Sun Devils embracing the underdog role in Pac-12

Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards says he doesn’t pay attention to outside noise. He doesn’t care what the media says about him or his team and doesn’t take anything personally.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as motivation.

So, before each team meeting, Edwards begins with a projection of the Pac-12 conference, which this year has his Sun Devils in 10th place, with rivals Arizona and Colorado the only teams chosen to finish lower.

The reasons for the low expectations are many, and when it comes to the 2022 version of the Sun Devils, there seem to be more questions than answers, not the least of which is Edwards’ future with the show.

The cloud of the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations still hangs over and shows no signs of lifting any time soon.

July 29, 2022;  Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards during Pac-12 Media Day at Novo Theater.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

That investigation led to a historically bad recruiting class. There were mass defections, with many of the team’s best players jumping ship. The Sun Devils brought in reinforcements through the transfer portal. Among them is quarterback Emory Jones, who started last year at Florida, but it remains to be seen how the 43 newcomers stack up with the veterans, though players say they’ve done well.

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