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ESPN’s Herbstreit has lofty expectations for Arizona State Sun Devils

A little more than a week away from their season opener against Texas A&M in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff in Houston, expectations are still all over the place for Todd Graham’s Arizona State Sun Devils.

Most believe it will be a good season for ASU, who is coming off a second straight 10-win season.

Pac-12 media picked the Sun Devils to finish second in the South Division, behind only USC. The preseason AP Poll has Arizona State ranked 15th.

But nobody, at least on a national level, has predicted loftier heights for the Devils than ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, who released his annual preseason “Herbie Awards” on Thursday.

Herbstreit picks the Sun Devils to beat Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game in Santa Clara on their way to an appearance in the College Football Playoff. The analyst projects the Sun Devils to be joined at the end-of-season party by defending national champion Ohio State, LSU out of the Southeastern Conference and the Oklahoma Sooners from the Big 12.

Herbstreit lauded a couple of individual Sun Devils as well. Senior wide receiver D.J. Foster earned nominations in the Ultimate Herbie and Most Exciting Player categories while senior quarterback Mike Bercovici is mentioned in the Welcome to the Party group, along with Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Jeremy Johnson of Auburn, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and Notre Dame’s Malik Zaire.

As bullish as the former quarterback is on ASU, Herbstreit didn’t pick the Devils to be celebrating their first national title on the field at University of Phoenix Stadium in January. That honor goes to his alma mater, Ohio State.

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