I’m not a college hoops fan, but this is surely a sign of something. While neither team is ranked in the AP Top 25, Arizona State got more votes (53) that the University of Arizona (26). ASU are 12-2 (2-0 in the Pac10) and face Arizona on Wednesday.
It’s not like ASU did wonderfully against Texas (losing the Holiday Bowl 52-34), but at least they turned up to play somewhat (albeit not in the first quarter). The same can’t be said for Illinois in the Rose Bowl (49-17 to USC) and Hawai’i in the Sugar Bowl (41-10 to Georgia). Clearly neither of the teams deserved a BCS slot and Hawai’i (and Colt Brennan) showed itself to be nowhere near being able to play outside the WAC.
Those BCS games are really working out well – two down, two blowouts. Methinks something is amiss with the system.
As I stayed up late last night to watch Hawai’i stumble past a mediocre Washington team (who are last place in the Pac-10), I got to thinking. Sure, Colt Brennan is a very talented kid who has been able to work well with some good receivers, but the Warrior’s record of 12-0 is vastly overrated and not deserving of a BCS bowl slot. They took on a single ranked opponent (Boise State) but the rest of their schedule was powder-puff: Northern Colorado (1-11), Louisiana Tech (5-7), UNLV (2-10), Charleston Southern (5-6), Idaho (1-11), Utah State (2-10), San Jose State (5-7), New Mexico State (4-9), Fresno State (8-4), Nevada (6-6), Boise State (#19, 10-2), and Washington (4-9). That’s a combined record of 53-92, with only three opponents ending the season with 0.5 record or above.
Let’s compare that to ASU’s opponents: Jose State (5-7), Colorado (6-6), San Diego State (4-8), Oregon State (8-4), Stanford (4-8), Washington State (5-7), Washington (4-9), California (#21, 6-6), Oregon (#5, 8-4), UCLA (6-6), USC (#11, 10-2), and Arizona (5-7). That’s a combined record of 72-74, with three ranked opponents and six opponents at 0.5 or above.
I guess what I’m getting at here is this. I cannot see why Hawai’i is ranked as high as it is and certainly why it eligible for a BCS game. As I type this, the AP rankings have placed Hawai’i at #10.
BCS title game prediction: Ohio State v. LSU
Update: AP are reporting that ASU (#11) are heading to the Holiday Bowl to take on Texas (#19, 9-3).
The Territorial Cup is the oldest college football trophy game and the 81st edition of it will be played tonight at Sun Devil Stadium when ASU (#13, 9-2, 6-2) take on the University of Arizona (5-6, 4-4). Depending on the result (and that of other games), ASU could still make either the Rose or Fiesta Bowl, and seal their tenth 10-victory season in school history. UA are trying to snap an eight year bowl drought and are coming off three consecutive wins, the latter two of which (UCLA & Oregon) were games in which their opponents were largely without their starting quarterback.
Weather here is predicted to be cold and rainy. It rained for about twelve hours yesterday (for about an inch and a half of rain) and is drizzling today. Field conditions may be interesting.
Update: ASU wins 20-17 to go 10-2 for the season and condemn the Wildcats to yet another losing bowl-less season. The game was closer than it should have been, but the game against U of A is always crazy. With USC winning and Missouri losing, ASU shares the PAC-10 championship with the Trojans and is more likely than not heading for the Holiday Bowl, though the Fiesta Bowl remains an outside shot. As Bob Davie pointed out on ESPN, an ASU team playing in Glendale would not generate as much money as an out of state team such as Kansas and, despite their 10-2 record, are unlikely to be chosen.
The Sun Devils (9-2) dropped to thirteenth in the BCS after their loss to USC Thursday night. No surprises there. Had the second half been closer a higher ranking would have been possible. But no point dwelling in the past as a number of possible scenarios are possible for the future:
- A trip to the Rose Bowl is still possible if we beat U of A and UCLA surprises everyone by defeating USC.
- A Fiesta Bowl appearance is possible if we win and Missouri beats Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.
- If we win and Oklahoma wins, we’re looking at the Holiday Bowl.
- Worst case scenario appears to be the Sun Bowl.
ASU dropped to 9-2/6-2 with a 44-24 home loss to an admittedly superior USC team. Disappointing overall, particularly because the running game was non-existent, and this means USC has bested us eight years in a row. A 17 point burst by the Trojans in the third quarter put the game away and an overall inability to tackle and run (and for that matter, punt) hurt us a lot.
ASU will no doubt drop in the rankings and will probably be heading to either the Holiday or Sun Bowl depending on how we handle Arizona next week. While the run for the Rose Bowl is over, the season has turned out better than any of us could have imagined. It’s clear that expectations for next season will be high.
- West Virginia
- Ohio State
Now, some thoughts.
- ASU lost (by 12 points, away) to the then #5 team in the country. OSU lost at home to an unranked team.
- Oklahoma lost to Colorado, ASU beat Colorado. Oklahoma’s SOS is lower than ASU’s (68 vs 50).
- Kansas’ schedule (e.g. Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, Florida International all at home) is weaker than ASU’s (SOS of 73 vs 50). They beat Colorado 19-14, we beat them 33-14.
Just suggesting that ASU should be ranked higher than #8, that’s all.