A friend of mine fired off a tweet a couple weeks back that I still believe holds true today.
it is unbelievable how bad ASU has gotten this quickly
— Tridiots (@Tridiots) November 4, 2012
The Sun Devils have gone from 5-1 to 5-5 (they were 5-4 when the tweet was sent), so yeah, the slide could be seen as “unbelievable”.
Except, as my colleague Vince Marotta writes, all this shows is this year’s Devils are not any different from the team’s fielded the last few years, where prolonged losing streaks have been kind of the norm.
As an Arizona alum and fan, I’d be lying if I said ASU’s struggles aren’t at least a little amusing.
They’re also not surprising — at least, not to the extent my friend should be shocked at what’s transpired.
A few weeks back when the Sun Devils were getting ready to face the Oregon Ducks, I wrote, among other things, that it was tough to buy ASU as a “good team” because they hadn’t played anyone of note.
At the time I wrote that piece, ASU’s strength of schedule was 76th in the nation according to Sagarin. Now? A healthy 22nd.
The truth is this Sun Devils team was never that good. There is a reason they were never ranked at 5-1, and there’s a reason they’ve lost the last four contests. The easy part (Washington State not included) of their schedule has passed, leaving nothing but the Pac-12’s best on the docket. You know, with starting quarterbacks and other things good teams have.
Good teams make less-good teams look bad. That’s how sports work.
But it’s OK.
A month ago I wrote that not all 5-1 records are created equal. Now I’m writing the same for four-game losing streaks, too.