November 25, 2011 | 3:22pm
A few hours from now, the Arizona State Sun Devils will take the field in Tempe against the equally mediocre California Golden Bears in what fairly can be called an "important" game.
Remarkably, the Devils still have a very decent chance of making it to the Pac-10 championship game against either Oregon or Stanford next week if they beat the Bears.
That, however, obviously is a mighty big if.
ASU has lost three games in a row to league lesser lights UCLA, Washington State and, stop the presses, last Saturday night's crushing downfall to the pathetic Arizona Wildcats.
We have a good friend who is an avid Sun Devils fan, has been for going on three decades.
You'd figure he'd like nothing more than a chance for his team to run the table with three wins--tonight, next week's league championship game, and then a nice bowl win somewhere.
This guy is praying (literally, we fear) for ASU to lose tonight on national TV (ESPN starting at 8:15 p.m.) and thus truly seal the deal for beleaguered head coach Dennis Erickson.
He doesn't think Erickson stands a chance of surviving to see next season at the helm unless the team hits the late-season trifecta.
We tried to explain that the odds of the Devils beating either the Ducks or the Cardinal if they reach the title game are slim at best, so not to worry.
But he is adamant, and we sense that he represents a whole lot of ASU football diehards.
Interesting turn of events, huh?