This time last year, the UA’s bowl possibilities were pretty simple.
The Wildcats were either going to be eating green chiles at the New Mexico Bowl or battling San Francisco traffic at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
This year, things aren’t nearly as clear.
With nine Pac-12 teams bowl eligible and the BCS picture still so unsettled, there are as many as five bowl landing spots for the Wildcats.
- Gildan New Mexico Bowl
- AdvoCare V100 Bowl (formerly the Independence Bowl)
- Heart of Dallas Bowl
- Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
- Texas Bowl
“We most likely won’t have any resolution until Sunday night or early Monday,” Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said. “I’ve been on the phone a lot this week, and I’ll continue to be engaged with bowl partners for the rest of the week.”
Of the five options, only the New Mexico Bowl and the Las Vegas Bowl are affiliated with the Pac-12. With nine teams eligible for a bowl and only seven spots, other bowls, like the AdvoCare V100 Bowl have become realistic options for the Wildcats.
“The idea of going outside our bowl agreements is interesting because we could go to a part of the country we don’t often get to,” Byrne said. “As long as it’s in the same financial ballpark, it would certainly be something we’d be interested in.”
The AdvoCare Bowl, played in Shreveport, La., has a reported combined payout of $2.3 million. The New Mexico Bowl’s payout is $912,500.
Byrne said his pitch to bowl directors has been pretty straightforward this week.
“Obviously we’re a strong, good national brand, and we have alumni throughout the country,” Byrne said. “We have the top running back in the country and an exciting offense under the leadership of Rich Rodriguez, who is well known in the football world.”
Here’s a look at the three most likely landing spots for the Wildcats.