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Arizona Football Bowl Game Scenarios For Week 14





Since the Pac-12 South division has yet to be decided, Arizona’s bowl destination is still up in the air. The Wildcats could end up Pac-12 Champs and in a CFB at-large bowl with a slim chance at the playoff, or they could end up in Santa Clara in the Foster Farms Bowl. It’s still that wide of a swing.

For starters, the Wildcats can finish 10-2 and not play for the Pac-12 title if Arizona beats Arizona State in the Territorial Cup while UCLA beats Stanford. Since the Bruins beat the Wildcats, UCLA wins the tiebreaker if both teams finish at 7-2 in conference.

So what happens to a 10-2 team that doesn’t win the division or the conference? Last season, the Oregon Ducks finished at 10-2, didn’t win the division or the conference and got invited to the Alamo Bowl over the division champion that lost the conference title. That team was Arizona State, but the Sun Devils were notably weaker than the Ducks last season. Would a UCLA team that loses to Oregon a second time in the same season and finishes 10-3 be considered weaker than a 10-2 Arizona team? A neutral observer might say that since the Bruins beat the Wildcats, UCLA is stronger. That would mean UCLA gets the Alamo berth and the Wildcats get the Holiday Bowl berth.

However, losing late in the season seems to hurt teams, even if it is in a conference title game. Arizona finishing 10-2 while UCLA finishes 10-3 could actually help the Wildcats in a case for the Alamo Bowl or even a CFB at-large berth provided that Oregon makes the Final Four. I don’t get it either, but it’s true. It would depend on how the other conferences finish out. A 10-2 top-12 Wildcats team would be a good draw no matter where they go.

If UCLA loses to Stanford and Arizona wins, then the Wildcats play the Ducks for a second time in the Pac-12 title game. Should the ‘Cats sweep the Ducks that obviously would mean a Pac-12 title, a guaranteed top-tier bowl and a decent shot at the CFB Playoff Final Four. A title game loss puts UA in the Alamo Bowl.

The worst-case scenario is obviously losing to Arizona State in the Territorial Cup and finishing 9-3. Then UCLA and Arizona State are easily getting selected over the Wildcats and perhaps even USC. You would think that the Holiday Bowl would prefer a 9-3 Arizona team over an 8-4 USC team (provided the Trojans beat Notre Dame), but you and I also know the reputation of fair-weather Trojan fans. USC fans would certainly make the trip to San Diego, but would they go to Santa Clara for the Foster Farms Bowl? The Holiday Bowl might nab the Trojans no matter who else is available.

With a win over ASU, I say the most likely scenario is the Alamo Bowl with an outside shot at an at-large CFB game. I don’t see UCLA losing to Stanford in Pasadena. If the ‘Cats lose, I say it’s the Holiday Bowl.

Alex Drude is a Pac-12 writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Drude. “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

The Arizona Wildcats' postseason scenarios are still wild. The ‘Cats could still win the conference, or UA could be the fifth Pac-12 team selected for a bowl.

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5 Bold Predictions For Arizona vs. Utah

5 Bold Predictions for Arizona vs. Utah

Nick Wilson Arizona Wildcats Utah Utes
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In a battle featuring two teams clinging to life in the Pac-12 South division race, the Arizona Wildcats will travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Utes this Saturday. Here are five bold predictions for what should be one of the more entertaining bouts of the college football weekend.

5. Anu Solomon Will Burn the Utes for Big Yardage

Anu Solomon Arizona Wildcats Utah Utes Quarterback - Copy
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5. Anu Solomon Will Burn the Utes for Big Yardage

Anu Solomon Arizona Wildcats Utah Utes Quarterback
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Freshman sensation Anu Solomon will have opportunities to rack up major yardage through the air and move the Wildcats between the 20s. Whether or not they can score once they get to the red zone could be a different story, but Solomon should keep the ball moving on a Utah defense that will occasionally give up the big play.

4. DeVontae Booker Will Rush for 100+ Yards

DeVontae Booker Utah Utes Rushing Attack - Copy
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4. DeVontae Booker Will Rush for 100+ Yards

DeVontae Booker Utah Utes Rushing Attack
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Arizona's Nick Wilson could have a good game; the Utes have been less effective against the run in their previous two games. However, it will be the Utes' DeVontae Booker who really goes off on the ground. He should be able to find holes and the end zone against an Arizona D that is giving up 158.8 rushing yards per game.

3. The Pass Rush Will Be in Full Effect

Scooby Wright Arizona Wildcats Nate Orchard Utah - Copy
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3. The Pass Rush Will Be in Full Effect

Scooby Wright Arizona Wildcats Nate Orchard Utah
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Both teams feature players with an elite-level ability to get to the quarterback. Utah's Nate Orchard and Arizona's Scooby Wright should both be able to break the line and get opposing offenses into third-and-long situations. How they respond to the pressure will be a major key in claiming a win.

2. The Utes Will Have Their Best Offensive Performance of the Pac-12 Season

Travis Wilson Utah Utes Offense Arizona - Copy
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2. The Utes Will Have Their Best Offensive Performance of the Pac-12 Season

Travis Wilson Utah Utes Offense Arizona
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While they have struggled to put up points on the road (at least in regulation), the Utes have scored major points in some of their home victories. Alas, their best performances came out of conference and against lesser competition. Look for Utah to have their best offensive showing against a Pac-12 opponent via a heavy work load for Booker, some quarterback runs and the play-action pass with the occasional deep throw.

1. Tom Hackett, Field Position Will Determine the Outcome

Tom Hackett Utah Utes Punter Field Position Wildcats
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1. Tom Hackett, Field Position Will Determine the Outcome

Tom Hackett Utah Utes Punter Field Position Wildcats - Copy
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Both teams have benefited on special teams from their punters pinning the opposition deep in their own territory with regularity. Utah's star return man Kaelin Clay will mitigate some of Arizona's effectiveness in this regard, while Ute punter Tom Hackett will show why he is a game-changer on fourth down. Field position will play a big role in the outcome of the game and is a major reason why I expect Utah to escape with the win.





Ryan Aston covers the Utah Jazz for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @MrMaryKateOlsen or add him to your network on Google.

The Utes and the Wildcats are still alive in the Pac-12 South.

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