From the ashes of the loss to Arizona shall rise a new era of Sun Devil football.
At least, that's the hope.
With the heart-wrenching loss, the Sun Devils once promising season is now fully on life support and the tenure of Dennis Erickson in Tempe seems to be drawing to a close.
My personal belief that Houston's Kevin Sumlin is the right man for the job is no secret. However, there are certainly many quality choices out there that can conceivably tap into ASU's long-dormant potential.
I conducted an informal poll of local and national college football writers and media types, as well as a few devoted fans, to get their opinion of who should succeed Erickson.
Here are their choices, in no particular order.
"Ideally, someone like Gus Malzahn/Kevin Sumlin. Realistically, getting a guru on one side & an expert coordinator on the other could work.
"Eastern Michigan University Head Coach Ron English. Why? He is a great recruiter, has West Coast ties, played in the conference at Cal under Bruce Snyder, was defensive coordinator at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, has ASU ties as a GA and assistant coach under Snyder and Dirk Koetter. At EMU he took a team from 0-12 two years ago to 6-5 this season in arguably one of the worst jobs in the FBS. He is a defensive guru who will bring toughness and unity to the Sun Devils."
"IF, and that's a big if, ASU can get the NCAA's clearance on his 10.1 violation, I would like ASU to explore hiring Jim Tressel. Think big."
"All things considered, I'd say Mike Leach. Sumlin's intriguing, but I think Leach could flourish in Tempe."
"Sumlin as number one. Mike Leach number two."
"I'm totally serious when I say this: Mike Leach. I think with Arizona going to Rich Rod, ASU needs a name that can compete. Leach does that."
"Provided ASU does send Dennis Erickson a pink slip at the conclusion of the year, the big-name candidates will certainly be mentioned. But I'm not sure how realistic guys like Mike Leach or Mike Bellotti even are. Appealing to fans, yes. But realistic? With that said, why not give current San Diego State coach Rocky Long some consideration? The Sun Devils have had defensive issues in seasons before, and Long, as a former defensive coordinator could help infuse some life into a unit that has had talent but has been undisciplined at times."
"I would like to see Sumlin or Leach."
Jared Brandt - Fan
"I really like Sumlin. I know more about Leach and he would bring more buzz but I prefer Sumlin."
"If Ole Miss hasn't locked him up then I'd make a run at Larry Fedora. I'd like to see what he can do at a BCS school."
"I really like Butch Jones. We need a young guy who can connect with players...and knows how to use a smart phone."
"Mike Leach if we are going to make a change. I want him he because he disciplines player, knows how to win and recruit."
"I want Mike Bellotti. He's won in the conference before, can recruit well. I know his age is a concern, but I don't think that's a big issue."
Did your personal choice not get mentioned? Vote other in the poll and post his name and your reasoning in the comments.