Measuring Stick Saturday is upon us. Although Mike Stoops' program has won several high-profile Pac-10 games, they have laid a giant egg against big non-conference opponents. It took longer than everyone wanted, but it looks like Stoops finally has the program on the rise, and no longer lingering at the bottom of the Pac-10. How do they measure up outside of the conference? While Saturday's game will not provide a definitive answer (one game never should), it will give Arizona a good idea of how it matches up against an established program with legitimate top 10 talent.
If having fans who love jorts and socks with sandals, Iowa would be a 137 point favorite. I have never seen so many pairs of jean shorts invade the Old Pueblo. In reality, Iowa stands as a 1.5 favorite, which is Vegas' way of shrugging it's shoulders, and staying on the fence.
The first quarter will be crucial for Arizona. If Iowa possesses the ball in typical ball-hogging fashion, Arizona will be in some trouble. If Arizona can feed off of the crowd's energy, put up some early points, and plant the seeds of doubt in Iowa's defense, it will have a legitimate chance of pulling off the upset. And, don't be mistaken, it will be an upset if Arizona wins.
Prediction time: Arizona jumps up early, and the crowd fuels an aggressive Arizona defensive line, which leads to some false start penalties and a couple of early timeouts by America's #1 Patriot Ricky "Made in the USA" Stanzi. The Arizona defense won't hold Iowa's rushing attack off the board -- not by a longshot. Iowa keeps it close in the 2nd half, and chews up tons of clock with their talented offensive line and skilled backs. One of the teams is going to make a huge play, late in the game to swing the score in their favor. My money is on Air Zona.
Arizona 30, Iowa 27 (OT)
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