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Arizona State coaches to blame for Holiday Bowl letdown?

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10:46 AM ET 01.05 | Arizona State never recovered from missing out on the Rose Bowl. In March, Todd Graham dragged out a poster of the Rose Bowl trophy to spring practices. In August, he spoke of watching the Rose Bowl on a black-and-white TV growing up. In September, October and November, as the team played better and better, rarely did a week pass that the ASU coach didn't say something about, yup, striving for the Rose Bowl. When the players took the field against Stanford on Dec. 7 in the Pac-12 title game, they believed they would win and move on to Pasadena. Settling for San Diego, as lovely a city as it, was a letdown. It didn't take long in the Holiday Bowl to see how uninspired and half-hearted ASU's effort was. There were time-management issues, too, like taking too many timeouts early because players weren't properly lined up. Really? Fourteen games into the season? This loss falls on Graham. There is nothing wrong with striving for a high goal, but if a team falls short, a coach must find a way to inspire similar enthusiasm for a secondary pursuit.

Arizona Republic

Todd Graham, Christian Petersen/Getty Images Todd Graham, Christian Petersen/Getty Images
January 5, 2014  10:52 AM ET

Letdown because they didn't get to play in the Rose Bowl?

We've heard these excuses before.

Comment #2 has been removed
January 5, 2014  11:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Letdown because they didn't get to play in the Rose Bowl?We've heard these excuses before.

Pulling a Bama.

January 5, 2014  11:46 AM ET

They didn't come to the game ready to play and embarrassed themselves. That can't be good for recruiting.

January 5, 2014  11:54 AM ET

Same old sunny d's. They always lay an egg eventually. Always

January 5, 2014  12:38 PM ET

Hey the Sun Devils are an excellent well coached team.

NEXT!!!!

Comment #7 has been removed
January 5, 2014  02:49 PM ET

Winning the Pac12 south was a great accomplishment and coming one game shy of a shot at the Rose Bowl I think qualifies as a pretty good season for ASU.

... and how did pitt do this year? LOL.

Comment #9 has been removed
January 5, 2014  05:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I think everyone strives for a goal in college football. Going to play Fresno State anywhere in your bowl means you're already a loser, so who cares...

FIFY

January 5, 2014  10:00 PM ET

Whoever is responsible for monitoring this site should be ashamed of themselves for the non-existent job they are doing. You are supposed to filter out offensive and insulting comments and vulgarity. Yet 90% of the comments are vulgar, offensive, and insulting and you do nothing about it at all.

January 5, 2014  11:06 PM ET

So I guess that means that Nick Saban is just as "bad" as Graham ... on the years when he is not winning the NC, because when Bama has to "settle" for the lesser bowl they also fall flat on their faces.

January 6, 2014  12:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

So I guess that means that Nick Saban is just as "bad" as Graham ... on the years when he is not winning the NC, because when Bama has to "settle" for the lesser bowl they also fall flat on their faces.

When Graham and/or the sunny d's bring home NCG hardware then get back to us. Until then any coach or school with the hardware is exempt from your whining.

January 6, 2014  12:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

FIFYGoing to play Fresno State anywhere in your bowl means you're already a loser, so who cares

Fresno St. was 1 bad half from playing in a BCS bowl this season, and they were champions of their conference. The conference that dominates when they play SEC opponents. So beating an 11-1 FSU champion team is better competition than nearly all the other non-BCS bowls and some BCS bowls. FSU was a better team than UCF for sure.

January 6, 2014  02:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Whoever is responsible for monitoring this site should be ashamed of themselves for the non-existent job they are doing. You are supposed to filter out offensive and insulting comments and vulgarity. Yet 90% of the comments are vulgar, offensive, and insulting and you do nothing about it at all.

Are you serious?!

Get a grip, Nancy.

January 6, 2014  02:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

FSU was a better team than UCF for sure.

Yes we are, but we're 13-0, not 11-1.

There is only one FSU, and it sure as hell ain't Fresno.

January 6, 2014  12:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Whoever is responsible for monitoring this site should be ashamed of themselves for the non-existent job they are doing. You are supposed to filter out offensive and insulting comments and vulgarity. Yet 90% of the comments are vulgar, offensive, and insulting and you do nothing about it at all.

Oh ... Did someone hurt your itsy bitsy feelings??? Awwwwww ...

January 6, 2014  02:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Yes we are, but we're 13-0, not 11-1.There is only one FSU, and it sure as hell ain't Fresno.

Florida St. was irrelevant for so long that the real FSU became Fresno St.

IF Florida St. wins tonite, I'll make the announcement that people may again refer to them as FSU, because beating Notre Dame in the irrelevance bowl 2 years ago didn't do it for them.

January 6, 2014  04:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Winning the Pac12 south was a great accomplishment and coming one game shy of a shot at the Rose Bowl I think qualifies as a pretty good season for ASU. ... and how did pitt do this year? LOL.

They won the Little Caesar Pizza Bowl. 'Nough said.

 
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