Sun Devils welcome hype for once

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State is facing something new after three seasons without a bowl: expectations.

Deep, fast, athletic and talented, the Sun Devils are not only eyeing the Pac-12 championship and the Rose Bowl, they are shooting for New Orleans and the BCS title game.

Any other year, aspirations like that might have generated guffaws. There's still plenty of work for a team that hasn't won more than six games the past three seasons, but at least Arizona State appears to be on the right track.

The offense falls into the hands of junior Brock Osweiler, who played well the final two games in place of the injured Steven Threet. The defense, anchored by All-American candidate Vontaze Burfict, figures to be just as stout as it has been under coach Dennis Erickson.