...it still hurts.
Bad. Almost as bad as Rudy's bloodied and battered lower lip, which he swore wasn't bothering him after the loss last night.
It was the exact opposite of what we've saw all season: ASU played solid, inspired football in the first quarter and then laid down around the middle of the 2nd. It was disappointing, it was frustrating and it was deflating.
Last night's game proves what I've been thinking all season. While ASU has had a stellar season and is on its way to great things under coach Erickson, there is still a wide gap in program prominence between USC and ASU. It's just the way it is. USC still pulls the best recruits and the best talent from around the nation. There's a reason they're the 5-time defending Pac-10 Champions, and we saw it last night.
I had the pleasure of talking at length to Bill Platschke (of Around the Horn fame) last night, and he actually gave props to Arizona State. He said he came in not knowing what to expect from USC or ASU, but he did mention that if Southern Cal had not played "their best football game since 2005," the Sun Devils could have won the game.
I'm in the process of looking over my TiVo'ed replay of the game, and once I'm done, I'll have some analysis for you.
In the meantime, keep your heads high, Sun Devil Nation. There's still a PussyCats team to dismantle on December 1st, and a 10-win season to accomplish.