Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Best-worst case redo: Arizona
By ESPN.com staff
Every preseason we take a look at potential best-case and worst-case scenarios for every Pac-10 team. While these are often tongue-in-cheek, they nonetheless represent the top and bottom we see for each team.
So it might be worthwhile to revisit each.
Starting with Arizona, which finished 7-6.
Best case: 10-3 finish after Alamo Bowl victory over Oklahoma and final No. 11 ranking.
What was right: The Wildcats did start 7-1, with the loss coming in a tight game with Oregon State. They did suffer a dispiriting loss at Stanford in Week 9. They ended up in the Alamo Bowl.
What was wrong: What happened after the fast start. The best case had the Wildcats going 3-1 down the stretch after the Stanford loss, losing only to Oregon. The reality was a five-game losing streak, including a blowout bowl loss to Oklahoma State.
Worst case: 5-7 finish, no bowl game
What was right: Defensive struggles frustrating coach Mike Stoops. Losses to Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Arizona State, with the loss to the Sun Devils coming in particularly excruciating fashion.
What was wrong: Losses to Iowa and Washington. The Wildcats reached a bowl game. Elite state recruits Christian Westerman and Brett Hundley have committed to Auburn and UCLA, not Arizona State.
Conclusion: The Wildcats made the best and worst cases come true. The first half of the season was the best case. The second, the worst case.