Projected 2017 record and S&P+ ranking: 6-6 (68th)
Biggest strength: If healthy, the running back duo of Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor could be devastating, especially with quarterback Brandon Dawkins’ (or Khalil Tate’s) mobility and an experienced line.
Biggest question mark: Arizona’s defense has been banged up and miserable for two straight years and boasts almost no experience in the front six. What improvement is even possible?
Biggest 2017 game: Houston (Sept. 8). It’s the first of EIGHT relative tossups, and a win would likely give the Wildcats a shot at a 4-0 start. A good start doesn’t guarantee a good finish, but a poor start might doom Rodriguez.
Summary: Since clinching the 2014 Pac-12 South title, Arizona is 10-17. Rodriguez’s Wildcats have dealt with awful injury luck, but the depths of last year’s despair were alarming. Does he have a turnaround in him?