Arizona football will be a Big 12 title favorite in 2024

Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch talks with quarterback Noah Fifita (11) during the first quarter
Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch talks with quarterback Noah Fifita (11) during the first quarter / Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY

A couple of years ago, if I had told you that Arizona football would win 10 games under Jedd Fisch and completely turn the program around with a bowl win over Oklahoma, you would have called me insane.

Well, it happened.

The Wildcats beat a tough Oklahoma team that was 10-2 going into the game and made it look almost effortless in the second half. Arizona dominated the final 30 minutes to beat Oklahoma 38-24.

And as the final seconds ticked off the clock and the Wildcats picked up their 10th win for the first time in nine years, it felt like something was different than in previous years. It felt like this Arizona team wasn't just a flash in the pan, but rather here to stay. And that's because most of the team's best players are returning.

Sure, Arizona will have to adjust to a new conference next year, but it just beat the second-best team in the Big 12 by two touchdowns. Texas will also be gone when the Wildcats move to the Big 12, so that just means that the race for the conference title will be wide open.

And that's bad news for the league.

Noah Fifita was just a freshman this season and he passed for over 2,800 yards and 25 touchdowns with just six picks. His friend and top receiver target Tetairoa McMillan finished the season with over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns and he, too, will be back.

Two of the best players in the Pac-12 are moving to the Big 12 and they'll be facing teams that aren't Texas or Oklahoma -- and both of them dominated against the Sooners anyways.

Arizona should absolutely be considered a favorite to win the Big 12 next year and I would not be shocked if Fisch's team was ranked in the top 10 to start the 2024 campaign.