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ASU vs. Cal: Staff Gameday Roundtable

Find out what our staff thinks about today's game.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Our Panel:
Ryan Bafaloukos - Co-Managing Editor | @RyanBafo
Josh Nacion - Co-Managing Editor | @Josh_Nacion
Kaelen Jones - Staff Writer | @kaelenjones
Kristina Vicario - Staff Writer | @KristinaV_18
Connor Pelton - Staff Writer | @ConnorPelton28
Shane Theodore - Staff Writer | @shane_writes

Short Answer

Q: Now that the Sun Devils are bowl eligible, where would you like to see them go?

Nacion: Poinsettia, only because I just relocated to the San Diego area, and it would allow me to cover the team in person once before before the season is over.

However, the Armed Forces Bowl would be best for ASU because it would be Todd Graham's dream bowl if there wasn't a hierarchy. It's a huge tribute to the military and an opportunity to showcase in Texas — both things Graham really loves. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if ASU broke out the PT42 throwback jerseys if it were invited.

Jones: I've seen ASU projected to the Cactus/Arizona Bowl. I'd hope for them to be slotted there, simply for the sake of having home-field advantage in the matchup.

Pelton: The Las Vegas Bowl would definitely be my pick. That would require a lot of things falling into place, but it is still possible. Outside of that, I wouldn't mind seeing a bid to the Cactus or Poinsettia bowls.

Theodore: ASU isn't going to be taking a step up in the bowl hierarchy this season, so why not go to the Las Vegas Bowl, take one of the upstart non-Power 5 teams and hop over to California for some recruiting business while they're at it. Or just sink to the bottom of the Pac-12 bowl barrel and stay in Phoenix for the Cactus Bowl.....Vegas sounds more interesting.

Vicario: I think it would be a successful end to the season to see ASU go to the Independence Bowl with seven wins under its belt and face a team like Louisville or Virginia Tech and get a bowl victory to cap off a mediocre season.

Bafaloukos: I agree with Shane and Connor and will say the Las Vegas Bowl. I think it is a desirable destination for ASU fans, they would play the Mountain West Champion and the team recruits in Nevada. More likely, I see them in the Cactus Bowl with a win tonight and the Independence Bowl with a loss.

Q: Who has been ASU's Most Valuable Player this season? Not necessarily their best player or most outstanding, but their MVP.

Nacion: Co-MVPs have to go to Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage. If at least one of them is having a great game and gets the ball late in games, ASU wins, period. Without them, the Sun Devils' offense is a complete disaster.

Jones: Hard to say. I think it'll come down to Salamo Fiso and Antonio Longino, when you consider the consistent impact they've had on the defensive side of the ball for the team this year.

Pelton: Devin Lucien is quickly becoming the team's most valuable player. I don't know if he is the best player, but the offense performs much better whenever he has a big game.

Theodore: Hard to draw an MVP out of a 6-5 team but I'd say Devin Lucien's progression into the WR 1 has been the most impressive and surprrieing of ASU's top producers.

Vicario: I'd give Tim White the MVP award this season. He's had countless explosive moments that have picked up a stagnant offense over and over again this season and made huge contributions on special teams as well.

Bafaloukos: I think the defense has carried this team throughout the season so I am going to give it to Salamo Fiso. I think that Fiso has a great chance to win Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year so I am going to give him MVP for leading a pretty good defense this year.

Q: Looking back on this season, which loss hurts the most for one reason or another?

Nacion: Utah. The Sun Devils had a fourth quarter lead against the then No. 4 team in the nation and blew it due to some horrible mistakes. Had ASU won, it probably would've given the Sun Devils so much momentum that it would have changed the Oregon and Washington State outcome and could've been a 9-2 team at this point of the season.

Jones: Utah. The Sun Devils really had a chance to make up for the opening loss against Texas A&M with a win over a top-five team, but really let it slip out of their hands. That loss was followed by a three-game losing streak, so in one way or another, it was a pivoting point for the team.

Pelton: I think the loss against Oregon was the worst, just because of how close it was and the heartbreaking way it ended. The other four losses were all pretty much decided before the final minutes of the game.

Theodore: They were all terrible in their own way. Texas A&M made us think ASU wasn't as good as we thought they were, USC confirmed that. Utah was a statement win waiting to happen, one that a lot of saw coming after the UCLA performance. Oregon was the most excruciating way to end an incredible game and Wazzu was the loss we all knew would come eventually but had avoided for so long.

Vicario: Oregon. No question. Ending a game on an interception always hurts, but especially a game that went into triple OT and one where Oregon was the clear favorite from the beginning. ASU was on the cusp of an upset and then handed it away on one throw.

Bafaloukos: I am going to say Texas A&M. It was the first game of the season, in front of a national audience with fancy uniforms and the Sun Devils were dominated along the line of scrimmage and they looked slow. To me, that loss set the tone for the season.

More Predictions

Jones Naction Theodore Pelton Vicario Bafaloukos

Over/Under: 400

Passing Yards for Goff?

Under Over Under Under Under Under

ASU Receiver with the Most

Yards Today?

Lucien Lucien Lucien Lucien Lucien White
Key Position Group for ASU?

Edge Pass


Safeties Linebackers Punter O-Line Secondary

Will this Game End Before or After

1:30 a.m. ET? (3 1/2 hours)

After Way After After Before After After
Who Wins? ASU, 27-24 Cal, 48-45 (OT) ASU, 41-34 Cal, 38-34 ASU, 34-24 ASU 41-34