Less than 18 hours after an effort to punch their tickets to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, the Sun Devils likely find themselves headed for a different Southern California destination this bowl season.
After suffering a 38-14 defeat at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal, the Sun Devils looked poised to land a bid to the Holiday Bowl in Qualcomm Stadium on Dec. 30.
Arizona State still has a strong chance of playing in the Alamo Bowl on the same day, but the Sun Devils will need the Sugar Bowl committee to select Oregon instead of Oklahoma as one of its BCS at-large participants.
The final spot in the BCS is up for grabs and most experts are predicting the Sugar Bowl committee to select a 10-2 Oklahoma team fresh off of a win against Oklahoma State over the Oregon Ducks. No Pac-10 or Pac-12 team has ever competed in the Sugar Bowl, so at the moment, an Oregon team whose fan base would have to travel across the country is not a likely bet.
If the Ducks are skipped over for a BCS spot, most bowl analysts believe that the Alamo Bowl will choose the 10-2 Ducks over the 10-3 Sun Devils for a trip to San Antonio. The Alamo Bowl has the choice of either team, and if Oklahoma is selected for the BCS, the Pac-12 selection would probably play Texas.
In the event that Oregon is selected to the Alamo Bowl, the Holiday Bowl committee is obligated to take Arizona State. The Sun Devils would travel to San Diego for a likely matchup with Texas Tech.
The Holiday Bowl is supposed to pit the Pac-12's No. 3 finisher against the Big 12's No. 5 finisher, but if Oklahoma is selected for the BCS, the Sooners would join Baylor as the second BCS team from the Big 12 and thus slide each team from the conference up one bowl slot.
The Sun Devils are probably rooting for the Ducks to be selected to the Sugar Bowl because the Alamo Bowl is a more lucrative matchup. Arizona State would play a team with more national notoriety like Texas or Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. The Holiday Bowl gives the Sun Devils the chance to play either Kansas State (7-5, 5-4) or Texas Tech (7-5, 4-5).
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