Three straight bowl games will not be enough to save Mike Stoops’ job at Arizona.
That’s the opinion of ESPN College Football Analyst Mark May, who joined Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday afternoon.
“They’re going to struggle to make a bowl, and I don’t believe they will,” May said. “I think all the pressure’s going to be on Mike Stoops because I don’t think he’ll survive this.”
May pointed to Arizona’s losing streak against FBS teams, which now stands at six, and could reasonably stretch to as many as nine, as reason for the coach’s seat to be incredibly warm.
“You’re looking at a team that is trying to raise money to build new facilities down there,” May said. “If they go out and they lay an egg this year and they’re 5-7 or something like that, do you really think that’s going to help that project,” he asked.
It may be a tough call for Athletics Director Greg Byrne. On the job for just more than a year, would he really want to begin a search for a new head football coach?
Sure, the Wildcats have struggled of late, but when you look at the teams they have played it’s not difficult to understand why. Their losses have come to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and Oklahoma State — twice — meaning they’re not exactly losing games they are supposed to win.
But maybe that’s the problem right there: games they are supposed to win. There are some on this year’s schedule, but not until the team is finished with an incredibly brutal start, one that could lead them to a 1-5 record to open the season.
Would that lead to a coaching change this year? How about after the season is complete?
Byrne has made no secret of his desire to improve UA’s standing in football, and at some point he will want more than just decent seasons and low-level bowls.