Arizona football: UA has played in worse bowls

2012-12-04T00:00:00Z 2014-08-04T17:17:29Z Arizona football: UA has played in worse bowlsRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats' selection to the Dec. 15 New Mexico Bowl has been met with, well, whatever the opposite of buzz is.

Whatever. Those who think the Cats are too good for a bowl game - any bowl game - should probably read up on their history.

Arizona's postseason past is chocked full of forgettable opponents and games that - poof - seemed to disappear as soon as they were done playing. Compared to the East-West Christmas Classic (1921) and Salad Bowl (1949), the Albuquerque game is practically Pasadena.

Here's a look a five of Arizona's forgettable games - and, hopefully, a little perspective heading into next week's game against Nevada:

1921 East-West Christmas Classic

What went down: Centre (Ky.) College held the UA without a first down in the first half, and the Praying Colonels - real nickname - routed the Wildcats 38-0 at San Diego's Balboa Stadium. The UA's first-ever bowl game was played in a driving rainstorm; the Wildcats finished the season 7-2.

From the archives: Arizona played in the game only after Notre Dame, the bowl committee's first choice, backed out. Aided by $500 in donations from Tucson businessmen - the money went toward new uniforms - and buoyed by discounted train fares to San Diego, the Wildcats made their first foray into big-time football.

Game history: The Christmas Classic lasted just two years before folding. UA didn't play in another postseason game for 28 years.

1949 Salad Bowl

What went down: Drake University used a first-half "pick-six" of Arizona's Ed Wolgast and a little luck to outlast the Wildcats 14-13 at Phoenix's Montgomery Stadium. Arizona's Wrinfred Tackett missed a PAT that would have tied the game. The UA finished the season 6-5, and coach Miles Casteel was canned.

From the archives: Arizona's players reportedly asked for $175 apiece to play in the New Year's Day game. Instead, they each received a pair of tickets and $6 watches.

Game history: The Salad Bowl invited Arizona State the next two seasons, and folded after the 1952 game.

1990 Jeep Eagle Aloha Bowl

What went down: Syracuse's Marvin Graves ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as the Orangemen cruised to a 28-0 win over the UA in Honolulu. Just 14,185 fans attended the Christmas Day game, which was played in a driving rainstorm. Arizona finished 7-5.

From the archives: The Wildcats lost starting tackle Mike Ciasca to a knee injury as they prepared for the Aloha Bowl loss. Ciasca, a onetime Sahuaro High School star, missed the entire 1991 season.

Bowl history: The Aloha Bowl continued under three different names before folding in 2000.

1994 Freedom Bowl

What went down: Arizona held Utah to just 75 yards of total offense, but fell 16-13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. A crowd of 27,477 watched Utah upset the No. 14 Wildcats. The UA fell to 8-4.

From the archives: The Freedom Bowl featured two teams that once appeared headed for better things. Utah started 8-0, and Arizona won six of its first seven games before falling to Oregon and USC down the stretch.

Bowl history: The game dissolved shortly after Arizona's loss, with the Western Athletic Conference winner being absorbed by the Holiday Bowl. Angel Stadium was converted to a baseball-only facility a few years later.

1997 Insight.com Bowl

What went down: Trung Canidate ran for 97 yards on 27 carries, and Arizona used four interceptions to top New Mexico 20-14 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats improved to 7-5.

From the archives: Coach Dick Tomey chose Brady Batten to start at quarterback, even though the senior had been out since September with a broken collarbone. Batten completed 7 of 17 passes for 89 yards in his final college game.

Bowl history: The game, formerly the Copper Bowl, was moved to Phoenix's Chase Field in 2000; a year later, the ".com" part was dropped. The game moved to Sun Devil Stadium in 2005. Insight's sponsorship of the game ended following last year's game; starting this year, it's known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Carey Named First-Team All-American by CBS

Arizona sophomore Ka'Deem Carey was named first-team All-American by CBSSports.com Monday, the first in what is sure to be a busy awards season for the Wildcats' single-season rushing leader.

Carey and another Pac-12 back, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, occupy the running back positions on the first team. Oregon's Kenjon Barner and Wisconsin's Montee Ball were the two second-teamers.

Carey is the first UA football player to earn first-team All-America honors since 2007, when Antoine Cason was named a consensus pick at cornerback.

Carey has rushed for 1,757 rushing yards as a sophomore; his 146.42 rushing yards per game is tops in the country.

Up next

• What: New Mexico Bowl

• Who: Arizona (7-5) vs. Nevada (7-5)

• When: 11 a.m. Dec. 15

• TV; radio: ESPN; 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

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