TEMPE, ARIZ. (AP) - Not even an improbable win over rival Arizona was enough to get Arizona State into a bowl.
The school said Friday that the NCAA has denied its waiver request for a bowl bid, less than 24 hours after the Sun Devils blocked two extra points to beat Arizona in double overtime.
“It is a pretty steadfast rule, but I thought we had a chance in our discussions with the NCAA because of our situation,” Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said. “They didn’t OK it and I understand that.”
Arizona State finished 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10 after defensive end James Brooks blocked an extra point late in regulation and again in the second overtime in Thursday night’s 30-29 road win over Arizona.
The Sun Devils needed seven wins to automatically become bowl eligible because two of its games were against Football Championship Subdivision schools, but had hoped the NCAA would grant a waiver to allow them to get in with six wins.
The NCAA didn’t, abruptly ending Arizona State’s season without a bowl for the third straight year.
“It was a powerful way to end the season last night in Tucson,” Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love said. “We are disappointed in the outcome that we are not going to a bowl game, but everyone involved worked very hard to make that happen.”
Arizona State originally didn’t have two FCS schools scheduled, but San Jose State backed out of a scheduled game and left the Sun Devils scrambling. They couldn’t find an FBS opponent and ended up having to add lower-division Portland State, which they beat handily.
Arizona State had plenty of chances to reach seven wins, losing four games by four points or less, including two in which they had an extra point blocked. The Sun Devils evened out the blocked-PAT ledger with the two in the emotional win over Arizona, but it wasn’t enough to sway the NCAA.
“We end up going 6-6 and beating the University of Arizona,” Erickson said. “We would have liked to have played another game, but we didn’t win seven games, that’s the bottom line. We did finish the season like we wanted. I’ll take that game last night over any bowl game.”