Sun Devils have an uphill climb this season
Forks up, ASU faithful! The first game of the season is Thursday night against our friends from up north, the NAU Lumberjacks.
- The Sun Devils should be able to pull off an easy win against NAU — but that might be the only easy thing about this season.
State of play: ASU has had a tough off season in almost every way.
- Five of the team's top coaches resigned or were fired in the months following the NCAA's announcement that it was investigating the team for recruitment violations.
- At least 13 players, including starting quarterback Jayden Daniels and leading receiver Ricky Pearsall, left the team through the transfer portal.
Oh, and this little thing: ASU president Michael Crow and athletic director Ray Anderson were caught flat-footed when USC and UCLA announced their departure from the Pac-12 searching for more TV revenue with the Big Ten.
- Crow in particular has been a vocal supporter of former Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who has taken blame for subpar deals for the conference.
Yes, but: We've got some new blood to try out. ASU scored 14 transfers, including nine from the Power Five.
- Florida transfer Emory Jones will start as quarterback.
- Offensive lineman and Valley native Joey Ramos comes to ASU after three active seasons at Iowa State.
- Wide receiver Cam Johnson (no known relation to the Suns' Cam Johnson) joins the Sun Devils from Vanderbilt.
Reality check: The new talent likely won't be enough to save ASU from a mediocre season.
- The first half of the Sun Devils' schedule includes tough opponents like Oklahoma State, Utah and USC.
- Experts predict the team will win no more than eight games this year and may even lose to UofA for the first time in six years (😱say it ain't so!).
😈 Jessica here: My first year at ASU (2011), the Sun Devils won only six games and lost to UofA at home 27-31. My fandom can weather anything.
More Phoenix stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Phoenix.