For a team that struggled mightily in 2011, Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats surpassed all expectations this past season. Despite featuring a make-shift defense and playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, the 'Cats managed to have an 8-5 season that saw them win the New Mexico Bowl.
According to ESPN expert Mark May, Arizona will reach double-digit wins in 2013. That would be quite the accomplishment for coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff. Here is what May had to say in a recent article on ArizonaSports.com.
"I think, depending on the quarterback they get to replace Matt Scott," May told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo when asked if the 'Cats are set to make a big jump next season. "Looking at their schedule and the players that they have returning, you should expect this team to get to double-digit victories or close to that no matter who the quarterback is."
May also went on to say that he was not worried about Rodriguez finding a new quarterback given his recent successes at West Virginia, Michigan and with Matt Scott this past year.
Considering that Heisman candidates Ka'Deem Carey and Austin Hill will return, in addition to a defense that will be much more experienced, this seems like a solid prediction from ESPN's pundit.
Arizona's schedule looks pretty favorable next year. After missing out on California and Washington State -- the Pac-12 North's two weakest teams -- the past two seasons, they'll get to face the Golden Bears and Cougars in favor of Stanford and Oregon State. Both the Cardinal and Beavers figure to be nationally ranked next season. And with non-conference games against UNLV and UTSA lined up, the 'Cats should have no problem starting strong next season.