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Wednesday December 6, 2000

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Coach Mack: no more mediocrity!

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By Francisco Merced

Arizona Daily Wildcat

John Mackovic was introduced two days ago as the new football coach for the Wildcats and boldly stated that first and foremost Arizona will GO to the Rose Bowl and WIN it. Oh, dear Lord, have mercy on my soul!

Why? History, that's why, and in being a history major I can tell you that history is doomed to repeat itself.

So here's a bold prediction of what to expect from UA football in the coming years.

I'm from Houston, and, in my heart, I still have a little burnt orange blood running through me. I remember the days when Johnny Mack coached the Longhorns, and the pain still runs through me.

Constantly, people complained that Macky couldn't keep in-state talent and everyone knows Texas is full of talent. Instead, kids were choosing to play for the likes of Notre Dame and Florida State.

Nobody wanted to play for Texas pride anymore.

I've heard the arguments - he's won conference championships, he's recruited a Heisman Trophy winner but never a National Championship and he still couldn't keep the boys in-state.

Compare Macky to UT current coach, Mack Brown.

Brown - in the three years since Macky left - has amassed a top-10 ranking every year for his recruiting efforts. He's been praised for staying in-state and putting Texas back on the map. What other university can claim a quarterback controversy like the one that's currently going on in Texas? Both Chris Simms and Major Applewhite could start for any school in the country.

Heaven knows Arizona could've used one for the future.

So here's the prediction: UA fans will buy tickets for next season, and the team will finish with seven - maybe eight - wins. Satisfactory.

The season after that will tell if Macky still has the talent to recruit.

The Texas ties may still be hurting a little, and Brown will continue to dominate that section. This predicament will cause him to turn to San Diego and Southern California in general. He did get Ricky Williams, after all. If our current running backs coach stays, then maybe he'll find a gem again.

Who knows? Maybe UA will boast a Heisman winner.

Let's remember that Macky doesn't have an outstanding overall win-loss record, in fact it's not more than 60 percent. Please people remember to light candles and say prayers that we as fans don't endure more Tomeyness.

As a fan of Arizona and a fan of football, I hope that Macky does bring a Pacific 10 Conference Championship and that Arizona does go to the Rose Bowl.

But it's time to be realistic. With the luck that this school has, we'll win the Pac-10, go to some other BCS bowl and lose and remain the only conference school never to go to the Rose Bowl.

Then next year the team will start it's downslide and lose to some team 66-3 and the search will begin again.

Francisco Merced is a senior majoring in history and can be reached at