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Arizona football 2017 record predictions

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5-7? 7-5? Something else? Our staff makes their predictions

Arizona State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats football season is just days away.

It’s an important year for a program that is coming off a 3-9 season and whose coach is widely believed to be on the hot seat.

Arizona was picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South by the media, as expectations are rather low for the Wildcats again in 2017.

But will they outperform those expectations or succumb to them? Here’s how our staff projects Arizona’s season will shake out.

Be sure to make your predictions in the comment section.


Ryan Kelapire — 6-6

vs. NAU — W

vs. Houston — W

at UTEP — W

vs. Utah — W

at Colorado — L

vs. UCLA — L

at Cal — W

vs. Washington State — L

at USC — L

vs. Oregon State — W

at Oregon — L

at ASU — L

The game against Houston is crucial in that it can set the tone for Arizona’s season like the loss to BYU did last season.

If Arizona wins that game and one Pac-12 game that it shouldn’t (in my case, I selected Utah since Rich Rodriguez has its number), the Wildcats will finish 6-6 and reach a bowl game.

That would be considered a successful season in my book.


Brandon Combs — 8-4 or 9-3

vs. NAU — W

vs. Houston — W

at UTEP — W

vs. Utah — W

at Colorado — W

vs. UCLA — L

at Cal — W

vs. Washington State — L

at USC — L

vs. Oregon State — W

at Oregon — L (but a feasible W)

at ASU — W

It is entirely possible the ‘Cats can win 8 to 9 games this year. As has been mentioned many times before, the Houston game will set the tone for the season. The Oregon game can go either way in my opinion, as I don’t think their terrible defense from last season is automatically amazing.


Gabe Encinas — 5-7

vs. NAU — W

vs. Houston — L

at UTEP — W

vs. Utah — W

at Colorado — L

vs. UCLA — L

at Cal — W

vs. Washington State — L

at USC — L

vs. Oregon State — W

at Oregon — L

at ASU — L

Right now I feel very comfortable with a five-win season, and I think there is definite hope for more. There are some winnable games on this schedule, but I’m hesitant when it comes to Houston, Colorado and Arizona State.

There is reason for optimism given the fact that last year’s team was incredibly young and faced more injuries than ever before. But a lot of guys return and more importantly it’s year two for Brandon Dawkins and the 4-2-5 defense

I think this roster and staff can win up to six regular season games and a potential New Mexico Bowl matchup, but right now there is just a lot of uncertainty when it comes to these freshmen who have filled up the depth chart.


Jason Bartel7-5

vs. NAU — W

vs. Houston — W

at UTEP — W

vs. Utah — W

at Colorado — L

vs. UCLA — L

at Cal — W

vs. Washington State — L

at USC — L

vs. Oregon State — W

at Oregon — L

at ASU — W

I actually want to go with 8-4 since Colorado is after a bye week and I think the Buffs come crashing back down to earth, but 7-5 seems like a number I’m pretty comfortable with at this point actually. I have the exact same thing as Ryan with the exception of the ASU game. Arizona fans think this is the year RichRod gets canned, but that game in Tempe will actually seal Todd Graham’s fate and not RichRod’s.

Get Arizona to the New Mexico Bowl for the Albuquerque doubleheader.


David Potts — 5-7

vs. NAU — W

vs. Houston — L

at UTEP — W

vs. Utah — W

at Colorado — L

vs. UCLA — L

at Cal — W

vs. Washington State — L

at USC — L

vs. Oregon State — W

at Oregon — L

at ASU — L

I really, really want to pencil Arizona in for 6-6. A 6-6 record means bowl eligibility. It means mild respectability. And, perhaps most interestingly of all, it could mean a very interesting football-basketball doubleheader in Albuquerque on December 16.

But from a straight up-and-down perspective, I don’t think the Wildcats are favorites in more than five games this year. Arizona’s lax out-of-conference schedule helps their odds, but other than Cal, I’m not sure Arizona is that much better than any conference opponent.

The Oregon State and Utah games are at home, which makes a huge difference. Will the Wildcats beat Arizona State in Tempe, though? At a minimum, I don’t think they’re the favorites.

6-6 is still on the table. The Arizona State, UCLA, and Houston games are all winnable. I wouldn’t even be shocked if Arizona pulled out a win over Washington State on homecoming. At this point, though, 5-7 is unfortunately more likely.


Christopher Boan — 5-7

vs. NAU — W

vs. Houston — L

at UTEP — W

vs. Utah — L

at Colorado — L

vs. UCLA — L

at Cal — W

vs. Washington State — L

at USC — L

vs. Oregon State — W

at Oregon — L

at ASU — W

Boy, is it hard to get a read on the Wildcats this summer for sure. My heart wants to believe Rich Rodriguez can somehow save his job by posting a winning record, but in the meat grinder that is the Pac-12 there is no such thing as happy endings (unless your name is USC, of course).

Unfortunately, the bottom line for Rodriguez and company is they do not have the amount of depth and institutional knowledge at skill positions to contend in such a loaded Power Five conference, and thus have little to no chance of realistically posting more than six wins this season.

There’s a chance Arizona squeaks into the New Mexico Bowl with a surprise win in Eugene or at home against Utah or UCLA, with the latter being somewhat realistic, but I just don’t see them having enough talent right now to win more than five games.

Get the Chip Kelly to Tucson hype train in gear, folks.