Posted by Tom Fornelli
In the middle of September, the Arizona State Sun Devils were 2-0 and nearly beat Wisconsin on the road to improve to 3-0, and there was some reason to be optimistic about the team this season. Since then, however, things have started going downhill in conference play, where the Devils have lost three of the first four, including a 50-17 beatdown from Cal last week.
Which has led some at the school to wonder about the status of head coach Dennis Erickson. Particularly if he'll be back running the program last season should things continue to head the direction they currently are. Well, Erickson can either rest easy or start cleaning out his office, because Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love just gave him the dreaded vote of confidence.
"Yeah, I believe he will be (back)," Love told the Arizona Republic. "We have to evaluate at the end of the year, every year, but he's our guy. I've heard a lot of this talk about a hot seat. I think we have a football-wise fan base that are saying and understanding (that ASU's program is on the rise).
"I fully expect Dennis will be our football coach and my days are spent thinking about how to support this football program and get it to where we want it to be, which is a Rose Bowl-caliber program. And I believe we've got a guy who can get us there."
Notice how even in Love's vote of confidence she doesn't say that Erickson will be back, but that she believes he'll be back? Yeah, I wouldn't take that as a good sign. In other words, the Sun Devils may want to start winning some games, which is easier said than done. While Arizona State still has two winnable games at home against Washington State and UCLA this season, they also have trips to USC and Arizona along with a home date against Stanford on the schedule.
Erickson had success in his first season at Arizona State, as the Sun Devils went 10-3 in 2007, but since then they've gone 12-19 are in danger of missing out on a bowl game for the third straight season.