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Arizona football about to enter gauntlet of ranked opponents

The next five are in the Top 25, and the sixth is just outside

arizona-wildcats-football-upcoming-schedule-aptop25-ranked-oregon-ducks-washington-usc-utah-ucla Arizona Athletics

Enjoy Saturday night’s win over Colorado, Arizona fans. It may be the last for a while.

The Wildcats are hosting No. 12 Oregon next weekend, the first of five consecutive games against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.

After the Ducks, the UA heads to Seattle to play No. 21 Washington, then following a bye No. 6 USC visits Tucson for Homecoming. Then come back-to-back road games, at No. 11 Utah and No. 18 UCLA, before returning home to face Washington State on Nov. 19.

WSU is unofficially the 26th-ranked team in the country, receiving the most AP votes of any team not in the Top 25.

The record of Arizona’s next six opponents is 26-4, with two of those four losses to other teams in that group. Compare that to the record of the Wildcats’ first five opponents, which was 13-12 (or 11-9 against teams other than the UA).

Arizona last faced five ranked teams in a season in 2014, when it had six such matchups. The Wildcats went 3-3 in those games, winning at No. 2 Oregon and No. 20 Utah, beating No. 13 ASU at home to clinch the Pac-12 South title, and losing to No. 25 UCLA, No. 3 Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game and No. 21 Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

That’s also the only time in school history that Arizona has played even four straight games against ranked teams, doing so in its final four games and going 2-2.

However, Arizona has never had to potentially face that many ranked teams in a row. The longest stretch of consecutive ranked opponents is four, in 2014 when the Wildcats beat Utah and ASU to end the regular season and then got destroyed by Oregon and fell to Boise State.

All told, the UA is 47-126-1 against AP Top 25 opponents, with 30 of those wins coming at Arizona Stadium. The most recent of those was against Oregon, in 2018.