The challenges Arizona football faces in the coming season are plentiful. If the Wildcats want to be a true contender for the Rose Bowl, there are several obstacles they must overcome.
In many ways, 2010 is a defining year for Arizona football and UA will no longer sneak up on anyone. Instead, after a second place finish, teams will be gunning for the Wildcats as they are one of several teams that will fight for the conference crown. If Arizona wants to come out on top, here are few of the things they must conquer.
Back in 1999, UA was coming off of a 12-1 season and was a serious national title contender. Instead of living up to expectation, the team took a dramatic step backwards and finished 6-6. The Wildcats went on to experience a decade-long Bowl drought and lost a serious portion of the fan-base in the process.
In 2010, Arizona faces pretty tough expectations of its own. Many expect the Wildcats to compete for the Pac-10 title and with offseason problems surfacing at perennial conference favorites USC and Oregon it's not so far fetched.
The Wildcats must understand the pressure facing them and hit it head on without blinking.
Much of the competition is even in the Pac-10. There aren't very many guaranteed wins on the schedule, but there isn't a single sure-fire loss either. Arizona must be prepared and focus on each individual game as if it were its last. As long as the Wildcats do that, there isn't any reason they can't take home their first conference crown.
With a lot of turnover along the coaching staff many are wondering if anything will change in 2010. While the adjustments in strategy have appeared to be minimal since the coaching changes, the real test comes when the games begin.
If the team can prove that little has changed on the field, there will be fewer naysayers among the fan-base.
Attrition on defense
It's not secret that the defense has plenty of new faces in the starting lineup – primarily at linebacker and in the secondary. There are many concerns about team speed at linebacker and experience in the secondary. But if there are two things that are not in question – they are talent and potential.
The Wildcats possess several players that at both linebacker and in the secondary that were highly regarded during their recruitments. As long as players like Derek Earls, Adam Hall and Marquis Flowers develop into the players everyone expects, there is no reason Arizona's defense should struggle.
There are many other questions and obstacles surrounding the Wildcats and most will be answered throughout the course of the season. Until then, we are left playing the waiting game, while living in the hope that 2010 turns into an unforgettable experience.
Wildcats have obstacles
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