ATHLETIC VOICE: PAC-12 on the rise

By CLYNISHA STEVENS

The PAC-12 came out ready to play. I guess their opponents did not get the message. Apparently just because you are ranked higher than someone else does not mean you are better.

Arizona, UCLA, Utah and Oregon State are just a few examples of conference members who have walked away with some pretty impressive and unexpected wins this season.

With those unexpected wins, the Wildcats and Bruins made it into the Top 25. The Wildcats topped out at No. 22 in the Associated Press poll before losing at Oregon on Sept. 22. It marked their first appearance in the polls since Nov. 21, 2010.

The Bruins made it to No. 19 before falling at home to Oregon State the same day. That was their first appearance in the rankings since Sept. 2, 2008.

The Beavers now stand at No. 18 in the AP after their impressive showing at the Rose Bowl.

The last time five conference teams appeared in the same poll was Sept. 19, 2010 with No. 5 Oregon, No. 14 Arizona, No. 16 Stanford No. 20 USC, and No. 24 Oregon State.

The Wildcats now stand at 3-1 after their first loss of the season, a resounding 49-0 defeat at the hands of the Ducks.

Both teams have two of the fastest and highest-scoring offenses in the NCAA, but UA was no match for the Ducks defense. The Wildcats made it to the red zone six times without scoring, and the Ducks forced four turnovers.

The Wildcats had defeated Toledo 24-17 and then-No. 18 Oklahoma State 59-38 to reach the polls. They also pounded Football Championship Series foe South Carolina State 56-0 on Sept. 15.

The biggest UA win of the season, without a doubt, was against Oklahoma State.

The victory was sweet revenge, after the Wildcats were blown out by OSU in the 2010 Alamo Bowl and in Stillwater last year.

The beginning of the game was starting to look familiar, but it turned around for the Wildcats. Oklahoma State racked up a ton of penalties, and had a fumble and an interception.

The Wildcats next play Oregon State on Sept. 29.

The dangerous Beavers upset then-No.13 Wisconsin with a 10-7 victory on Sept. 8, ending the Badgers’ 33-game regular season non-conference winning streak.

It just goes to show that just because you think someone is lesser than you does not mean you shouldn’t play as hard against them.

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