Arizona football notes: Foles, bonuses, bowl projectionsby Anthony Gimino on Oct. 25, 2010, under Sports
Arizona Wildcats coach Mike Stoops is expected to deliver some news about the status of quarterback Nick Foles’ knee at his weekly news conference last Monday morning.
It was encouraging to see the junior in full uniform Saturday night, jogging around the field and making throws in pregame drills.
And, as a team leader, Foles did plenty of work during the Washington game even if he couldn’t play.
“He was talking to me the whole game,” said Matt Scott, a junior who made a case for continued playing time by completing 18 of 22 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, also rushing for 65 yards.
“He came up to me after every drive and said, ‘Let’s go, let’s get another one.’ He was really excited. He gave us that competitive edge.”
Said center Colin Baxter on Foles: “He was there, talking to Matt, talking about what they both saw, helping each other out. It was nice to see him there.”
With Foles is an established leader and one of four team captains, offensive players talked after the 44-14 win over Washington about how Scott has matured as a leader, too.
“It’s a very big difference,” said receiver Juron Criner, comparing Scott to last season, when he started the first three games. “He has more confidence and he is more comfortable in what he’s doing. It’s all starting to show.”
Arizona was 15th in the BCS rankings released Sunday, which is important to coach Mike Stoops.
He has escalating bonuses in his contract for how the Wildcats finish in the BCS standings. He earns an extra $30,000 if the team is ranked 16th to 25th, $40,000 if the Cats are 11th to 15th, and $50,000 for a top 10 finish.
Such bonuses in coaches’ contracts make for a potential conflict of interest. The USA Today poll, which is comprised of 59 head coaches, including Stoops, makes up one-third of the BCS rating.
USA Today does not release the weekly ballots of its voters until the final poll. It is always interesting to track those votes. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, for example, last year voted his team five spots better than any other coach.
Arizona, with six victories, is bowl eligible and is basically a lock to play in its third consecutive bowl game for only the second time in school history.
The Wildcats previously did it from the 1992 through 1994 seasons — the Sun, Fiesta and the Freedom bowls.
ESPN.com’s bowl projections for this week have the Wildcats going back to the Holiday Bowl, which now gets the third team from the Pac-10, not the second as in previous years.
The Alamo Bowl in San Antonio is in the Pac-10′s second bowl slot, and a representative from that game was at Arizona Stadium on Saturday night.
The Holiday Bowl still gets the third team from the Big 12 to match against the Pac-10.
An Arizona-Nebraska rematch, anyone?