Arizona State's 30-29 double overtime upset of Arizona on Thursday in the annual battle for the Territorial Cup gave the Sun Devils their fourth win over their bitter rival in six years. It also gave the Hyundai Sun Bowl hope that a team from the Pacific-10 Conference will be available to play in the annual El Paso game.
With the win, Arizona State improves to a 6-6 overall record, the magic number for bowl eligibility (NCAA rules on FCS beatdowns notwithstanding). The Sun Devils are the Pac-10's fourth bowl-eligible team. And No. 5 could come Saturday if Washington can win its annual Apple Cup rivalry game against sliding Washington State. The Sun Bowl contractually has the fourth selection of Pac-10 teams. And with all scenarios pointing to two of the conference's teams -- Oregon and Stanford -- landing in Bowl Championship Series games, the concern was the Sun Bowl would have to shop outside the conference to fill the void left by the Pac-10 to face an Atlantic Coast Conference team.
May no longer a problem.
Assuming an Oregon win over Oregon State on Saturday (the Ducks are favored by 16.5 points) and a Washington win over Washington State (Huskies favored by 10), count on Arizona State, or possibly Washington, coming to El Paso on New Year's Eve to very likely face Miami.
The Hurricanes meeting former coach Dennis Erickson? That sounds like good TV. And a much more exciting option than Toledo. The Sun Bowl might be hip again.