A day after the 2017 Arizona State Sun Devils kicked off their fall training camp in preparation for the season, Todd Graham’s team was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 South in a media poll released Wednesday.
The Sun Devils raced to a 5-1 start last season, before dropping their last six contests. In those six losses, ASU gave up an average of 46.7 points per game and their pass defense ranked last (128th) in the nation, allowing an average of 357.4 yards per game. With a 5-7 finish, the Devils failed to reach a bowl game for the first time in the Graham coaching era.
The USC Trojans, last year’s conference runner-up and Rose Bowl champion were picked to finish first in the South, as they garnered a total of 309 points from voters. Clay Helton’s team received 49 of 52 first-place votes to win the South and 28 votes to win the conference championship game.
No team from the South has won the Pac-12 Championship Game since its inception in 2011.
Utah was picked to finish second in the South, followed by UCLA and Colorado. ASU’s in-state rival, Arizona, was picked to finish last and had the lowest total number of points from voters.
In the North, defending conference champ Washington was tabbed to win the division, getting 49 first-place votes. The Huskies were followed by Stanford, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State and California.
Arizona State opens their season, the sixth under Graham, Thursday, August 31 at Sun Devil Stadium against the New Mexico State Aggies.
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