Arizona Bowl Projections For Final Week

Michael AbbottContributor IDecember 3, 2009

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Mike Stoops of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils in the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 20-17.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images


The season is in its last week and it finally started to get chilly in Tucson.  I'm pretty confident we are going to skip winter all together this year.

The Arizona Wildcats are in Los Angeles this weekend to decide their bowl game fate.  But its not just a matter of win or lose. 

Because of how jumbled the Pac-10 is this year, there are a host of scenarios that can happen this weekend, and we won’t find out where the Cats are playing until the games are done.

But let’s break down the bowl games to determine what the best-case scenario is for Arizona.


Holiday Bowl

In beautiful, sunny San Diego, California on Dec. 30, this would be an ideal location for the Wildcats to play their bowl game. 

It consists of the Pac-10 No. 2 and the Big 12 No. 3.  For the Wildcats to make it to San Diego, Oregon would have to beat Oregon State Thursday and Arizona must beat USC this weekend. And it would definitely help if Washington beats Cal. 

There are plenty of UA students from Southern California that would love for the Wildcats to be in this one.  Plus, it’s only a eight-hour drive from Tucson.  Wildcat fans would also like to smack around the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are slated in this game.


Sun Bowl

Played on New Years Eve in El Paso, Texas, this bowl game is slotted for the Pac-10 No. 3 and any bowl eligible team from the Big East or Big 12. 

This could be renamed the Stoops Bowl if fans get their way, but the Stoops brothers (Mike, head coach of Arizona and Bob, head coach of Oklahoma) don’t seem to want this matchup.  I guess sibling rivalries don’t run too deep in their family. 

It’s not too long a drive, but you would have to think that not many UA students from California and Arizona would make the trip to spend New Years Eve in El Paso.  But, I hear it’s lovely.  To play in El Paso, the Wildcats have to beat USC and OSU must beat Oregon. 


Las Vegas Bowl

It would be the Wildcats second straight Vegas Bowl and from speaking to many people that went last year, it did not disappoint.  

The Pac-10 No. 4 and the Mountain West champion play in this bowl on Dec. 22.  Not too long of a drive and the history from last year is still fresh in the minds of players, coaches, and fans. 

To end up in this one, UA must beat USC and OSU must beat Oregon.


Emerald Bowl

In San Francisco, California, this bowl is played the day after Christmas on Dec. 26. 

A matchup between Pac-10 No. 5 and an ACC team, this game could be a lot of fun.  There is no better city than San Francisco to spend the week and there are many students from the greater Northwest (Nor Cal, Oregon, and Washington) that attend Arizona.  Arizona would finish in fifth place in the Pac-10 with a loss at USC and a Cal loss.


Poinsettia Bowl

This is the final game the Wildcats could be a part of.  Also played in San Diego, this bowl is on Dec. 23 and sets the Pac-10 No. 6 with the Mountain West No. 2. 

Again, there is a huge contingency of Arizona students in Southern California that would be itching to see the Wildcats in San Diego, but most would rather them beat USC this weekend.  For the Cats to play in this one they would have to lose this weekend to USC and Cal would have to beat Washington. 


Bear in mind that it is up to each respective bowl’s officials to select who plays in their game.  For instance, if we hold the No. 3 position in the Pac-10 after this weekend, it does not necessarily mean we’d be playing in the Sun Bowl.

My feelings are that the Wildcats will be playing in San Diego.  My heart is telling me for the Holiday Bowl, but my head is telling me it will be for the Poinsettia Bowl.

Should be a fun weekend to watch and add a little closure to a great season.

Go Cats!  It’s off to Los Angeles to take on the Trojans.