Bowl game isn't good enough

Arizona's victory over Washington State made the team bowl eligible. However, no one is satisfied with the Wildcats strictly being bowl eligible and the opportunity is there for the U of A to expand on its current place in the Pac-10 standings.

Right now, Arizona is tied for fourth place in the conference with California, which would give the Wildcats a trip to Las Vegas on Dec. 20 for the Las Vegas Bowl.

Based on how the Wildcats fare over the next three games, they can improve or drop below that position.

Cal has a pretty easy schedule from here on out; the Bears go at Oregon State but then take on Stanford and Washington at home. Arizona's three games – at Oregon and at home against Oregon State and Arizona State – are much more difficult, so it will be tough for the U of A to hold on to that spot without winning at least two of three.

The good news is that looking at the other teams' schedules, if Arizona just beats ASU, the Wildcats probably won't drop further than fifth in conference, assuming Stanford loses at Cal and at home against USC, and the Cardinal will be favored to lose both.

As for Stoops, he's happy to find his program in a bowl game for the first time in a decade, but isn't satisfied with just being there.

He's looking at the future.

"It has been a tough process but it is not just going to a bowl game," Stoops said. "I think it is about establishing us as a program. We do not want to be a one shot wonder that goes to a bowl game and then deteriorates again. It goes back to building a program on a strong foundation on certain characteristics and values."

Stoops doesn't think that making a bowl game by itself is good enough and hopes to see the Wildcats improve their bowl standing this weekend.

"I don't feel any different," Stoops said. "I think you feel more energized maybe and you are excited about your opportunities. I think that is what winning does for you and it presents more opportunities for everybody.

"We just really want to prepare for Oregon and if we win I think we know what happens. Winning takes care of everything."

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