clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona football final 2019 record predictions

New, 16 comments
Colorado v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It’s game week for the Arizona Wildcats as they get set for a Week 0 showdown against Hawaii. Before the start of fall camp, we submitted our record predictions.

Now that it’s over and we have some more info on the team, it’s time to make another round of guesses. Be sure to leave yours in the comment section below.

Ronnie Stoffle — 7-5 (5-4)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — L
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — W
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — W
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — W
  • at Arizona State — L

There have been a lot of positive reports coming out of fall camp. I especially love hearing about the improvements of size and depth to the defensive line. This could potentially be worth an extra win at some point along the way, especially at home.

However, I’m opting to stay put with my original prediction of 7-5. As previously mentioned, I could be talked into anything as high as 9-3 (albeit that’s a very unlikely outcome). We all know what a healthy Khalil Tate could mean for this team. We also know a healthy Tate coupled with an improved defense that posses quality size up front could make some noise in a conference destined for rebound.

I’m taking the safe route with an understanding that there will be opportunities for swing games **cough ASU cough**.

Adam Green — 7-5 (4-5)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — W
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — W
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — L
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — L
  • at Arizona State — W

Camp is now in the rearview mirror, and if you read up on all the reports it would seem as though Arizona is not only much improved, but in great shape at pretty much every position. That is of course not going to be the case, though if there is one universal positive to come from the time it is that it appears there were no major injuries.

So there’s that.

The thing about hoping for improvement is in all honesty, Arizona wasn’t a terrible team last year. Good teams find ways to win close games, and while Arizona seemed instead to find ways to lose them the fact of the matter is a five-win team wasn’t too far from winning at least seven games, and possibly more. I know the Cats lost some key players from last year’s roster, but — health permitting — do any of us really think the team is worse than it was a year ago?

I don’t.

That’s not to say I expect them to content for the Pac-12 South or anything like that. If all goes well (and it’s Arizona, so that’s not likely to happen) then I believe they are talented enough to stay in and even win most of their games. But after being high on them last year only to be let down, I am tempering expectations and predicting a solid year, one that features a (brief) appearance in the Top 25 and the Territorial Cup coming back to Tucson.

Christian Mortensen — 7-5 (4-5)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — W
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — W
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — L
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — L
  • at Arizona State — W

7-5 was my pre-camp prediction and I’m going to stand by that record now.

I know that everything we heard out of camp from the Arizona coaches and players was very positive, but that’s pretty much how it is at every team’s fall camp - so I’m not going to put too much stock in it and start giving them wins I didn’t think they would get initially.

I’m already going on a limb to say that the Cats will get W’s in their first five games, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it really would be the most Arizona football thing ever to start 5-0 only to lose five of the last seven.

At the end of the day I think the criteria for a successful season for Kevin Sumlin and company is actually very simply: get back to a bowl game or at the very least beat ASU.

Anything less than one of those things would be hugely disappointing.

Brandon Combs — 8-4 (5-4)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — W
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — W
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — W
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — L
  • at Arizona State — W

I am going to stick with my original prediction. I was seriously considering adding another win but decided against it.

The depth and talent along the defensive line is a very, very positive sign. I don’t believe Coach Iona is just giving lip service when he says he now has depth. As a matter of fact, he seems happier about his group’s situation this year as opposed to last. Having a solid d-line is crucial for the defense, and couple that with the depth and talent with the backers and secondary, I believe the D can make a jump this year.

The one game I thought about changing is the Oregon game. I do believe Arizona can pull out a victory, especially with the injuries the Ducks have been suffering in the receiver corps during camp. But due to the unpredictability of college football, I can’t bring myself to actually make that call....though I do think the ‘Cats could win that one.

Going to be an interesting year!

Brian J. Pedersen — 6-6 (3-6)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — W
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — L
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — L
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — L
  • at Arizona State — W

Nothing happened during training camp to make me change anything about my projection, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective. Check back with me after the Wildcats come back from Hawaii, though.

Ryan Kelapire — 6-6 (3-6)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — W
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — L
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — L
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — L
  • at Arizona State — W

Okay, fine, I am believing enough of the preseason optimism to now predict that Arizona will make a bowl game. Previously I had them losing to UCLA and going 5-7.

Gabe Encinas — 6-6 (3-6)

  • at Hawaii — W
  • vs. NAU — W
  • vs. Texas Tech — W
  • vs. UCLA — W
  • at Colorado — W
  • vs. Washington — L
  • at USC — L
  • at Stanford — L
  • vs. Oregon State — W
  • at Oregon — L
  • vs. Utah — L
  • at Arizona State — L

I am generally on the cautious side of things and still nervous about my projection but I’m going from 5-7 to 6-6 now. Of course fall camp is all positive coach speak, but I think we have a lot more answers going into the season.

I feel okay with the defensive line and the depth that is there right now. I didn’t think it would work out but now seeing how the combinations and rotation would work I feel a lot better about that group.

I have no concerns regarding the secondary, and linebackers will be just fine with the two deep.

I’m a little concerned neither junior college guy secured their spot on the offensive line. I have always envisioned Robert Congel being a starter so I feel better about left guard than right tackle.

Running backs will be perfectly fine and I’m excited that Michael Wiley has made a move to potentially be the No. 3 back.

I’m still skeptical on receivers. Guys can have a great camp but they still have no Pac-12 experience or production that makes me feel comfortable about them just starting immediately. My hope is that Joiner is actually a legit wide receiver and that Drew Dixon has made a legitimately huge jump, otherwise them starting says more about the rest of the receiver group.

And of course Grant Gunnell getting all the praise makes me feel a lot better overall. Arizona had no viable option to win games over a stretch of time if Khalil Tate goes down. While Gunnell himself doesn’t have any Pac-12 experience, I feel far better about him playing and winning and perhaps taking over full time as I’m pretty positive I’m over the Khalil Tate experience.