After a disappointing season, Rich Rodriguez finds himself on the proverbial “hot seat” as his team looks to rebound from a 3-9 season. The Wildcats were unable to stay healthy last year and failed to even remain competitive in many of their losses. Can they make it back to a bowl game? Would anything less keep Coach Rodriguez in Tucson past 2017? Here is a definitive look at what the result will be of each game this year. Sidenote: this is very scientific and the methodology if beyond reproach.
Game 1: vs. NAU: WIN. NAU will serve as the Wildcats lone “preseason” game this year, the team that gets paid handsomely to come to Tucson and get beat handily. Unlike the Grambling State game last year, this one is never in doubt as both Dawkins and Khalil Tate see plenty of playing time.
Game 2: vs. Houston: WIN. If this was an away game, the Wildcats likely lose. All-Universe defensive tackle Ed Oliver will probably end up with 7 tackles for loss in this barnburner, but Arizona prevails. JJ Taylor and the slot wr’s have big days.
Game 3: @ UTEP: WIN. If Arizona is not to be considered a football school, UTEP isn’t considered a sports school. The Miners just don’t beat competent teams, which the Wildcats figure to be this year. Have the Wildcats settled in on one quarterback by now? Probably not.
Game 4: vs. Utah: WIN. For whatever reason, the Wildcats simply play well against Utah, having beaten the Utes in four of their past five meetings. Utah is always a well-coached team, but Arizona always has a chance vs non-explosive offenses. Arizona wins a tight one.
Game 5: @ Colorado: LOSS. Even with Colorado finally moving onto a new quarterback after 13 years with Sefo Liufau, the Buffaloes return too much talent from the defending South division championship team for the Wildcats to compete.
Game 6: vs. UCLA: LOSS. A losing streak! Fortunately, Arizona has experience with this after last season (8 in a row!). Arizona, under RichRod, just cannot beat Jim Mora and the Bruins.
Game 7: @ Cal: WIN. 5-2. What is this, the best case scenario version of the Wildcats season? There will be at least 90 combined points, but Arizona has the better offense, playing one of the few teams in the conference with a more uncertain QB situation than their own.
Game 8: vs. Washington State: LOSS. The Cougars will probably score over 50 points. Does Arizona manage 35? This will be a nice pad-the-stats day for Luke Falk.
Game 9: @ USC: LOSS. The Trojans still owe the Wildcats for helping unleash Sam Darnold on the world last season in an absolute romping in Tucson. This one will get ugly fast. 5-4 on the year.
Game 10: vs. Oregon State: WIN. Oregon State was supposed to be the surprisingly respectable team in the Pac-12 this year. Did the Wildcats steal that mantle? Does “surprisingly respectable” deserve a mantle? Let’s revisit that another time. 6-4. The Wildcats are going bowling?!
Game 11: @ Oregon: LOSS. Mark this one down as the potential game of the year from an entertainment standpoint. Points all over. Oregon is just more talented at more positions.
Game 12: @ ASU: WIN. RichRod takes down Graham, solidifying this game as Graham’s last in Tempe, while RichRod gets another winter to spend trying to somehow convince elite recruits to come to Tucson for football.
7-5 and a bowl game, sign Wildcats fans up right now.