Just a couple of weeks ago, people believing in the Arizona Wildcats making a bowl game were few and far between outside of Tucson. Now, a majority of experts from around the country have the Wildcats winning (at least) six games and earning a 13th game.
Here is a collection of bowl projections by major college football outlets:
- 247Sports: First Responder Bowl vs. Marshall (played at Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX)
- CBS: N/A
- CollegeFootballNews: Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl vs. North Carolina (played at Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX)
- ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: Cheez-It Bowl vs. Texas Tech (played at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ)
- ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl vs. Florida State
- SB Nation/Banner Society: Armed Forces Bowl vs. Air Force (played at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, TX)
- Sporting News: SDCCU Holiday Bowl vs. Michigan State (played at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, CA)
- Stadium: Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl vs. Syracuse
At 4-1, Arizona needs just two wins in seven games to reach a bowl game, and it says a lot about the general nationwide feeling around the Wildcats that only CBS’ Jerry Palm sees them missing out.
2-5 seems like an attainable goal, but Arizona has a lot of work still to do. Their three FBS wins have all been close games against teams of a similar caliber, and they have to face a lot of good teams in the coming weeks, with four road games as opposed to three in Tucson.
A home game against an underrated Oregon State team is probably the most likely win. Saturday’s game against Washington will shed a lot of light on how good UA actually is, and a win would make a bowl very likely. Other games on the schedule are at USC, at Oregon, at Stanford, vs. Utah, and at Arizona State.
There’s work to be done, but there’s also a lot of optimism around a program that was generating a lot of pessimism before September.