Relevant again

Posted by Dave Cooney: email

TUCSON, (AP) - After Saturday's 39-36 win over then-No. 10 USC, the University of Arizona football team has earned a spot in the BCS Standings, it was announced on Sunday.

The Cats sit at No. 22 and are one of five Pac-12 teams also listed with Oregon at No. 4, Oregon State at No. 11, Stanford at No. 14 and USC at No. 17.

With Saturday's win, UA (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) defeated its second AP Top-25 opponent of the season (then-No. 18 Oklahoma State on Sept. 8) and 2012 marks the first time since 2008 that the Wildcats defeated two ranked teams in the same season (No. 25 California and vs. No. 17 BYU).

The victory over the Cougars was in the Las Vegas Bowl, leaving the 2006 season as the last time UA knocked off a pair of ranked foes in the same regular season (at No. 25 Washington State and No. 8 California). Arizona has now defeated two AP Top-25 teams in the same season at home for the first time since 1992 (23-3 victory over No. 11 UCLA and 16-3 upset of No. 1-ranked Washington).

Both of UA's wins against ranked teams this year have featured impressive scoring runs for the Wildcats. On Sept. 8 against No. 18 Oklahoma State, UA scored 30 unanswered points after falling behind 14]0. USC overcame a 10]0 deficit before claiming an 18]13 advantage in the third quarter. Arizona scored the next 26 points to gain an 11]point edge, which was enough to hold on for the 39]36 win.

UA's defense held USC to just a 1]for]5 conversion rate on third downs in the second half after allowing a 4]of]6 conversion rate in the first half. UA's offense was 5]of]9 on third]down tries in the second half after struggling at a 1]for]8 clip in the first half.

The five turnovers committed by USC were the most in a game by a UA opponent since Idaho had five in the 2008 season opener (Aug. 31, 2008). The Wildcats are one victory shy of achieving bowl eligibility. After missing out a season ago, Arizona went to three]straight bowls from 2008]2010.

Arizona hits the road on Sat., Nov. 3 for a matchup at No. 25 UCLA. The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and will air live on the Pac-12 Networks.