Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Ka'Deem Carey dives for a touchdown against UTSA, one of Arizona's three lightweight nonconference opponents.
Hindsight being 20-20 and all, Arizona would have been better served facing a tougher nonconference schedule to better determine if it could handle the rigors of the Pac-12 schedule.
But the light preseason offerings aren't likely to change anytime soon, according to Arizona Daily Star columnist Greg Hansen:
The UA’s nonconference home opponents through 2017 are UTEP, Grambling, Nevada, UNLV, UTSA and Houston. (Arizona athletic director Greg) Byrne, who inherited part of future nonconference home schedules, said he is in the process of adding more appeal.
Arizona is required by its state Board of Regents to play Northern Arizona every other year, as it did to open this season. It's second game, a trip to UNLV, was part of a home-and-home series agreed upon long ago with its former AD, Jim Livengood, who has since left UNLV.
The Wildcats' most challenging nonconference opponent was UTSA, which wasn't saying much. The teams have a 2-for-1 series that sends Arizona to San Antonio next year and then returns the game to Tucson for 2015. UTSA is a transitional FBS program that, while slowing building talent, didn't have the experience to match up with upper-level FBS teams.
The cumulative result of Arizona's first three victories—almost no definitive answers about uncertain parts of its game, most notably the passing offense. Those lack of answers came back to haunt the Wildcats against Washington.