Sun Devil season update

2394774.jpgI 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.


Pre-season football rankings

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.

About last week …


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!


Irish boxer Kenny Egan is in the light heavyweight final against Xiaoping Zhang as I type. Naturally, I can’t see it live in this country … instead I get to see a bunch of overpaid millionaires play basketball against Spain. Here’s hoping the Spaniards win.

Best I can do is follow the fight round by round on RTE (video not allowed outside Ireland, damn it!). We’ve two bronze medals already this Olympics (for boxing). A gold would be nice, given that it’s only the fifth time in Olympic history that an Irish boy has made a boxing final.

Update: End of round 1 … Egan is down 2-0.

Update: End of round 2 … Egan down 5-3.

Update: End of round three … he’s down 7-5. There’s still hope but he’s going to have to give it everything. A win here would be Ireland’s first gold since 1992.

Update: And it’s over. 11-7. No doubt the home crowd is going wild.

That last round clearly didn’t help. Maybe I’ll get to see it sometime tomorrow.

A silver is good. Over the years we’ve won nine gold, twenty-two silver, and 16 bronze (not including the ones when we were, ahem, “Great Britain & Ireland”), so the extra medals wont hurt.

And while I’m at it …

The IOC ranks nations by the number of gold medals won. The US ranks by number of medals. I wonder why? Sorry folks … China is winning, and by a long shot.

Euro 2008

Just finished watching the Dutch implode and get beaten 3-1 by Russia, making them the third group winner to lose.

I can now only hope that Spain beats the Italian Diving Squad tomorrow to avert any possibility of a Germany v Italy final.

Spain v Turkey would be more fun.


Euro 2008


It happens every two years … a veritable orgy of high-quality soccer. In 2006 it was the World Cup, this time around it is the European Championship.

So far, the Germans look efficient, the French were underwhelming, the Italian Diving Squad choked (badly), and the Dutch … well they just dominated the Italians in their 3-0 win yesterday.

So, any predictions on the finalists?