The last 12 months of Arizona football have been nothing short of disastrous. After being ranked No. 9 in the AP poll with a 7-1 record last October, the Wildcats have been in a freefall with no signs of slowing down. It started with losing its last five games of the season, including blowouts at Stanford, Oregon and an embarrassing loss to Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. Things didn’t get much better when in spring practices defensive starters Adam Hall (safety) and Jake Fischer (linebacker) each tore their ACL, forcing them to be sidelined. After picking up a win against Northern Arizona, UA lost its next five games, including a loss to then-winless, Oregon State. Then, coach Mike Stoops was dismissed leaving interim coach Tim Kish in charge of trying to keep everything together.
The Wildcats take the field for the first time since Stoops was fired against UCLA in a nationally televised game on ESPN. When the head coach is fired at any time during the season two things can happen. First, the team rallies behind the new coach and plays with more of a purpose. Or second, they throw in the towel and only worry about themselves in terms of their professional careers or the possible transfer to a new school. If the team puts the team first and cares about the university they will fight and try to save the season. UA still could make a bowl game, yet the margin of error is paper thin as it would have to finish the year 5-1. One positive for the Wildcats is playing UCLA, a team who is struggling on its own, but can this be enough for Arizona to snap its five-game losing streak? Expect the Wildcats to be looking forward to getting back to playing football and not answering all the questions about Stoops’ dismissal. Not sure if Arizona has enough to make a bowl, but playing in front of its home crowd for the first time in about a month gets Arizona a W against the Bruins.
Check out our latest podcast with the possible next Arizona head coach – Mike Leach.
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