Another season of Sun Devil football has embarked. Arizona State’s journey in 2011 is yet to be written. With spring practices underway, the Sun Devils have the opportunity to set the tone for the inaugural season in the Pacific-12 Conference.
The 2010 season has been relegated to the record books and future media guides only to be remembered with a 6-6 record. Honestly, when it is all said and done, a team’s record tells the entire story.
As the late, great Bob Marley sang, “Every man has the right to decide his own destiny.” With three bowl-less seasons in the rearview mirror, few fans believed ASU’s football squad was destined for greatness.
Now, after withstanding the growing pains and follies of bright-eyed freshmen, the experiences gained have been plentiful.
After finishing the season with two straight victories and winning three of their last five games, team morale is sky high for the Sun Devils. With their most recent games ending in victory, each practice and each repetition should be completed with confidence.
Although spring workouts do not determine a team’s win-loss record, the foundation of a solid program starts on the practice field.
If the excitement and energy to compete like champions in practice is evident, then that same championship mentality will carry over to game day.
But right now, there is no need to game plan for the next opponent; the season opener against UC Davis is months away. So, you better believe ASU’s coaching staff is going to motivate the maroon and gold players for the next 15 practices.
After all, the players on the team are not the only ones chomping at the bit to get back out on the gridiron. The Sun Devil coaches have the same fire burning inside their bellies as each player.
It also helps to have nine starters returning on both offense and defense. However, the key ingredient to a team’s performance is stability at quarterback. The leader has already been named and garnered merit for his on-field demeanor.
Junior Brock Osweiler is the incumbent at quarterback for the maroon and gold. Whether that brings optimism or uncertainty is unclear to many skeptics. Osweiler is one of the few key players with limited game experience on ASU’s roster.
Osweiler only has two-career starts under his belt, but also demanded the attention of every Sun Devil fan late last season with a roaring comeback against UCLA and an unforgettable victory against Arizona.
Perhaps the new opportunity of being “The Guy” under center for Arizona State will be all Osweiler needs to prove his ability.
Spring drills will be the first look at the 6’8” gunslinger as the day-to-day leader of this ASU team moving forward.
What type of character will this team build from the actions of their leader?
Each great team destined for greatness has that one shinning moment that defines their season. Brock Osweiler had that exact moment in the season finale versus Arizona.
Everyone remembers the moment like an Oscar-winning performance. With doubt creeping in of once again losing in heartbreaking fashion, Osweiler gathered his men and ordered victory, albeit in the most hostile of environments.
“In this bright future, you can’t forget your past."
The past certainly was not pretty, but the future appears to be in firm grasp of a determined leader. From that moment on, the Sun Devils realized their potential.
Now, what will be the Sun Devils’ destiny in the new Pac-12? That story is left untold, for now.