The trend continued for the second straight game for the Arizona Wildcats Saturday night, this time against Utah. Arizona hung tough against their favored opponent in the first half before wilting in the second. The 36-23 loss leaves the Wildcats with a 2-4 record with six games to go. The loss was also Arizona’s third consecutive defeat. The schedule doesn’t get much easier in the coming weeks with home matchups against USC and Stanford in the next three weeks (after a bye week on 10/22). For Arizona to make a bowl game, it would need to finish the season 4-2 or better in the remaining games to qualify for the postseason. Here is a look at the remaining games:
10/15 vs. USC: The suddenly resurgent Trojans are riding some momentum after defeating Arizona St and Colorado in their past two games. USC opened as seven point favorites over Arizona. In what should be a toss-up as to who comes out the victor, this is a must-win for Arizona to maintain any bowl hopes.
10/29 vs. Stanford: Stanford is coming off back to back losses to the Washington schools and neither was close. Was Stanford overrated, or perhaps those were just bad matchups for the Cardinal. Arizona has been known to upset ranked teams at home in recent years. Whether or not Stanford is still ranked when this matchup comes along (games with Notre Dame and Colorado in the next two weeks) remains to be seen. Either way, Stanford would likely be favored.
11/5 @ WSU: Before the season, it appeared as though this game started a four game stretch of winnable games for Arizona. After the Cougars just manhandled Stanford AT Stanford, that is suddenly a lot less certain. There should be a lot of points in this game, whether or not Arizona prevails will likely seal their bowl fate.
11/12 vs. Colorado: It is still unclear as to what Colorado is this year. They’ve gone from doormat to potential Pac-12 South frontrunner to unknown over the past three or four weeks. The upstart Buffaloes, who haven’t defeated Arizona since joining the Pac-12, will have their best chance yet this year.
11/19 @ Oregon State: Oregon State has appeared to be the cellar dweller of the conference early on in conference play this year. However, after they just defeated Cal, that is suddenly a tag that may be more appropriate for the Wildcats than the Beavers. The next few weeks will do much more to determine what team deserves that unfortunate distinction, but this game could very well end up the final determinant.
11/25 vs. ASU: The Territorial Cup. A win in this game makes Arizona feel much better about their season, regardless of how the rest of the games go. It’s the biggest game of the season every year. No matter what, both teams will have a chance in the game and it will be one Rich Rod needs to win to maintain control and optimism about his tenure at U of A.