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Two pieces of Arizona State news

Here are two items that figure to rate as good news for Arizona State fans.

First, Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson will return for his fifth season in 2011.

Second, Pac-10 replay official Jim Fogltance will not be in the booth when Arizona State visits Arizona on Dec. 2. Fogltance is an Arizona graduate who drew fire after some of his replay calls during the Oregon State game in Tucson proved controversial.

As for Erickson, this isn't much of a surprise. While many national "hotseat" lists included him, there was little scuttlebutt around the program that Erickson had worn out his welcome, not to mention the financially strapped school didn't want to take on the financial burden of buying out his contract, which runs through 2012 after he signed an extension in 2008.

Further, the Sun Devils are going to be good next year -- they only started one senior in the 17-13 loss to Stanford.

In fact, depending on how things go with guys leaving early for the NFL across the conference -- read: Andrew Luck AND Jim Harbaugh -- Arizona State might be a darkhorse just behind Oregon in the 2011 preseason pecking order.