Tempe is more abuzz than it's been since Arizona State senior associate athletic director, Rocky Harris, was a student.
Second-year coach Todd Graham has the Sun Devils prepared to play host to Stanford in the third Pac-12 Championship Game and the first in program history. And with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line, the anticipation has incited memories of the team's last trip to Pasadena, in 1996, when Harris was merely an undergrad.
"I haven't seen this type of excitement since then and even maybe that year," Harris told The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Thursday.
Although the game is produced by the conference, Harris is thrilled with the privilege to host it, sharing that he believed it would be a sellout. Because production is out of ASU's hands, there will be no pre-game fireworks or pro-Sun Devil videos on the docket.
"It is a somewhat neutral game," Harris explained. "I wouldn't call it neutral, though, with 68,000 ASU fans and 2,500 Stanford fans, that's not very neutral.
"But they're trying to make it so it's as fair as possible for the opposing team."
What's more? Stanford has had so much trouble selling their portion of tickets that they sent back a share to Arizona State yesterday, according to Harris.
"Stanford returned about a quarter of theirs which, to me, I'd rather have a quarter empty seats than a quarter in red or cardinal cheering on their team," he told the show.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.
Remaining tickets can be purchased online, by calling (480) 965-5333 or at the Sun Devil Stadium box office.