|Stunning loss to UNLV drops ASU from Top 25|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 14 September 2008 15:09|
The Sun Devils (2-1) fell from No. 15 to fifth among ``others receiving votes'' after losing to the Rebels on a blocked field goal attempt by Thomas Weber, the 2007 Lou Groza Award winner as the nation's top place-kicker. Malo Taumua's block came after Kyle Watson kicked a 20-yarder on the Rebels' overtime possession.
Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said he had bigger concerns - starting with Saturday's visit by No. 3 Georgia - than falling out of the AP poll.
``I don't know if we should have been in there to start with,'' he said from his campus office.
The upset ranks among the more shocking losses in ASU history, comparable to a 35-7 home loss to New Mexico State under Bruce Snyder in 1999. The Sun Devils were ranked 22nd going into that debacle. They dropped from the poll and didn't return until October 2002.
go on to the next one now,'' Erickson said.
The upset took the air out of the long-awaited visit by Georgia, which dropped one slot in Sunday's poll after a 14-7 victory at South Carolina on Saturday. ESPN's ``College Gameday'' crew scrapped a plan to broadcast from Tempe and instead will be headed to Auburn, Ala., for LSU-Auburn.
Arizona State's loss capped a terrible weekend for the Pac-10, which went 1-5 on the road and was swept in four games against the Mountain West Conference. Another conference member, California, also fell from the rankings on Sunday after a loss at Maryland.
Given Arizona State's history of inconsistency, the abrupt fall from the rankings might not come as a shock.
The Sun Devils' No. 15 preseason ranking was their highest since 1998, when they opened at No. 8. They dropped from the rankings after losing their first two games that year.
Since joining the Pac-10 in 1978, Arizona State has been ranked in the preseason top 15 only three times. Twice it finished unranked, and the third time it dropped six spots in the final poll.
Now the question is whether ASU can find its way back into the rankings.
No. 17 Oregon.
First the Sun Devils have to deal with the shock of losing to the Rebels, who have beaten five ranked teams in school history.
Senior quarterback Rudy Carpenter, one of the team's leaders, said he expects his teammates to bounce back.
``I will say that I know the character of this team is really good,'' Carpenter said after the game. ``I know we have great leadership and that this next week in practice we are going to pick it up.''