.

The ranking each year is based on new research and judgments for all games, not just those from last season. This year, four new games join the ranking, including one played more than 50 years ago that — upon further review — deserves Top 50 status. That game was presented at No. 38. The No. 1-ranked game last year may not be the No. 1 this year.

You can view the countdown by clicking on the “next” arrow at the upper or lower right …

— Parks, a senior safety from Philadelphia, started and played in all 14 games at the spur position. He totaled 81 tackles, including 52 solo stops, with 13 tackles for loss of 34 yards. He posted a career-high eight tackles at Oregon. He also had two interceptions for 14 returns yards and a fumble recovery during the season.

— The most rushing touchdowns in a game for Arizona was 11 against New Mexico State in a 73-0 victory.

— The Arizona record for most touchdown passes caught in a season is 11. Here are the receivers who share in the record:

Austin Hill, 2012
Mike Thomas, 2007
Theopolis Bell, 1974
Juron Criner, 2010 and 2011

Rich Rodriguez became Arizona’s 30th head coach in 2011.

Juron Criner twice had 11 touchdown receptions in a season, an Arizona record.

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