I'm pretty sure the ship was officially sinking on the Arizona Wildcats football team right after the Oklahoma State loss. The 37-10 drubbing against Stanford acted as more empirical evidence, and you know, not many of us were surprised.
Realistically speaking, this team is in a state of the unknown. Maybe it's only hope that we won't have to watch the same problems rear their heads for the next few months, week-in and week-out, but there could be better days ahead. Should Stoops mix up some strategies, line-ups and combine that with the returning AC- injured crew, maybe the Wildcats will become respectable opponents
Remember, their frontend of the schedule really does suck. A lot.
So Arizona could rebound, as I predicted many a time in the preseason guessing-game posts. With that as reality, let's take a deep breath and look at the extremes with a few twists in the name of humor.Best case
As it turns out, Derrick Williams' Under Armour contract is no good. Williams was too busy dunking on poor kids at a gym and had asked his manager/friend to sign the paperwork for him. After finding this out, Williams' amateur status is renewed and instead of sitting out a year to play basketball, he will make an immediate switch to play for Mike Stoops' football team as a 6-foot-8 defensive end. While he doesn't know what in the world he's doing, his pure athleticism and quick learning curve lands him the starting gig in front of the Wildcats current ineffective defensive ends. Williams leads the Pac-12 with 20 sacks by year's end, propelling a dismal defense into a bowl-worthy unit.
Meanwhile, Willie Mobley, Jake Fischer, Adam Hall, Greg Nwoko and Jonathan McKnight admit they were "just kidding" about the ACL injuries, and in fact were sitting out in protest of the Pac-12's potential induction of Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Now that it's over they're ready to go.
"We tried to protest it, we tried to boycott it," Hall tells the media in October, "but it didn't catch on with our teammates, who didn't know what a 'boycott' was.
The injection of the injured playmakers, along with the football newbie in Williams, shores up the Wildcats run defense and gives them a power back to score in the red zone. The Wildcats split the Oregon-USC games and win out as Alex Zendejas ends the regular season with a game-winning kick against Louisiana-Lafayette for a 9-3 record and trip to the conference championship game.
Nick Foles gets hurt ... (I could end that there and it'd probably be the worst case scenario). Matt Scott refuses to burn his redshirt on a lost season, and Bryson Beirne isn't ready to come back from a knee injury.
That leaves freshman Daxx Garman in charge, and with a young offensive line in front of him, it ends poorly as Garman's slim frame can't withstand his first collegiate hit. Receiver Richard Morrison, recruited as a quarterback, slides behind center, but is upset when he learns he cannot legally throw the ball to himself.
"Foles told me he did that two years back against Cal," Morrison tells reporters, citing the game in which Foles caught his own pass on a fluke play in a 17-16 loss. "I didn't believe him. Now I see what he meant."
After mulling their options, Stoops asks kicker Alex Zendejas to play quarterback because, "throwing accurately is easier than kicking accurately." Zendejas shines but after any amount of success, tries to prove the haters wrong by attempting field goals, by himself, on first downs. Arizona loses out, Stoops is fired and Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne hires impeccably successful football coach John Mackovic to replace him.