The Deep Cut is a companion piece to the Opponent Preview, in which I take a closer look at something related to the opponent, with a humorous slant.
Umm.....look, I’m going to be honest here: I don’t really have an idea for what to do with Arizona. I have a lot of friends who went to the school, and while it’d be easy to be all “lol your school is just a party school that nobody takes seriously”, that’s just too easy of a shot to take, and the Deep Cut prides itself on being above such paltry humor.
Plus UC Santa Barbara is a better party school anyway.
This isn’t a problem I’ll have with Arizona State. The hiring of Herm Edwards means I’m going to have a literal treasure trove of easy jokes to make about the Sun Devils, but Arizona actually made a sensible coaching hire, so I can’t rip them on that front. Hell, I can’t even really do more Noel Mazzone jokes because I already did that bit two years ago.
This is tough.
WAIT! I FIGURED IT OUT!
It’s time for the very first edition of: Let’s See Just How Wrong Dimitri Was in His Predictions Last Year! Today, we will be referring to last year’s Better Know an Opponent series, specifically the Arizona edition.
I think it’s really cool that UCLA gets 2 bye weeks in a row this year!
Boy I really started out strong in this one. I feel this whole article is going to look extremely bad for me, but who cares, Chip Kelly is the head coach now.
(Also, I need to point out that the only 3 Pac 12 schools with good basketball teams last year had bad football teams. This is why wishing on monkey paws are a bad idea.)
Wow, shocking, I managed to sneak in a basketball reference to an Arizona preview. Seriously I might have written the most paint-by-numbers preview imaginable through the first few sections. Hell, I think I made more fun of ASU fans than I did Arizona fans. I guess that’s just become a running gag now.
HOW DOES RICH RODRIGUEZ STILL HAVE A JOB?!?
Rich Rod is the poster boy for making bad career decisions.
You know what? I’m going to give myself a pat on the back here, because this is a super prescient series of sentences. First, I asked how Rich Rodriguez was still employed, WHICH WAS STILL THE CORRECT TAKE HEADING INTO THAT SEASON, and then I immediately said that Rodriguez continually makes bad career decisions, which turned out to be pretty accurate. Also prescient: the Sean Miller burn at the end of the coaching section, because you can set your watch to a Sean Miller Arizona team losing in the NCAA Tournament.
Brandon Dawkins is probably the presumptive frontrunner for the starting QB spot, but I wouldn’t count out Khalil Tate in that competition. UCLA fans will remember Tate as the Arizona quarterback who has come closest to beating UCLA under Rich Rod (which admittedly wasn’t as huge of a feat as it sounds).
Another point in the “Dimitri is a smart person” column! I called Tate as the best QB at Arizona, and he rewarded that blind faith by absolutely demolishing the Bruins as part of his October tour-de-force. This is also where I point out that there has been a running bit in this entire article where I mention the fact that Rich Rod’s Arizona teams had been woefully incompetent against UCLA under his care, and it turns out that Arizona finally winning that game may have been what it took to get both him and Jim Mora fired. I mean, it probably wasn’t the reason, but it sure is a fun coincidence to think about!
The funniest running gag in the Pac 12 is definitely Jim Mora continually eating Rich Rod’s lunch, and that continues this year.
Also it’s been awhile and at least one of these coaches is getting fired at some point this year so might as well have another brawl between these teams. We’re due.
Just look at this section, y’all.
Somehow, I manage to be completely wrong, and also completely right at the same time! First, boy howdy was I off on the prediction of UCLA winning big here. But more importantly, LOOK WHO WAS TOTALLY RIGHT ABOUT BOTH COACHES GETTING FIRED! Too bad I didn’t get the brawl part right either, otherwise I would have come out looking ok in this section.
So there you go. I was actually pretty on-the-nose regarding a lot of things here, except for the whole “lol UCLA is gonna cakewalk Arizona” thing. Which, honestly, is on me, because for some reason, in year 6 of the Jim Mora era, I was extremely optimistic that UCLA would be able to handily beat a team they had a clear talent advantage over. It turns out I’m the actual stupid one.
Anyway, can’t wait to watch Khalil Tate do that to the UCLA defense again!