Bowl projections have Arizona Wildcats headed to Las Vegas Bowl, Holiday Bowl
Nov 15, 2023, 9:03 AM
(Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bowl-eligible for the first time since 2017, it’s safe to say that the No. 19 Arizona Wildcats are out for blood this season.
They’ve won four games in a row, taking down three ranked opponents (No. 19 Washington State, No. 11 Oregon State and No. 19 UCLA) while kicking a game-winning field goal against the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.
Two of the Wildcats’ losses were by one score or less: against No.7 Washington and No. 9 USC.
They finished 1-11 just two years ago and with a 7-3 record so far in 2023, Arizona has a chance to play in a number of bowl games.
There’s still a chance for Arizona to play in the Pac-12 title game, needing to win out while receiving help from other schools. It would first have to beat No. 16 Utah in the team’s home finale before any real consideration for a conference title game appearance.
But for now, all that’s certain is a bowl bid. Here’s where they’re projected to land:
College bowl game predictions for the Arizona Wildcats
Action Network: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Maryland (Dec. 23)
ESPN: Holiday Bowl vs. NC State (Dec. 27)
CBS Sports: Alamo Bowl vs. Oklahoma (Dec. 28)
Athlon Sports: Sun Bowl vs. Miami (Dec. 29)
Fox Sports: Las Vegas vs. Illinois
247Sports: Las Vegas vs. Nebraska
The Athletic: Sun Bowl vs. Miami
College Football Network: Las Vegas vs. Rutgers
Las Vegas Bowl
The favorite for Arizona’s bowl predictions is the Las Vegas Bowl.
Arizona has only played in the Las Vegas Bowl once, beating the BYU Cougars, 31-21, in 2008.
The Las Vegas Bowl will take place at Allegiant Stadium, which is also where the Pac-12 title game will be held.
Playing in Las Vegas would give Wildcat faithful an opportunity to catch an Arizona basketball/football doubleheader. The No. 3 men’s basketball team takes on Florida Atlantic at T-Mobile Arena that day at 1 p.m. MST with the Las Vegas Bowl set for 5:30 p.m. MST.
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach predict that Arizona will play North Carolina State (7-3) in the Holiday Bowl.
The Wolfpack is currently third in the ACC as two of their three losses have come from No. 10 Notre Dame and No. 17 Duke.
NC State’s remaining schedule consists of Virginia Tech and No. 24 North Carolina.
The Wildcats have two Holiday Bowl appearances, both against Nebraska. They took down the Cornhuskers in 2007, 23-20, but were dismantled in 2009 as Nebraska shut them out 33-0.
USC and Oregon St. are other likely Pac-12 teams to play in the Holiday Bowl.
CBS Sports predicts that Arizona will play Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.
The Wildcats’ lone Alamo Bowl appearance came against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2010, where they were defeated 36-10.
Other predictions have USC, Utah and Oregon State potentially playing in that bowl game. However, if Arizona is selected for the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma, they’ll look to bounce back against the Cowboys’ Bedlam rival.
The Athletic and Athlon Sports predict that Arizona will play in the Sun Bowl against Miami.
The Wildcats have three Sun Bowl appearances, taking on Auburn, Georgia and Baylor all before 2000, yet they remain winless.
Miami, while donning a 6-4 overall record, holds a 2-4 conference record and is 10th in the ACC. The Hurricanes average 255.6 passing yards and 172 rushing yards per game.
Other projections have UCLA and Oregon State headed to El Paso.