Arizona State Blows Golden Playoff Opportunity

By Steve Ungrey
Susan C. Ragan -- USA TODAY Sports
Susan C. Ragan — USA TODAY Sports

While most of the eastern part of the United States slept on Saturday night, the storm that swept through college football completed its path of destruction in Corvallis, Oregon.

No, this has nothing to do with how bad the nation’s weather got in the last week. You can’t blame the Polar Vortex for this one. Instead, Oregon State welcomed Arizona State to campus and held the Sun Devils at bay long enough to even its mark at .500 and deal a fatal blow to Arizona State’s playoff hopes.

Think about it. This was a topsy-turvy weekend in college football. The nation’s No. 1 team, Mississippi State, went down to defeat, although no one believed Mississippi State could hold off hard-charging Alabama. After all, a college football playoff without the Crimson Tide is like a Reese’s peanut butter cup with no chocolate. Florida State had to come from behind to defeat Miami, and TCU held off a hard-charging Kansas squad.

Arizona State could have moved up in the standings to at least No. 5. It could have enjoyed a golden opportunity to keep itself relevant on the national playoff scene. Instead, the Sun Devils missed a chance to reshape the football landscape when the playoff rankings came out on Tuesday.

There was a doctor in the house on Saturday. Too bad he harmed the patient, in this case Arizona State. Michael Doctor‘s interception turned into a pick-six that preserved the upset. It was a huge opportunity for Arizona State to make itself relevant. Instead, the Sun Devils guaranteed themselves two losses and a decent bowl berth … but no playoff.

Meanwhile, the celebration still continues in Corvallis.

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