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Coach Todd Graham will need to have his Sun Devils ready right out of the gate due to their tough non-conference schedule in 2013.
Week 1 vs. Sacramento State (2012 6-5)
Week 2 vs. Wisconsin (2012 8-6)
Week 5 vs. Notre Dame (2012 12-1) at AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium)
ASU has the toughest non-conference schedule in the Pac-12 South.
Their season starts with Sacramento State, and this game could be close.
The Hornets have won two of their last three games against Pac-12 opponents, which means ASU can't overlook them.
After Sacramento State, ASU welcomes Wisconsin to Tempe.
ASU will be looking to avenge its defeat from 2010 due to a botched extra-point. Wisconsin will be looking for its first marquee win of 2013.
Wisconsin is the reigning Big Ten champion and should give the Sun Devils all they can handle. After all, the Badgers came within six points of beating Stanford last year in the Rose Bowl.
ASU's final non-conference opponent is Notre Dame.
This game should have all the intensity of a championship bout after Notre Dame tried to cancel its trip to ASU in 2014. This will be the biggest non-conference test for ASU as Notre Dame fell just short of winning the national title last season.
The reason ASU has the toughest non-conference schedule in the Pac-12 South is because they don't really have any game that's a guarantee.
Yes, the Sun Devils should easily beat Sacramento State, but Colorado and Oregon State thought they should have too.
Wisconsin and Notre Dame are both top-notch college football programs and will give ASU a run for its money. ASU will need to be clicking on all cylinders to win at least two of its non-conference games in 2013.
That is why the Sun Devils have the toughest schedule.