Here are the breakdowns of ASU players drafted by round since 1964. Until 2013, Arizona State had at least one player drafted into the NFL every year since 1964, one of the longest streaks in college football at the time.
ASU’s spring football camp is now over, and it was obvious to all observers that things have changed. Discipline, teaching, and hustle defined the practices. A clear break from the Dennis Erickson regime. Nothing has been proven on the gridiron just yet, but the trend is exciting Sun Devil Nation. Time to buy your season tickets.
I cannot wait for tonight’s game—this has been a very long offseason.
Expectations for the season
Dennis Erickson needs to win at least 8 games to save his job. He’s been building this team for too long.
The defense will be generally solid, especially against the run. We have enough talent on the offensive side of the ball to really challenge opposing teams. Team speed will be on display all season long.
With high expectations, new uniforms, and some experience, this team may return to the swagger of 2007.
Prediction for the season:
We will win 8 games this season. I was solidly in the 9-win camp until the rash of offseason injuries and departures. I think that the injury bug could easily steal at least one win from the team this year, so now I’m down to 8. If Brock plays well and doesn’t make too many critical mistakes, and if our pass rush makes up for the injuries in the secondary and at linebacker, I think we can easily win nine games, maybe even ten. The early stretch is going to be key. If the Devils can come out of the first four games at 3-1, we’ll be well on our way to a good to great season.
Net turnovers. That includes our turnover margin, as well as stupid penalties and dumb mistakes that stall offensive drives and give opposing offenses a second chance. ASU has not excelled in this area since Erickson’s arrival.
The kicking and punting game – new punter, new snapper, new holder, new kicker. Hey, what could go wrong here?
Depth, particularly on defense: starters Lawrence Guy, Omar Bolden, James Brooks, and Brandon Magee all gone, with additional injuries to backups such as Devon Spann. On offense, we’re missing experienced backups in Threet and Sakacsy, and significant contributors TJ Simpson and Deantre Lewis. Does this team have enough depth to overcome the string of bad luck we’ve had? If Brock goes down, it’s hard to think we’ll be able to compete for a South Division title.
It’s early fall in Phoenix, and that means another season of ASU football is upon us. After a shared PAC-10 championship in his first year, fan approval of Dennis Erickson was off the charts. Following two disappointing seasons — the first back-to-back losing seasons in 60+ years — there’s open discussion amongst fans of who ASU should pursue for the head coaching job in 2011. In what is otherwise a wide-open year for the Rose Bowl, the media has picked ASU to finish ninth in the conference.
What to expect
While the team will be returning what is expected to be a stellar defense, the questions all center around the offense. New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has installed an up tempo, spread ’em out and throw offense. That’s excited some fans, even though it resembles the quick strike offense so many of them came to despise about Dirk Koetter. However, this defense just may have enough depth for this philosophy to work. That is, however, if the offensive line stays healthy and manages to play above expectations, the quarterback position remains stable, and the wide receivers make consistent plays.
The offense will be improved, but not stellar. The lack of offensive line depth will remain a problem. The defense will not be quite as good as last year, but will be a solid and formidable force. After losing 4 games by a combined 13 points, we should see far better special teams play with Weber’s return. Erickson will pull out the stops when necessary; he’d better, his job is on the line.
This will be a better team than the 2009 team. Will it be enough?
Unfortunately, I think we’ll still end up a game or two short from a bowl game. We’ll win 5-6 games, but unless the offense improves significantly, I don’t think that we’ll be bowling again this year. There are still too many questions on offense, a challenging schedule, and a disinterested fan base. However, if the offense can get it going, this team will not finish 9th in the conference and will remain in the bowl mix.
Here’s a snippet of the original article, which is definitely worth the read.
Question: Can you explain the process behind scheduling non-conference opponents for ASU?
Answer: “The process has changed drastically over the past 3-5 years and three major things have contributed to that change in the landscape.
“One, the downturn in the economy coupled with the large guarantees that some schools are now paying — in excess of $1 million dollars.
“Two, the fact that more BCS schools are scheduling non-BCS school in home-and-home series. You didn’t see that five years ago. Now they’re getting Pac-10 schools to come to their stadiums which decreases our chances of getting those schools for guarantee games. So now when we call those schools to ask if they’ll come to Arizona State they say, “We will, but we want a return.”
“Third, more FBS schools are scheduling FCS schools for one of their annual non-conference games. I believe there are only three schools which have never played an FCS school. At least one of those schools is going to do that in the future and probably two of them. So 5-10 years ago where you had maybe 10-20 FBS schools playing a 1AA school per year, now almost everyone is doing it.
”So as a consequence, those opportunities for the FBS schools to play FBS opponents are gone. There are approximately 120 FBS schools now, but when 117 of them play a 1AA every year, that means 117 opportunities gone.
“So those three things have completely changed the scheduling landscape today and it’s basically happened over the last 3-5 years. So what we’ve had to do is adjust with that. We are no longer scheduling under the philosophy of A, B, and C (games). That just does not work anymore. It just does not apply to the new realm of scheduling.
It’s difficult to paint this as anything but a bad deal for ASU, but it seems like they did everything they could to try to replace the game. Jeff Metcalfe had a follow up today about Cincy’s role as ASU’s last chance—I agree that it’s going to be tough to get fans in the seats next year, which as pointed out by a commenter, could have some serious spiraling ramifications.
Another week, another disappointing Sun Devil loss.
It’s getting tough to figure out what’s wrong here, except that things have simply gotten progressively worse with this team since Erickson took over. He had a great 8-0 start to his ASU coaching career, but it’s been downright atrocious since then. I refuse to believe that it’s the talent.
Two stats tell the tale:
ASU will have its first back-to-back losing seasons since 1946-47. That was the third longest streak in major college football.
ASU set a school record last year of 6 consecutive losses. It could match that again this year.
Boy has it been frustrating.
The program squandered a great opportunity this season. It had a winnable schedule. It had a great defense. And there isn’t a truly dominate team in the conference this year. This was a great year for an above average team to make a run for the Roses.
Sure, there have been injuries. Many, many injuries. But, it’s not the injuries that have spelled doom for the Devils.
It’s been the coaching.
Erickson is a better coach than he’s shown at ASU thus far. But unless he makes some wholesale changes this offseason, which begins earlier than it should for a program like this, he should find himself on the hot seat in 2010. He knows that something is broken; let’s see if he can fix it.
For only the second time in my 23 years as a season ticket holder, I will not be at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday to watch the Arizona State Sun Devils take on the USC Trojans.
Even though USC will likely be huge favorites, it won’t be an easy game for me to miss.
Instead, I’ll be at the Rendezvous of Friends in Santa Fe, an annual gathering the organization I work at hosts for Friends groups from across the West. While I’ll be working during the game, it’ll be recording back home, I’ll get frequent score updates on my iPhone, and I’ll definitely be doning some maroon & gold.