Earlier I posted a breakdown of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Here are three games from their schedule I am ready to see today.
Last year's game at Arizona State was a 37-30 overtime win for the Sun Devils. I’m not so sure I need to say a whole lot more about why I want to watch this game. A one-possession game decided in overtime pretty much says it all in my opinion. But here are a couple other things to consider.
Missouri will be coming off their first SEC conference game against Georgia and may be preoccupied with their next game, South Carolina. Both of those teams are considered favorites to contend for the SEC east division. It might not even just be these two games. I am sure that the move to the SEC itself is going to be on the minds of Missouri.
Arizona State could have their own distractions as they look at facing Utah the following week. Not to mention the new coaching staff and schemes. The difference is that the Sun Devil players are already familiar with the conference even if their coaches are not. Still the situation at Arizona State may be too much to overcome to have immediate success for new head coach, Todd Graham.
If it comes even remotely close to last season's game as far as competitiveness, then sign me up.
Arizona State came up just short last season and lost by one point after giving up a touchdown with less than a minute to play and then missing a game-winning field goal as the clock struck zero. This was at UCLA. In fact, these two have been trading wins for the last four seasons with the home team being the victor each time.
Both of these teams will be going at it with new head coaches, but the meeting is well into the season. So by the time they play, I would think that both would be used to the changes. Arizona State has the added task of replacing more starters than UCLA needs to.
UCLA was the south division representative last year in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game. It came down to the final weeks worth of games that eliminated Utah and Arizona State from taking their place.
With USC being eligible for the postseason again, including the conference championship game, I would be surprised if the same situation played out. I would also be surprised if either of these teams were actually in contention for the division to be perfectly honest.
Of course I am going to pick the Trojans, but not because they are the favorite to win the division. Its because Arizona State destroyed them last season and I want to see their response. Nothing against Arizona State, but they shouldn’t have won that game in that fashion last season.
The drubbing that Arizona State delivered to USC in 2011, in my opinion, was a response to the heartbreaking loss to USC in 2010. USC blocked an extra point and returned it for two points half way through the fourth quarter. A couple minutes later USC scored a field goal to give them a one-point lead. And that was all she wrote.
USC is the favorite to win the division, but they have a tendency to slip up somewhere along the way.Last year that was with Arizona State. The Trojans need to focus in on the task at hand if they don’t want a repeat of last season.
All offseason I have been hearing about how the USC team that lost to Arizona State wasn’t the same team that finished the season. They keep talking about it, but when this game comes around in November, the time to talk will be over. USC will be playing for redemption, while Arizona State looks to prove their win wasn’t just a fluke.
I said before I would be surprised if Arizona State was really a contender for the division but after USC the rest is pretty wide open. This game may not decide the division but will definitely be a factor.
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