Friday, August 29, 2008

Pac-10 falls even further behind

A must read column from Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Excerpt:
I was still getting calls late Monday night about the SEC’s staggering 15-year deal with ESPN that will reportedly pay the league about $2.25 billion. That deal, coupled with the 15-year deal the SEC has signed with CBS will give the league financial security for a long, long time.
In addition to the SEC, the Big Ten and Big XII have pretty impressive TV deals in place. Meanwhile, the silence from the Pac-10 office is deafening.

Devil Dome pics

A severe storm hit Tempe last night and pretty much destroyed the Devil Dome. Thanks to tiptap for the picture. Additional photos here and here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The most important game of the season is...

Forget UGA, forget U$C. One game stands out as the most critical on the Sun Devils' schedule: Stanford. That's right, the trees. Why? Because it's the Pac-10 opener, and this game has historically been a strong predictor of the season.

Consider these numbers (which count conference games only): since joining the Pac-10 in 1978, ASU has lost the conference opener 17 times, and in those seasons has gone a combined 57-70-2 (a 45% win percentage). However, in the 11 seasons in which we have won our first Pac-10 game, the composite record is 56-31-0 (a 64% win percentage). We tied our opener in 1983 and 1986 and finished a combined 9-4-2 in those seasons.

Since 1982, ASU has only once (in 1999) lost the conference opener and finished with a winning record in the Pac-10. Conversely, 1994 was the only season where the Sun Devils won their conference opener but finished below .500 in the Pac-10.

So feel free to overlook NAU, but don't overlook the Cardinal. September 6 in Sun Devil Stadium is the most important game of the season.