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What if...Arizona State beat Oregon State in 2014?

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The Beavers doomed any playoff hopes

Arizona State v Oregon State Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Every Sun Devil fan would like to forget the image of Oregon State’s Michael Doctor returning Taylor Kelly’s pass to the end zone with just over a minute left in the game. Most can’t wipe their memories of the embedded moment.

Although, what happened if Kelly and Arizona State drove down the field to set up Zane Gonzalez for the game-winning field goal to win 30-28 over the Beavers. What if instead of losing as the sixth-ranked team in the college football playoff rankings, the Sun Devils survived an upset scare from the 4-5, Oregon State team. What if Arizona State won its sixth straight game, then its seventh over Washington State, and finished the regular season with a Territorial Cup win over Arizona.

The Sun Devils then meet up with the Oregon Ducks for the Pac-12 title game and a spot in the first ever College Football Playoffs. Coming in winning eight straight, including five wins over ranked opponents. Arizona State claims the victory and heads into the CFP as the three seed against Florida State.

Would the Sun Devils have enough juice to take down Heisman winner Jameis Winston and the Seminoles? And if they did, what about containing Ezekiel Elliott and Ohio State in the title game?

The butterfly effect from losing the Oregon State contest and the 2014 season never reaching its potential creates more questions. Would Todd Graham still be the Sun Devils’ head coach? What would the exposure of playing in the College Football Playoff have done for the program? Would the Notre Dame upset mean more to Sun Devil fans today? Would ‘Jael Mary’ be a national treasure moment in college football history that sparked a national championship run? So many what ifs, but in the end, that is all it is.