Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • Athlon Sports

    Josh Pate Reveals Big 12 Newcomer That Could Win The Conference

    By Jaron Spor,


    The Colorado Buffaloes, led by head coach Deion Sanders, and the Utah Utes are getting all the attention of the newcomers in the Big 12. But it's the Arizona Wildcats who are coming off a huge 10-3 season that saw them beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Alamo Bowl.

    That comes after several bad seasons for the Wildcats. From 2019-2022, Arizona won 10 games total. The Wildcats hadn't had a 10-win season since 2014.

    One reason Arizona may not be getting talked about enough is that the Wildcats lost their head coach. Jedd Fisch decided to leave and head to Washington. Arizona replaced him with former San Jose State Head Coach Brent Brennan.
    Arizona Wildcats quarterback Noah Fifita (11) throws a pass in the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Alamodome.

    © Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

    The Wildcats return some key players, including star quarterback Noah Fifita and his favorite target, Tetairoa McMillan. In only nine starts, Fifita threw for 2,869 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions on a 72.4% completion percentage. McMillan had 90 catches for 1,402 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    That's why CBSSports' Josh Pate feels college football fans are sleeping on the Wildcats.

    "Jedd Fisch went all the way up to Washington," Pate said when discussing each conference's sleeper team on the Late Kick with Josh Pate podcast. "But Noah Fifita did not. That quarterback is on the Heisman boards; in terms of odds, he did not. He's still there. Their win total is 7.5, but the highest in the Big 12 is 9.5. That's Utah and that's Kansas State. So, in the words of Dan Hawkins, this is the Big 12; anything can happen."

    Pate mentions the Wildcats' schedule, with its first big test being at Kansas State, the season's third game. That will decide what Arizona is going to be this year. Then Arizona has a bye week before going to Utah.

    Pate concludes Arizona's two toughest games are back to back, so if the Wildcats can split those, that's "great," but if Arizona wins both, look out.

    Related: Popular Big 12 Newcomer In The Bottom Five Of Conference Power Rankings

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0