The Arizona Wildcats are 3-2 after their first five games. It’s a marked improvement year-over-year, considering at this time a year ago the program had yet to finish within seven points of an FBS opponent.

But now the hard part begins. AZ Desert Swarm’s Brian Pedersen pointed out the difficult road ahead for the Cats, which begins this week when they welcome No. 12 Oregon to Tucson.

The record of Arizona’s first five opponents currently sits at 13-12. The record of Arizona’s next six opponents sits at 26-4.

This weekend begins a stretch where Arizona will face five straight opponents who are currently ranked in the AP Top 25. There have been several instances in the past where the UA has faced four consecutive ranked opponents or five in six games, but the program has never faced five consecutive ranked opponents as a member of the Pac-10/Pac-12.

“Next week we need everyone,” said coach Jedd Fisch after the Wildcats took down Colorado. “We need that place to be packed, and we’re hoping that that is the case. We want the best home-field advantage we can have.”

Oregon (4-1) comes to town for a 6 p.m. PT kick. On Oct. 15, the Wildcats face No. 21 Washington (4-1) in Seattle.

They’ll have a bye week, and then welcome No. 6 USC (5-0) to Arizona Stadium for an Oct. 29 meeting. Then they’ll face Utah (4-1) and UCLA (5-0) on the road in back-to-back weeks.

Arizona hosts 4-1 Washington State in the penultimate weekend before the Territorial Cup. It is three wins away from a bowl game, something the program hasn’t enjoyed since the 2017 season. It’ll be quite the gauntlet to get there. We’re certainly set to find out exactly what this team is made of.