After two straight losses to vastly more talented teams, those same experts still see Arizona as a bowl team, but the destinations have gotten noticeably less desirable.
Here are all major bowl projections for the Wildcats after week 8:
- 247Sports: Redbox Bowl vs. Indiana (played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA)
- CBS: No bowl
- CollegeFootballNews: Cheez-It Bowl vs. Kansas State (played at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ)
- ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: Cheez-It Bowl vs. TCU
- ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl vs. Air Force (played at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, TX)
- SB Nation/Banner Society: No bowl
- Sporting News: Redbox Bowl vs. Nebraska
- Stadium’s Brett McMurphy: Cheez-It Bowl vs. Oklahoma State
Six of eight predicted Arizona to make a bowl last week, and that remained constant even after the rough USC game. One note is that Brett McMurphy added Arizona to his projections after this week, while Banner Society’s Jason Kirk removed the Cats. To borrow a term from basketball, perhaps the bowl bubble shifted in favor of Arizona this weekend.
While the majority still sees this as a bowl team, the bowls have gotten noticeably less prestigious. Even after the Washington loss, a fair few thought Arizona was destined for the Sun Bowl or Holiday Bowl. Now, the consensus is generally the Cheez-It Bowl or Redbox Bowl, typically reserved for 6-6 or 7-5 teams.
Arizona now has to win at least two of the following five games: at Stanford, vs. Oregon State, at Oregon, vs Utah, at Arizona State. Those first two are clearly Arizona’s best shot, and I’d give Arizona about a 40 percent chance to win both games, a 50 percent chance to go 1-1, and a 10 percent chance to go 0-2, though both games will be tougher than most think.
Combined with, in my opinion, a likely three-game losing streak to end the year, I think Arizona has a 40-ish percent chance to make it to December.
What do you think?