ASU Season Preview: Ranking the 2011 Schedule's Critical Games for a BCS Bid

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ASU Season Preview: Ranking the 2011 Schedule's Critical Games for a BCS Bid
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For the Arizona State Sun Devil football team, the 2011 season presents the most important crossroads the program has faced in quite some time.

If they take the all-too-familiar "fail to meet expectations" route, then their place as perhaps the preeminent example of a big school with wasted powerhouse potential will be further cemented.

However, if they decide to rise up and meet the challenge of title contending hopes, then this team can begin the long overdue process of laying the foundation for ASU's ascent to a true football power, not simply one that has the occasional great season floating in a sea of mediocrity.

There are many things working in the Sun Devils favor, as well as many obstacles and question marks in their way to a BCS game.  Those factors will come into play this fall when the team opens their season on September 1st against UC Davis, the first of twelve program-defining games.

Not all NCAA football games are created equal.  Some will have a major impact on the team's season, while others will be far less profound.

Let's take an in-depth at the 2011 Arizona State schedule and work our way up to the season's defining game.

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