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Arizona football: Rich Rodriguez is undefeated in Tucson vs. top 10 opponents

In his 4th year at Arizona, Rich Rodriguez is 3-2 vs top 10 foes, 2-0 at home

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

His sample size might be small, but Rich Rodriguez is undefeated in the desert when facing top 10 opponents, 4-2 vs. ranked opponents and boasts a favorable 18-7 record overall at home.

It started back in his first season with Arizona, taking down No. 9 USC in a 39-36 shootout. In 2013, Arizona stunned the No. 5 Oregon Ducks 42-16, with Ka'Deem Carey leading the way. Arizona didn't host a top 10 opponent in 2014, but they did go to Eugene and beat Oregon for the second time in just over 10 months.

When Arizona beat USC in 2012, and Oregon back-to-back in 2013 & 2014, no one expected Arizona to win. The expectations weren't there, and the standard had not been set. Those three are landmark wins for Rich Rodriguez and this program, and things are starting to go in full swing for the Wildcats.

Now in a top 25 showdown, Arizona will be on the national stage, hosting ESPN College GameDay and No. 9 UCLA. Things are different, sorta. Experts and analysts probably won't give Arizona much of a chance, if any at all, despite winning the Pac-12 South in 2014 and running one of the most explosive offenses in the nation.

It will still be an upset should Arizona win, but now the Pac-12 knows what Arizona is capable of. Arizona is a threat, and looks to be coming to form, with the potential to repeat as Pac-12 South Champs. This is a big week for Rich Rodriguez, having to defend against Josh Rosen and Paul Perkins, while trying to maintain the momentum of the offense and pick up where they left off.