For the first few weeks after Arizona became bowl eligible, projections for where the Wildcats’ first postseason game in six years were all over the map. But after yet another win over an AP Top 25 team, and a Pac-12 finish of no worse than third, the guesstimates are getting a little more educated.
And all signs point to the Wildcat Nation taking over San Antonio after Christmas.
All six major media outlets that do weekly bowl projections have 16th-ranked Arizona (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) headed to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 against a Big 12 Conference opponent. Five have the Wildcats taking on No. 13 Oklahoma (9-2) while another has them taking on No. 21 Oklahoma State (8-3).
Arizona has played in the Alamo Bowl once, in 2010, when it lost 36-10 to Oklahoma State to finish the season 7-6 after starting 7-1. The Wildcats and Cowboys would meet again less than nine months later in Stillwater, Okla., a 37-14 OSU victory that was the start of a 5-game losing streak which would lead to Mike Stoops’ firing.
Oklahoma State is one of Arizona’s future Big 12 foes, though they aren’t scheduled to meet until 2025 in Tucson. Oklahoma is leaving for the SEC this offseason.
A win Saturday in the Territorial Cup should all but lock the UA into the Alamo Bowl, though a New Year’s Six bowl spot would still be possible if it makes the Pac-12 title game. A loss to the Sun Devils could knock the Wildcats down a peg or two in the bowl pecking order, possibly to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27 or even the Sun Bowl on Dec. 29 in El Paso.
The Las Vegas Bowl, on Dec. 23, no longer seems likely. That means Arizona fans who were already going to be in town for the men’s basketball game against Florida Atlantic wouldn’t get the chance for a double feature.
Bowl pairings will be officially announced Dec. 3, the day after all conference title games are completed.