The Arizona State football team’s Oct. 4 game at Southern California may have been close, but it wasn’t in our latest poll.
In the most recent Sanderson Ford Poll Question of the Day, we asked what was the game of the year in the realm of all of Arizona sports.
We filtered hundreds of games down to six options, but the competition wasn’t even that close.
Voters overwhelmingly chose ASU’s 38-34 comeback victory as the Arizona sports game of 2014. Out of 816 voters, 422 (52 percent) took this option.
The improbable win was highlighted by second-string quarterback Mike Bercovici’s 510 passing yards and five touchdowns, as well as wide receiver Jaelen Strong’s 10 catches for 202 yards and three TDs, including what now is referred to as the “Jael Mary.”
In a distant second in our poll was ASU’s basketball team beating the then-No. 2 Arizona Wildcats 69-66 in double overtime, a game remembered for center Jordan Bachynski’s big block to seal a Sun Devils win. This option garnered 129 votes (16 percent).
In third was the Arizona Cardinals’ Week 8 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, a game in which Carson Palmer threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns, Antonio Cromartie intercepted two passes, and Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown both recorded long TD catches. The Cardinals’ 24-20 win on Oct. 26 took 13 percent of the vote (109 total clicks).
Next up was Arizona’s 31-24 upset of the then-second-ranked Oregon Ducks on the road on Oct. 2, which consumed 9 percent (73 overall) of all votes in our poll. The result was an early surprise over a powerhouse for a Wildcats program that was on its way to a Pac-12 Championship game berth.
Fifth in our poll was the Territorial Cup game between Arizona and Arizona State on Nov. 28. Just one touchdown separated the two in-state teams in Tucson, but the game earned just 7 percent (61 total) of all votes in our poll. Our hosts and writers actually picked this showdown as the 2014 game of the year, but readers obviously had different sentiments.
The sixth, and final, option is the poll was Arizona beating Cal with a Hail Mary on Sept. 20. Austin Hill’s 47-yard game-ending catch capped a 36-point quarter for the Wildcats, but the contest garnered just 22 votes (3 percent) in our poll.
Here’s to a big 2015 for our Arizona sports teams.