Externally, there is no talk of a college football playoff birth or a perfect 15-0 season.
The times and expectations have changed around Arizona State football entering the 2016 season and at least one college football insider believes it could be just what Team Sparky ordered.
“Last year a lot of folks were picking them to make the playoffs,” long-time college football insider and publicist Phil Steele told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Monday. “They came into a bad season going 6-7. This year they’re completely under the radar. Nobody is talking about them.”
Part of the uncertainty around the Devils is at quarterback where a trio, potentially quartet of underclassmen are will battle it out at camp to become the heir apparent to Mike Bercovici.
ASU’s defense is expected to be far improved this season after allowing at least 34 points seven times in 2015, including 138 in their last three games (two losses). The Devils are hoping their latest recruiting class will help balance a roster which suffered key losses on both sides of the ball.
“They need this juco fix that Todd Graham has gone to,” Steele explained to Cesmat. “They brought in some great athletes from the junior colleges…Arizona State is more experienced than the 10 returning starters would indicate.”