Coach: Herm Edwards (fifth season)
Offensive coordinator: Glenn Thomas (first season)
Defensive coordinator: Donnie Henderson (first season)
2021 record: 8-5/6-3
Last postseason appearance: 2021 Las Vegas Bowl (lost to Wisconsin)
Best-case 2022 scenario: 8-4
Worst-case 2022 scenario: 4-8
Projected starting quarterback: Emory Jones
Key question: Will so much coaching staff and roster turnover, much of it traced to the ongoing NCAA investigation, prompt a significant backslide in Tempe?
Sept. 1 (Thursday): vs. Northern Arizona
Comment: We gave serious consideration to predicting a loss but decided the Sun Devils will make a few too many plays for NAU to match in the fourth quarter.
Sept. 10: at Oklahoma State
Comment: Stiff challenge against a future conference opponent (kidding!) that’s coming off a 12-win season.
Sept. 17: vs. Eastern Michigan
Comment: Trap situation for the Sun Devils (after OSU, before Utah) but not sure the Eagles will have enough gas to withstand the heat.
Sept. 24: vs. Utah
Comment: It will be years before ASU has a better chance to topple Utah than the one presented at halftime last October in Salt Lake City.
Oct. 1: at USC
Comment: We question ASU’s physical condition one week after facing Utah’s brutality. Also, the overhauled secondary won’t quite be up to the challenge.
Oct. 8: vs Washington
Comment: UW’s first trip to Tempe since losing 13-7 as the fifth-ranked team in the country back in 2017. Less hoopla this time, and more points, but the same outcome.
Oct. 15: idle
Comment: Six games down, six to go — and the back half is easier.
Oct. 22: at Stanford
Comment: This sets up well for the Sun Devils, who are coming off a bye while Stanford returns home from South Bend. In fact, it sets up a bit too well.
Oct. 29: at Colorado
Comment: Semi-trap situation for ASU against a struggling opponent and with the Bruins lurking.
Nov. 5: vs. UCLA
Comment: At this point, we are past the point in which the media begins describing ASU as “inconsistent” or, perhaps, “wildly inconsistent.”
Nov. 12: at Washington State
Comment: The weather won’t be a problem. The turnovers will, again.
Nov. 19: vs. Oregon State
Comment: After visiting Corvallis the past three years — a quirk of the schedule rotation that happens once every global pandemic — the Devils finally get to host OSU.
Nov. 25 (Friday): at Arizona
Comment: ASU’s six-game winning streak in the Territorial Cup comes to an end in a fashion that we cannot currently fathom. But it will be memorable.
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