A few years ago I tinkered with the idea of not doing a black and white prediction column, but doing a weighted prediction column. Sure this gave me more wiggle room, but I think that by using percentages, it gives you a more well rounded perspective of how the game might play out.
The Rockets are a decent MAC team, while Arizona has their issues. That being said, a mediocre Pac-12 team should be a decent MAC team at home every time. Remember the hype Central Michigan got before getting handled by Matt Scott and the Wildcats in 2009? I see this one being similar.
A month ago I would have told you the Cats were in big trouble in this one. After doing more homework, I think the Cats have a better chance. OSU has a stout defense, but will be starting a true freshman QB in his second game and have some other holes on offense. Oklahoma State will still likely win, but there are more positive scenarios for Arizona than I previously thought.
South Carolina State
Despite what one preseason publication said, the Cats are playing South Carolina State, not Steve Spurrier’s team. The Bulldogs are a FCS/I-AA team who won seven games a year ago, but lost to Indiana and Central Michigan. The Cats should be better than those two teams.
The Cats’ first road game is at Eugene. The Cats have had some success staying close with the Ducks in the rain, but have not won up there since Chris Henry was running the ball for the Cats.
To me one of the first real toss-up games of the year and a lynchpin game if the Cats are going to have any shot at being bowl eligible. I like the fact the Wildcats are at home.
I don’t think Stanford will be nearly as good as they have been the past 2-3 seasons. I do think they are better than Arizona and are playing this game in Palo Alto. It will be a tough one for the Wildcats.
Here is where I could insert the joke about the Cats winning the bye week 100%, but I won’t.
I think the Huskies are pretty good, but the Cats get them at home. Washington has issues at QB and the Wildcats have fared well against them the past few seasons, winning three of the last five, but thumping the Huskies in two of those games and losing one of the two on the “Delashaun Dean phantom toe-gate.” The Huskies may have defensive issues, but so do the Wildcats.
USC is really good. Not deep, but really good. Arizona gets the Trojans at home and a best case scenario would be a lot of heat to deplete the USC starters. Even that might not be enough. Oddly enough, Mike Stoops’ Arizona teams played USC really tough. Although they were just 1-4 against them over the past five seasons, the Cats lost by 7, 3, 7 and 7.
Another toss-up game, and another key opportunity to get a win. Normally in these close games I look at QB and coach. The Cats have more experience at both spots, at least at the college level, but UCLA is at home.
Colorado stunned Arizona last year in one of the weakest displays of Arizona football in a decade. This year the Cats are better and at home.
Utah is pretty darn good and gets this one in the SLC. The Cats could be coming into this one on a two-game win streak, but winning on the road will be tough.
The Devils want revenge for last year, but are they good enough to get it? I get the feeling there is no love lost between the staffs (“mercenaries?”) and recruiting bragging rights are on the line. Arizona has the home field advantage, but this is a rivalry game.
By my count I have the Wildcats as the favorite in five games, the underdog in six and the UCLA game as a real toss-up. If you put my feet to the fire I’d say Arizona wins five, but I can see scenarios where the ASU game means a bowl for Arizona.