This is the post where we look like prophets or total idiots. It's hard to predict how Arizona's season will go considering a number of issues. How fast does Rich Rodriguez's offense come together? How about the defense? Did Mike Stoops really recruit that poorly in the past few years (i.e. is there any talent on the roster)?
None of these questions will stop us, though.
The Arizona Wildcats are like the middle child in a family of seven kids. The parents have mailed it in. Trying to corral them will do no good. The kid might get arrested for throwing cherry bombs through a church window after drinking too many cherry bombs. For some reason though, the kid won some math Olympiad award just to surprise those who thought he was a total knucklehead. The middle child has promise; you just don't know if that will ever occur to the middle child himself.
So here they are. The D-Swarm crew's preseason predictions.
Kyle Kensing: The window for win-loss record is pretty wide. Anything as bad as 2-10 (which would be worse than any season Stoops ever had, though the Pac is comparatively much better top-to-bottom now than in the mid-2000s) or as good as 7-5 is conceivable. The schedule overall is favorable, though the Pac-12 really made it difficult with Stanford and Oregon early once again. If the ‘Cats can get out of those two without too many bruises (physical or psychological), Oregon State is at home. So are Colorado, Arizona State, and Washington. Keep in mind that the home team in that series has won each time since '08. The sizeable alumni base in Southern California also means a good turnout at UCLA, and the ‘Cats have been beaten the Bruins five straight.
That's obviously best case scenario. Worst case is a loss to Toledo on Saturday, getting smashed by UO, Stanford, OSU and USC early, squeaking out a win against CU and losing the rest. That said, I expect something in the middle. There will be one upset this year; based on match-ups, I'd surmise it's UCLA or Washington. There will likely be a letdown - Oregon State seems to always win in Tucson. Overall, the ‘Cats show more competitive edge and finish 5-7, tied for fourth in the division with Sparky.
Ryan Clay: Arizona faces an uphill climb in the South, as USC is now eligible for post-season play, Utah continues to re-tool rather than rebuild, and UCLA hired PR-maven Jim Mora Jr. I would love to say we are leaps and bounds ahead of Colorado, but last year's result does not give me much leverage to say that. Arizona State still sucks. Rich Rod and the Wildcats should look to bowl eligibility as a step in the right direction, and that is exactly what they will do. Arizona will go 6-6 (4-5), and finish third in the Pac-12 South.
Kevin Zimmerman: It's odd that I have a feeling the Arizona roster is really going to have problems, yet I see them capable of winning five games if things go well. Writing this Saturday afternoon, I think the Wildcats are susceptible to any team from Toledo, to South Carolina State -- Penn State just fell to the MAC power of Ohio, after all. But I still think the Wildcats can beat those two teams and have the capacity to deal a blow to any of Colorado, UCLA, Oregon State and ASU. That's six winnable games on the schedule. Do I think they make it? No. The offense will probably come together much quicker than the defense -- I'm worried about the size being a problem -- so call it a 4-8 year.