Spring is a time for hope, and that means fans of the University of Arizona football team are dreaming of the Wildcats’ first bowl game since 1998.
The public will get its last look at the Cats until August in today’s annual Spring Game at Arizona Stadium at 1 p.m.
“Arizona will win at least seven games this year,” a reader, Tim H., predicted on the Citizen’s Web site.
“Maybe even nine wins,” another reader, Thomas H., said.
OK, nine may be unrealistic, but here’s how UA could win six games to be bowl-eligible, allowing the Cats to possibly break out their hula skirts for a trip to the Honolulu Bowl in December.
● Good odds: Six bowl games are affiliated now with the Pac-10: Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald and Hawaii.
● “Stoops’ guys”: At least 31 of 44 players on the first- and second-team depth charts were recruited by coach Mike Stoops.
● Seven home games: UA faces USC early (Sept. 23), the best time, and gets ASU here Nov. 25. The rest: BYU (Sept. 2), Stephen F. Austin (Sept. 16), Washington (Sept. 30), Oregon State (Oct. 21) and Cal (Nov. 11).
● Willie Tuitama: The quarterback is more experienced and can throw deep, which will come in handy if defenses stop UA’s inexperienced running game.
● Desert Swarm II: UA’s defense has two of the nation’s top cornerbacks, plus a linebacking corps as athletic as any in the league. If ex-junior college pass rush stars Louis Holmes and Gabe Long are eligible, look out.
When: 1 p.m. today
Where: Arizona Stadium
Tips for youths: 11:30 a.m.