Arizona Wildcats Look to Write Their Own History in 2009

Michael AbbottContributor INovember 4, 2009

There is a glitch in the Matrix. 

The 2000 sports year is repeating itself in the year 2009.

Here is my evidence:

In the year 2000, Kurt Warner led the “Greatest Show on Turf” to the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship, the New York Yankees took the World Series, and Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer in the world.

In the year 2009, Kurt Warner led the high-flying Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl, the Lakers won the NBA championship, the Yankees look to wrap up the World Series in Game Six or Seven, and Tiger Woods is still the greatest golfer on the planet.

The year 2000 also happens to be the last time the Arizona Wildcats were ranked in the AP Top 25—until now.

If history repeats itself, that’s bad news for Wildcat fans.

The first time the Wildcats snuck into the AP in 2000 was during Week Eight of the college football season. During that season, the Wildcats started 5-1 and got as high as No. 21 in the AP. They would lose their next five games, finishing 5-6 and not qualifying for a bowl game.

This year, the Wildcats jumped into the AP during Week Eight and now sit at No. 21 (the same week and highest rank of the 2000 season). At 5-2, they have five games left on their schedule. 

If the 2000 season was the Arizona Wildcats version of a horror film, would 2009 be the sequel?

Not if the Wildcat players have anything to say about it. They want to write their own history.

Many weren’t even playing football in 2000. “I was still chasing the hoop dream that I had because I wanted to be just like my brother,” said Terrell Turner, UA senior receiver. “2001 is when I started playing football, even though my mom was skeptical about other people hitting her baby,” Turner joked.

The first step to erasing the 2000 season from the memory banks happens this weekend, when the Wildcats take on Washington State during Homecoming Weekend at Arizona Stadium.

The Cougars are 1-7, coming off a beating against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, and are still looking for their first win in the Pac-10 (0-5).

But forget about the 2000 season. There is only one thing on the minds of the Wildcats in 2009: a Pac-10 title.

“We have yet to play a complete game on all sides of the ball: offense, defense, and special teams,” said Turner. “We are still ranked and also in a great position to win a Pac-10 championship, which is the goal.”