TEMPE, Ariz. -- With a 46-7 whipping of Washington State on Saturday, Arizona State knocked out a couple short-term goals: get bowl-eligible and win the seniors' final home game.
The most significant impact of the win, however, will be felt in the big picture, as a trip to the postseason in coach Todd Graham's first year provides a boost in momentum few predicted when he took over the Sun Devils.
"That's something that's got to be a minimum for our program every year," Graham said of getting bowl-eligible. "Obviously our expectations are a lot higher than that, but the extra practices and the extra time with these seniors is pretty important. And obviously there's the impact it has on recruiting.
"You can't build a program without it."
Graham is right. To build what he is attempting to in Tempe, the Sun Devils have to play in bowl games nearly every year. The true goal is obviously a Rose Bowl or better, but earning a bowl bid in ...