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Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson looks on from the sidelines during the first half of their NCAA college football game with Oregon, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)


What a difference six weeks makes.

Dennis Erickson woke up on the morning of September 25 with a 3-1 record (1-0 in conference) after they had just beat No. 23 ranked USC 43-22. They ran away with the game in outscoring USC 15-0 in the final quarter.

It was the first time the Sun Devils had beaten the Trojans in 11 tries.

Arizona State was headed back to the Top 25 after a one week hiatus.

Things were good in Tempe. Real good.

Three wins and three losses later (not in that order) and Erickson probably isn't waking up in the morning because I doubt he's ever going to sleep.

This is where we are six weeks after things were good.

The 6-4 Sun Devils have to win their very winnable remaining two home games and get some help to play in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game.

These two winnable games are coming off what everyone thought was two should-have-been wins. Oh how those can haunt a coach.

People are now calling for Erickson's job. Any type of slip up over the next 10 days and those calls are only going to get louder. Fire alarm loud.

Two convincing wins at home over the next 10 days and Erickson might be able to get back to a good night's sleep (until he realizes his squad will be headed up to Eugene for the second time this season).

Point is, let the season play itself out. In August if fans were told the Sun Devils were going to finish the season 8-4 and play in the Pac-12 Championship game they would have accepted it.

Slightly disappointed with all the pre-season hype that surrounded this team? Sure, but it would have been acceptable.

This team hasn't played in a bowl game since 2007. Get real with your 10+ wins or bust ideas.

A chance at nine wins in either the conference championship game or a bowl game and you're satisfied if you're a Sun Devils fan.

You're upset. You should be. But take a step back and do what Erickson and the team is doing, focus on that hated team 90 minutes south on I-10.


TY's Outtakes

What I learned this week…

I learned Gabrielle Giffords is doing better than I ever could have imagined 10 months after being shot in the head. I thought her story on 20/20 Monday night was incredible and I hope to continue hearing good news about her recovery. Her strength and fight is and should be inspiration for all of us. She is refusing to allow this to defeat her.

Tweet of the week…

@HuskerExtraSip: Think the season's not a grind? Carl Pelini left work at 2:30 a.m. Monday. Back before 7. #needanapbad

I don't mind this tweet, don't mind it at all. Big game in Ann Arbor on Saturday. If Denard Robinson is keeping you up at night you might as well work...

Suggestion of the week…

Is it the next big idea?

Who doesn't want to be an ice cream tester... even if it does taste like beer.

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