"It's a fact: it's the greatest city known to man. Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego...which of course in German means a whale's vagina." - Ron Burgundy
And that's where ASU is headed. It's the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl for Arizona State in 2007, the cap of an astounding and exciting 10-2 season. ASU last appeared in the Holiday Bowl in 2002, when a Sun Devil squad led by Andrew Walter and Mike Williams lost 34-27 to #6 Kansas State.
Now, I know there's a lot of resentment around Sun Devil Nation that the Devils got snubbed by the BCS. In a sense, they did. A three loss team went to the BCS over two-loss Arizona State (and two-loss Missouri, by the way).
But folks, I'm here to tell you that after being in a room with John Junker and only five other people after their press conference that the Fiesta Bowl did NOT screw Arizona State.
The Fiesta Bowl never even had a chance to select ASU. Want to be mad? Call up the Rose Bowl people and ask them why the hell they felt it was worth taking three-loss Illinois as an at-large team just to preserve a Pac-10/Big Ten match-up which will inherently end with the Trojans turning Juice Williams into...well...juice, I guess.
This is what happened:
1) The pool of BCS teams to select includes 18 teams. 10 of them go to BCS bowls. 6 of them are conference champions and are guaranteed berths in BCS bowls, and one of them is Hawai'i, who is guaranteed a spot. That leaves three at-large berths for 11 remaining teams.
2) Ohio State and LSU finished #1 and #2 in the BCS rankings, meaning they get taken out of their automatic tie-ins and are reassigned to the BCS National Title Game. Oklahoma goes to the Fiesta Bowl because of an automatic Big 12 champion tie in. For the same reason, Virginia Tech goes to the Orange Bowl as the ACC champ.
3) There's a specific rule in the BCS that the bowls who get automatic tie-ins taken away due to the BCS title game get the first two picks to fill in their spots. Not surprisingly, the Sugar Bowl took Georgia from the SEC.
4) Then, for some ungodly reason, the Rose Bowl decided to take Illinois. So, with those two picks, the at-large pool shrinks to one more pick out of 9 remaining at-large contenders.
5) The Orange Bowl was next. They decided to take Kansas, which is important because they got the third and final at-large berth.
6) The Fiesta picked Oklahoma's opponent next and were limited to picking West Virginia or Hawai'i. They took the Mountaineers.
7) As expected, Hawai'i was the token fat kid playing football in elementary school and was picked last by the Sugar Bowl.
Therefore, it's as simple as the fact that by the time it was the Fiesta Bowl's turn to pick a team, they were no longer allowed to select Arizona State.
In reality folks, take a step back too. If you really expected Arizona State to be a Pac-10 Co-Champion and a 10-win team on September 1 and in the Holiday Bowl, raise your hand. Not too many, eh? I know I didn't expect it.
There's still time to be proud and excited about playing Texas in the Holiday, which is still a VERY respected bowl game.