TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -Arizona coach Mike Stoops can complete the Wildcats' unlikely turnaround with a victory over No. 13 Arizona State.
Arizona is playing for a possible bowl bid, a scenario that seemed impossible when the Wildcats dropped six of their first eight games, sparking speculation about Stoops' future.
With three straight wins, including a nationally televised upset of then-No. 2 Oregon, the Wildcats (5-6, 4-4 Pac-10) find themselves in contention for an invitation to the Sun, Emerald, Las Vegas or Armed Services bowls.
Before they can make travel plans, the Wildcats have to beat archrival ASU on Saturday night in Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona lost to the Sun Devils 28-14 a year ago, which left them 6-6 but out of the bowl picture for the eighth straight season.
``A bowl will take care of itself,'' Stoops said Monday at his weekly campus news conference. ``We have no chance if we don't win. If we win, then we have a lot of possibilities.''
Adding to the motivation, Arizona also can knock ASU (9-2, 6-2) out of a possible shot at a Rose Bowl or a Fiesta Bowl berth.
The Wildcats have not fared well in the annual battle for the Territorial Cup, losing the last two games and six of the last eight.
Arizona seemingly didn't have much to play for after a 21-20 loss to Stanford on Oct. 20. That put Stoops on the firing line and raised questions about the program's direction.
However, victories over Washington, UCLA and Oregon appear to have revived the program.
``Our kids are starting to make plays and it turns things in a hurry when people really doubted anything we were doing a month ago,'' Stoops said. ``It gets down to confidence and making plays.''
Stoops said the players seem to have taken cues from the coaching staff, which has tried to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
``When we started to relax as a staff they started to play better,'' Stoops said. ``Worrying really inhibits you in a lot of different ways.''

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