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Arizona Bringing 'Desert Voodoo' to the Big 12 Conference

© Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats will be entering the Big 12 Conference in a unique position in 2024. After a successful 2023 campaign that brought a 10-3 record and a win against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl, their coach Jedd Fisch departed for Washington to lead the Huskies.

Now, coach Brent Brennan will lead the Wildcats into a new conference in which they are projected to finish No. 5 according to preseason projections. With returning quarterback Noah Fifita and dynamic wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan, the wildcats should transition easily into the Big 12.

The mythical “Desert Voodoo” that can be found late nights in Tucson, Ari., will be a warning sign to the rest of the conference that the Wildcats aren’t here to take part, they’re here to take over.

Arizona Introduced at Media Days

Although not official until Aug. 2, Arizona joined the three other newcomers in the Big 12 at the Big 12 Media Days in Las Vegas. Brennan was the last to take the podium to take questions from the media on the upcoming season.

During his opening statement, Brennan was asked about Arizona having five preseason All-Big 12 selections.

Arizona Wildcats
© Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

“The only accolades that matter are the ones that come after the season,” said Brennan. “Our focus needs to be on the process and the work we need to do this summer.”

“Pressure is just a part of this thing. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are,” said Brennan about this season’s expectations. “The biggest part I think of that would be for the players because this will be the first time that they’re coming into the season with a winning record. For every single player in the program that’s never happened so a big part of this is them.”

Along with being introduced to the Big 12, Arizona donned a new helmet they will wear for the upcoming season right before media days began. The white helmet will feature “Cats” in red script with a glossy finish. The Wildcats are also expected to roll out new uniforms in the coming weeks.

Returning Firepower

Arizona is expected to compete for the Big 12 title in their very first season in the conference. The Wildcat offense returns 70 percent of their production from the 2023 season, including four starting offensive linemen. Fifita has been receiving preseason hype to be the best quarterback in the conference and is considered a Heisman Trophy dark horse. Fifita threw for 2,864 yards, 25 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 83.8 in 2023. With McMillan returning, those numbers will undoubtedly increase.

On the defensive side of the ball, Brennan did an excellent job of retaining players from the previous season. Four of the five starters in the secondary return this season. That same secondary was top 40 in the country against the pass and over the last three games of 2023 recorded the third-most takeaways in the country with 11.

The linebacker corps will be led by returning starter Jacob Manu. Last season he recorded 116 tackles, which was the most in the Pac-12 Conference. Assistant coach Duane Akina was promoted to defensive coordinator after Brennan was hired.

Stay tuned on all things Arizona by following College Football Dawgs all season long.


2 days ago

BIG 12 bout to be 🔥 this SZN


2 days ago

Good content, thanks for the rundown!

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