A 12-game losing streak, a coaching change, and the most distant conference championship odds of any team in the Pac-12 — all indications that Arizona football is deep in rebuilding mode in 2021.
According to multiple Arizona Wildcats betting sites, the team's +6600 odds of winning the Pac-12 aren’t just longest in the league, but they’re also well behind those of No. 11 odds choice Oregon State, which is at +4400.
Nothing on the odds boards at top bookmakers inspires confidence. According to DraftKings odds, Arizona is a +3300 choice to win the Pac-12 South, which isn’t just last among the division’s six teams, but light years behind fifth-place selection Colorado at +800.
Arizona’s season over-under win total is set at a mere 2.5 at PointsBet Arizona. As for winning the College Football Playoff national championship? The Wildcats are a +100000 prayer. Indeed, it shapes up as that kind of season in Tucson.
New Coach Jedd Fisch Takes Over
Why do college football betting sites in Arizona forecast such a bleak outlook for a program that enjoyed a winning season as recently as 2017? Because things have gone off the rails since. Former coach Kevin Sumlin oversaw three straight losing seasons, including 0-5 in a 2020 season shortened because of COVID-19. The season ended with a 70-7 humiliation at the hands of rival Arizona State.
Sumlin was fired one day later. The Wildcats enter 2021 on a school-record 12-game losing streak, without a victory since Oct. 5, 2019. The new coach is Jedd Fisch, formerly quarterbacks coach with the New England Patriots. His only previous head coaching experience was in an interim role at UCLA in 2017.
Fisch will need to fill a hole at quarterback, given that former starter Grant Gunnell transferred to Memphis. Fisch also inherits one of the Pac-12’s worst defenses. This shapes up as a major rebuild; among Power 5 teams only Syracuse has longer odds of winning the national title, according to Unibet Arizona, where the Wildcats are +100000.
Tough Schedule From Start
Arizona will get a stern test right out of the gate. The Wildcats open Sept. 4 in Las Vegas against BYU, which lost star quarterback Zach Wilson to the NFL, but returns a solid core on offense and carries an over/under win total of 6.5 into the 2021 season. The Wildcats then host San Diego State, which has +1400 odds of winning the Mountain West and a season over/under win total of 6.5.
After a home game against FCS opponent Northern Arizona, the Wildcats open Pac-12 play at Oregon. The Ducks are a +275 odds co-favorite (along with Washington) to win the league. Back-to-back games against the Huskies and South Division favorite USC loom later for the Wildcats, with a trip to Arizona State (+450 to win the Pac-12) awaiting Nov. 27.