Complete listing of ASU players drafted into NFL

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.

Note: where the player was drafted by both the NFL and AFL, I chose the lowest round. Note, this tally and the listing below do not include free agent signings. Continue reading Complete listing of ASU players drafted into NFL

ASU’s athletics graduation rate at all-time high; UA last again

For the fourth straight year, ASU has improved its Graduation Success Rate, reaching an all-time high. It now sits one point shy of its 80% goal (established when the GSR was created) and only 4 points from second place in the conference.

“The graduation success rate is the most significant measure of student athlete academic achievement that exists, ” said Jean Boyd, Associate Athletic Director for the Office of Student-Athlete Development. “This is the fourth consecutive year that we have improved in our Graduation Success Rate. The 79-percent ranks us in the Top 5 of the Pac-12, which is an elite academic and athletic conference. We are just one percentage point away from our goal of reaching 80-percent and are working hard to reach that goal.”

In addition, ASU’s football team ranks third in the conference, trailing only Washington and perennial leader Stanford. UA, which has often unfairly denigrated ASU’s academics while performing much worse, again manages to rank dead last.

ASU has been helping to set the national lead in academic support services and innovation in the last few years, owing much of its success to Jean Boyd and a renewed athletic department commitment to academics. Kudos to another year of solid improvement.

ASU football and momentum for 2011

Last year was a tough year for Sun Devil fans. So many hard fought and close games, each lost in frustrating fashion: botched extra point, an unfair penalty at a critical moment, a missed field goal, a shoestring tackle inches short of the goal line. So close.

Ending the season with two wins, including a dramatic double overtime win over Arizona that finally saw the Devils win the close one, however, sparked some momentum. Along with a host of returning starters, a new logo and uniforms, and some high media expectations, the Sun Devils finally feel like they may have some momentum heading into the 2011 campaign.

It’s Time —> ASU’s celebration of the past

Leading up to its big rebranding announcement, ASU’s been celebrating its past. Here’s a recap of all of the videos they’ve released thus far.

I’m excited to see ASU put together another marketing campaign—I enjoyed the Sun Devil Laws and the 2007 football season videos.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda: ASU Football 2010

The media picked ASU to finish 9th in the conference in 2010.

In frustrating fashion, ASU has improved on that prediction, but not by much. ASU could finish as high as 5th in the conference depending on how it does against Arizona on Thursday. It won’t finish worse than 8th, but could also ring in its third consecutive losing season—something Sun Devil faithful haven’t borne in their lifetimes.

My preseason prediction was pretty close—we’ll end the season with either 5 or 6 victories and fall just short of a bowl game. It’s another disappointing record for a team that was supposed to be on the cusp of competing annually for conference championships by firing Dirk Koetter.

Instead, the team has seen unprecedented losing streaks and the first back-to-back losing seasons since WWII. While the team clearly has upgraded its talent—particularly its speed—in the last few years and shared a conference championship in 2008, it’s also suffered from its share of near-misses.

In 2009, the Sun Devils lost 4 games by a combined 13 points without its Lou Groza Award-winning kicker. Thus far in 2010, ASU has lost 4 games by a combined 9 points with a suddenly-mediocre Lou Groza Award-winning kicker. Adding to frustration of fans, ASU had a chance to pull off upsets of Wisconsin, Oregon and Stanford but came up just short, often on weird or unusual plays.

In spite of the reassurances from the athletic department, Dennis Erickson is on the hot seat of fans. Many believe that he’ll need at least an 8-win season in the new PAC-12 next year to retain his job. Given the youth of the team (how many teams have you heard of that only start one senior?), the close-but-not-quite losses, and the resulting turmoil a coaching change can have, I’m willing to give him another year. But he has no excuses for next year.