After climbing to the 13th spot in the AP poll on Sunday morning, the Arizona State Sun Devils made an even bigger statement in the BCS rankings revealed on Sunday night as they ascended to 12th overall.
The Sun Devils used a 38-33 victory over the previously-14th ranked UCLA Bruins to jump five spots from their spot at No. 17 heading into Saturday's contest.
The Sun Devils' victory over UCLA was the program's first win over a ranked opponent on the road since 2007, which is the last time that Arizona State recorded a 10-win season.
Arizona State owns a 9-2 record and a 7-1 mark in the Pac-12 conference and the Sun Devils are the only Pac-12 team with less than two conference losses. Todd Graham's squad is reaping the benefits of a six-game winning streak as the Sun Devils have vaulted one place ahead of the Oregon Ducks in the BCS standings.
The Sun Devils are ranked 16th in the Harris Poll and 18th in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, but the maroon and gold look great to the computers. Arizona State's average ranking in the computers used to calculate the BCS rankings is 6th overall, which puts the Sun Devils ahead of Clemson, Stanford, Baylor, and South Carolina among others.
One of the reasons the Sun Devils fare so well in the computers is their strength of schedule. After Saturday's victory, Arizona State has now recorded victories over three teams currently ranked in the BCS top 25.
The Pac-12 asks teams to play a nine-game conference schedule and the physicality of playing against quality opponents on a weekly basis has begun to take its toll on some teams. The Oregon Ducks dropped a 42-16 final to the unranked Arizona Wildcats in stunning fashion on Saturday and the Ducks slid to the 13th spot in the BCS rankings as a result.
While many Pac-12 teams have wilted under the pressure, the Sun Devils have simply taken care of business and now have an opportunity to host the conference championship game with a victory on Saturday against Arizona. If the Sun Devils lose, they will travel to Palo Alto to play the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal in a rematch of a September matchup that the Cardinal dominated.
But as for now, they'll focus on defending the Territorial Cup in their rivalry matchup with the Wildcats. The visiting team has won the last four contests in the Territorial Cup series, so Arizona State will look to reverse that trend and continue its rise to national prominence with its 10th win of the season.
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