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I'll Take the Best Case

From's Ted Miller, the best and worst case scenarios for the Wildcats this season. 

Miller's best case:  a 10-3 record and a berth in the Holiday Bowl (including a win over Oklahoma in San Diego!).

Miller's worst case:  quarterback issues sink the Cats, who limp to a 4-8 finish, and quickly remember what it's like to watch all the bowl games from home. 

My best case/worst case after the jump.

Best Case

One week into training camp, Matt Scott separates himself from Nick Foles and Stoops names him the starter.  Quarterback controversy over.  With the quarterback shuffle over, Scott settles into Sonny Dyke's spread offense and develops a comfort level with All-World tight end Rob Gronkowski, and new favorite target William "Bug" Wright. 

The season begins with a blowout win over Central Michigan who could not handle the Cats team speed and array of weapons.  Gronk begins his Mackey Award campaign with two scores and some bone-jarring blocks. 

NAU does what NAU does, losing 63 - 7 in front of a racous Arizona Stadium. 

Next, the Cats travel to Iowa for a huge showdown with Iowa.  The Cats scrape by in their first road test, escaping the heartland with a close win.  A national ranking follows, and the end of the argument about whether the Big Ten is a better conference than the Pac. 

After Iowa, the Cats are on the road again at Reser Stadium to face Oregon State.  Gronk continues rolling and Arizona escapes a close, wet game 31-28 over the Beavers to improve their record to 4-0. 

For the third week in a row, the Cats are on the road, this time at Washington.  Husky Stadium is not what it used to be and the Cats put 65,000 Seattle faithful to sleep in blowout win.  The Sarkisian era is starting to resemble the rough beginnings of the Stoops era.  Sorry, puppy dawgs, but Rose Bowl teams were not built in a day. 

Finally, back at home, Arizona dispatches Stanford and gets some revenge over last year's dissapointing loss to the Trees.  Their mascot is a tree.  What did they expect?

Now 6-0, Arizona faces upstart UCLA and Slick Rick Neuheisel.  UCLA hangs around, but the Scott-to-Gronk combo proves too much.  The Arizona faithful begin to get nervous about Gronkowski leaving early for the NFL.  Like he was ever going to come back for his senior season anyway. 

WSU comes to Tucson, with an interim head coach and a 3rd string quarterback.  It's a long flight back to Pullman for the Palouse Posse.  Arizona wins big. 

Game of the season so far.  #8 Arizona at #12 Cal.  The national spotlight and fired up Jahvid Best prove too much.  The Cats drop their first game of the season and enter the stretch run 8-1 and tied with USC for first place in the Pac. 

Back at home for Senior Day, Arizona squeeks by Oregon thanks to a relentless defense and some special teams magic by one William "Bug" Wright. 

Next up, Sparky's Minions, and the battle for the Territorial Cup.  Before the game, rumors swirl about Dennis Erickson interviewing for the soon-to-be-open Notre Dame job after Charlie Weis was let go by the Golden Domers mid-season.  Arizona heads 90 minutes north and takes out the Sun Devils setting up a battle for the Rose Bowl with USC a week later. 

The biggest game in the program since Stoops arrived, and maybe ever.  The Coliseum at night.  The Trojans hold a tight lead the first three quarters, until Devin Ross picks off an Aaron Corp pass in the late fourth quarter giving the Wildcats the lead for the first time in the game.  USC marches back and misses a field goal as time expires.  Arizona heads to its first Rose Bowl in program history. 

January 1, 2010.  The Rose Bowl.  Arizona Desert Swarm writers make the trek to Pasadena and watch as the Cats take on theOhio State University.  It's the Sweater Vest vs. The Visor.  Arizona continues its Cinderalla run and knocks off the Buckeyes and finish the season ranked #3 in the country.  Sonny Dykes decides to stick around Tucson with his new title of Co-Head Coach, despite various offers from other schools.  Mackey Award winner Rob Gronkowski shocks everybody by returning for his senior season because he wants to win a national title, and beat ASU one more time.

Worst Case

A starting quarterback is not named until the Thursday before opening day.  Matt Scott is grudginly given the starting nod, despite Foles outplaying him nearly all of fall camp. 

Central Michigan comes to town and give the Cats more than they expected.  Matt Scott goes down in the first half, and Nick Foles is pressed into action.  After trailing in the fourth quarter, Nic Grigsby races up the sideline on a screen pass to give the Cats a slim lead they barely hold on to. 

Week two, 10,000 tickets remain unsold at kick-off, and many more go un-filled as the Tucson faithful fail to get excited about a team who barely beat Central Michigan.  With a full week of practice as the #1 signal-caller, Foles leads the Cats to a big victory over NAU. 

On the road at Iowa, the Cats never get over a big first half deficit and fall to the Hawkeyes. 

Same story next week on the road at Oregon State as the Rodgers brothers run circles around the No Name Defense.

The Cats sit at 2-2 traveling to Seattle and are shocked by upstart Washington in front of a rocking Husky Stadium.

Stanford comes to town the following week and proves lighting can strike twice, downing the Cats and dropping them to a 2-4 record. 

The four-game losing streak ends with wins over UCLA and WSU at home.  But, the last month of the season, and the toughest stretch of the schedule looms. 

Arizona is blown out by Cal and Oregon and drops to 4-6 with two games to play.  Bowl eligibility once again hangs over Stoops' head. 

Stoops saves some face by knocking off the Sun Devils in an ugly game dubbed "The Best Worst Game Ever."

The following week, in a tune-up for Texas and the BCS title game, USC pounds the Cats and sends Arizona home with a 5-7 final record, and another season without a bowl game. 

Let's hear your best and worst case scenarios Cat fans.  Tell us what you think in the comments.