Rich Rodriguez can’t help himself.
A couple of times over the next few weeks, the UA coach will get on his computer and check out where the experts think his team is going bowling.
His wife Rita is even more interested.
“I’ll look at it, but I think my wife does it more than I do,” Rodriguez said smiling. “She’ll check it out pretty good because hopefully we’re going somewhere for the holidays.”
New Years Eve in Louisiana? Christmas in Detroit? New Years Day in Dallas?
Where will the Rodriguez and Wildcat families spend the holidays? We’ll know soon enough.
The UA, at 6-4, is bowl eligible with games remaining against powerhouse Oregon and rival Arizona State. These days, however, six wins doesn’t guarantee an extra game.
The Pac-12 has affiliations with seven bowls, but could have as many as 10 teams eligible. If that happens, Arizona would likely be shipped to a bowl unaffiliated with the conference; that would only happen if other conferences can’t fill their quota.
Winning at least one of its remaining games could help Arizona's chances of landing in the Las Vegas, Fight Hunger, Sun or New Mexico bowls.
“I don’t care where we go, as long as I get another game and have another week or month of practice with my teammates,” quarterback B.J. Denker said. “That’s all that matters to me.”
Denker’s reasoning is Rodriguez’s biggest motivation for wanting to play in a bowl game. While the extra practices are good for the development of his program and help the younger players, the extra game matters to the seniors.
“It’s a bummer when the seniors finish the last game and most of the rest of the country is playing over the holidays and they’re sitting and watching,” Rodriguez said. “That’s not a whole lot of fun for them.”
Answers could be coming soon. Mike Parrish, Rodriguez’s director of football operations and Suzy Mason, the assistant athletics director for event operations, attended the Pac-12's bowl affiliates meeting in Los Angeles on Wednesday. They'll report back to Rodriguez today.
In the meantime, it’s never too early to speculate where the Wildcats may be spending the holidays. At this point, we think it’s unlikely Arizona gets sent to a Pac-12 affiliated bowl.
Read on to find out where Arizona might end up.