The Arizona Wildcats are going bowling 100-sum miles up the road. Arizona will face No. 20 Boise State in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Eve in Glendale, Ariz.
Arizona looked like a lock for the Fiesta Bowl heading into the Pac-12 Championship game, but a 51-13 loss to the Oregon Ducks put a cloud over whether how far the Wildcats would fall in the national perspective. It turns out the Wildcats fell to No. 11 in the Coaches Poll and No. 12 in the USA Today, but they remained in the top-10 in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee.
The Wildcats finished the season 10-3 with a 17-7 loss to UCLA, a 28-26 defeat via missed field goal against USC and the defeat at the hands of Oregon. Their win against the Ducks earlier in the season, plus wins over ranked Utah and Arizona State to end the season, held plenty of weight in the eyes of the football playoff committee.
From an economic perspective, the Fiesta Bowl already has proof Boise State can sell tickets in the Phoenix metro area from the 2007 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma and the 2010 Fiesta Bowl win against TCU.
There was indeed worry the Fiesta Bowl would want to select a team outside of Arizona to maximize the economical impact. Nonetheless, the large Arizona fan base already in the Valley of the Sun carries its own weight.
And of course, the news couldn't come without mentioning this: