I just realized I haven’t posted anything about Sun Devil football this season. Well, the season came to an end today with an excruciating 20-17 loss to the University of Arizona Wildcats, with the difference being a field goal with time running out. Late field goals also saw us being defeated by California and Georgia. The Sun Devils finished 4-8 (2-7) for the season after losing six in a row for the second year in a row.
It’s of course interesting to consider what could have been. The games against California, Arizona, USC & Georgia were winnable (the margin for each was 5 points or less for a total of 14 points) and we could easily have gone 8-4 (5-4). And we won’t even mention the embarrassing loss to UCLA last week.
It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this has on Dennis Erickson‘s future here at ASU. After a 10-3 season in 2007 (and a trip to the Holiday Bowl versus Texas), the Devils have now gone 9-15 with no bowl appearances. Erickson has to take much of the blame for the offensive ineptitude of the Devils as he was the one calling the plays. Acquiring a good offensive coordinator should be a priority for the off-season.
The AP pre-season top 25 was released today and featured a somewhat predictable triumvirate of Florida, Texas and Oklahoma at the top. The Pac-10 are represented by USC (4), Cal (12), and Oregon (16). Georgia – whom ASU play in Athens – are #13. It’s going to be a tough season for ASU if those teams can maintain their ranking. First game is in two weeks against Idaho State.
Male Flame Skimmer, Libella saturata (source)
We had one of these sit on an agave in our back yard for about three hours yesterday afternoon. Beautiful looking creatures.
Last seven days were busy here. New classes to prepare and other stuff left little time for blogging and suchlike. Don’t know if things are going to improve next week.
ASU’s football season has started with two wins against NAU and Stanford leading to a #15 ranking. Last night’s 41-17 win over Stanford was satisfying. Up next is UNLV before the big home game against #2 Georgia. And things don’t get easier after that – three more ranked teams (Cal, USC and Oregon) in a row.
OK, back to class prep!
Last time I wrote about ASU basketball was early January when we beat the University of Arizona Wildcats 64-59 in overtime to go 3-0 in Pac10 play. Much moaning came from Wildcat supporters with claims that, had they had their phenom freshman (Bayless) the score would have been different.
Soon after that game the Sun Devils entered a tail-spin and went to 4-5 in conference before finding themselves today facing the full strength Wildcats away from home. Wildcat supporters predicted a massacre. Well, guess what? ASU came back from a sixteen point deficit to win 59-54. I wonder what the excuses from the U of A faithful will be now?
Both teams are now 5-5 in conference play.
Coming on the end of the week here and all is good. My classes look sharp, so it should be a good semester of teaching. Various non-teaching bits and pieces have clicked together over the past few days, so it looks like a good semester.
And ASU basketball has done it again – beating Cal 99-90 in double overtime to go 14-2 (4-0 in the Pac-10). Up next is Stanford (14-3, 3-2) who beat Arizona tonight to send the Wildcats to 11-6 (1-3). Could we even imagine that ASU would go to March Madness and Arizona end up in the NIT? Only time will tell.
I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes, but ASU beat Arizona 64-59 in overtime. That after being behind by 12 points and seven at the half. That after scoring only six points (and shooting 15%) in the first ten minutes. To put this in perspective, Arizona had won 24 of the last 25 meetings and is ranked #25 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
ASU go 13-2 (3-0 in conference play) and get their ninth straight win, taking the lead in the Pac-10. Arizona fall to 10-5 (1-2).
What makes this even more enjoyable was that throughout the football season, Wildcat fans were continually excusing the failure of their team with choruses of "but we’re better at basketball".
The final AP Poll standings have been released and unsurprisingly, LSU finds itself in the #1 slot, followed by Georgia, USC, Missouri, and Ohio State. ASU find themselves at 16 and two other Pac-10 teams are ranked (Oregon @ 23 and Oregon State @ 25). Predictably, Hawai’i slid to #19 and Illinois to #20.
Next season will be interesting for ASU. USC are likely to be strong and we play them and Cal back-to-back in California. We also have a non-conference game against Georgia. Yikes!