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Bowl Projections: Arizona Wildcats likely to play Mountain West Conference opponent

Finally, one thing experts are agreeing on

David Becker/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats have officially ended the regular season at 6-6, and now all they can do is wait for their bowl bid on December 6th.

We've seen some weird stuff in the bowl projections for Arizona this season, some projections had the team as high as the Alamo Bowl, playing schools like Oklahoma and Auburn. Well, things have changed drastically, and while we might not have a firm idea as to where the team is heading, we get a pretty good idea that Arizona will be matched up against a Mountain West Conference team.

Site Bowl Opponent Location Date
SB Nation Poinsettia San Diego State Aztecs San Diego, CA December 23
Bleacher Report Arizona Utah State Aggies Tucson, AZ December 29
CBS Sports New Mexico New Mexico Lobos Albuquerque, NM December 19
SportingNews Poinsettia New Mexico Lobos San Diego, CA December 23
McMurphy (ESPN) Arizona Colorado State Rams Tucson, AZ December 29
Schlabach (ESPN) Arizona Utah State Aggies Tucson, AZ December 29

A lot of Arizona Bowl's in there, and two for the Poinsettia Bowl. At SportingNews, they have Arizona going back to Albuquerque. Luckily, there's no more Independence Bowl, which has now shifted their sights on Arizona State, or so it seems. There were I-Bowl reps at the Territorial Cup game on Saturday.

The Arizona Bowl would be horribly uneventful for the team, staying in Tucson, and not nearly getting the same bowl experience, vacation and time away from the city as most teams would during their bowl week. It's hard to keep a team motivated for a bowl game in your own city, after a 6-6 season, coming off a Pac-12 South Championship. For the fans, this will be great, but for the players, not so much.

The one problem with these opponents is that there's not a whole lot of good that can come out of this once the clock hits zero. These are teams that most would expect Arizona to beat, so when you beat them, it's no big deal. But if you lose to one of these teams, there's going to be a whole lot of backlash, and blame will be dropped right onto Rich Rodriguez' lap. It would be a pretty similar situation to the Fiesta Bowl last year. You're supposedly expected to beat a non-power 5 team such as Boise State, and a loss is just labeled as embarrassing.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again. The extra month of practice that Arizona will get this season will help this team tremendously. This is a fairly young team moving forward, and some of these guys need the reps to go into 2016.