clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Wildcats projected to make first bowl appearance since 2017

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

arizona-wildcats-football-bowl-projections-week-two Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

It’s only one game, but the Arizona Wildcats’ season-opening 38-20 win over San Diego State was enough to convince least one pundit that this team has a chance to go bowling.

Brett McMurphy of The Action Network projects Arizona to play Auburn in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Florida on Dec. 23.

Arizona is seeking its first bowl appearance since the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl, where it lost to Purdue 38-35. The UA made eight bowl games between 2008-17.

McMurphy’s prediction assumes the Wildcats will win at minimum the requisite six games to qualify for a bowl. In order to reach the six-win mark, Arizona will need to rack up some more early season victories.

If the Wildcats can split the remainder of the non-conference schedule and win their first two Pac-12 games against Cal and Colorado, they'd be at 4-1 ahead of a tough four-game stretch against Oregon, Washington, USC and Utah.

Arizona’s final three games against UCLA, Washington State and ASU could offer up a couple favorable matchups.

As for McMurphy’s prediction, the Gasparilla Bowl would be an improbable bowl selection for Arizona, considering no Pac-12 program has ever been invited to the game. Historically the Gasparilla Bowl draws from Conference USA and The American.

Still, the fact a national reporter thinks Arizona is bowl-worthy after Week One speaks to the program’s improving reputation under coach Jedd Fisch.