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Arizona treads water in bowl projections despite blowout loss to USC

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 Arizona at USC Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After going 4-1 against their paper-thin schedule the first five weeks, the Arizona Wildcats started cropping up in bowl projections pretty heavily.

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:

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?