The Stanford Cardinal were projected as being one of the teams that could compete in the Pac-12 Title Game, but the Arizona State Sun Devils? Not so much. However, that is now a reality for the Sun Devils after they held off the UCLA Bruins on Saturday night.
The Sun Devils raced out to a 22-point half time lead and held off a second-half comeback by the Bruins. Now, with a rematch victory over Stanford in two weeks time, the Sun Devils will return back to the Rose Bowl to play in the “Granddaddy of Them All” on New Year’s Day. It would be Arizona State’s first trip back to Pasadena since the 1997 game and the days of Jake “the Snake” Plummer.
ASU received a gift win over the Wisconsin Badgers, got beat handily by Stanford, and had an uninspiring lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But since that time, they have risen from the ashes (pun intended). Surprisingly, they are 10th in the nation in points per game. With a win next week, they will host the game to determine the Pac-12 Champion.
If they are unable to secure a Rose Bowl bid, they will be able to at least make a serious claim for an Alamo Bowl bid and a return trip back to the state of Texas, where they lost to the Irish. The pitchforks have the opportunity to retrace their steps in the coming weeks. Will they be able to stick a fork into the school’s Rose Bowl drought?