Vegas Foresees A Quick Return To First Place For The Sun Devils

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict #7 of the Arizona State Sun Devils gestures as he warms up for the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 29-28. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Following the Prostration in Pasadena on Saturday, many Sun Devil faithful are sounding the all too familiar panic alarm that follows every ASU defeat.  Such is life in the fairweather Phoenix sports scene. 

After what transpired at the Rose Bowl in a game rife with South division implications, it's somewhat understandable for fans to be worried and dejected.

Yes, third and 29 was horrific.

Yes, any FBS scholarship kicker should make one of three sub-50 yard field goals, especially a 36-yarder.

Yes, the Sun Devils no longer control their own destiny in the South division, and now need help in the form of a UCLA loss.

Well, the experts of prognostication in Las Vegas seem to believe that such help will come this weekend.

The initial oddsmakers peg the Sun Devils as a 13-point favorite over the woeful Washington State Cougars in a game that figures to see it's share of snow. That in itself should come as no surprise, as the Cougars are a terrible team currently riding a five-game losing streak. 

Where the raised eyebrows enter in is the line for UCLA's game against Utah. Granted, it's a road game for the Bruins, and the Utes have had some fine efforts this season, but Utah is a full seven point favorite over UCLA. That is somewhat surprising, but given the sporadic nature of both teams, it's certainly plausible. 

Should both scenarios play out as Vegas suggests, then the Sun Devils will return to the top of the Pac-12 standings, and the doomsday prophesiers from a week ago will once again don their maroon and gold just in time for the Duel in the Desert.

The bottom line is that Saturday's result, while tragic, was merely a setback and not the deathblow many are making it out to be. ASU's remaining schedule of Washington State and two home games against Arizona and Cal is a much more desirable road that UCLA's of very tough road games against Utah and USC bookending a home date against Colorado.

Hold fast, Sun Devil nation. In Brock we trust, right?

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