Rich Rodriguez is in a good mood after Arizona finishes off ASU

Not many people saw this coming, even optimists in Tucson. The Arizona Wildcats dropped the Arizona State Sun Devils, 42-35, in the Duel in the Desert on Friday, but the Arizona players and coaches didn't know how significant the win was considering what had just happened in Pasadena.

Before the Arizona win went final, Stanford finished off UCLA, 31-10, making the Arizona-ASU rivalry game the ticket to the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec. 5 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez kept the score of the other Pac-12 matchup out of Arizona Stadium and didn't learn of the final result until after the final buzzer. His family told him the good news afterward, according to Zack Rosenblatt of the Arizona Daily Star.

Rodriguez was all smiles after the game, as was Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne, who weaved his way through the crowded field with the Territorial Cup in hand.

The Wildcats' 10th win of the season is impressive enough for Rodriguez's third year on the job, but there's not much time to savor the moment. It's on to face Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.

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