Arizona State picked to finish last in Pac-12 South by conference media
Pac-12 Media Day takes place Wednesday in Hollywood, Calif., and as is customary, the day started with the release of the preseason media poll.
That poll picks the Arizona State Sun Devils to finish dead last in the Pac-12 South.
The Sun Devils finished second in the division in 2017, but much has changed since then. Gone is head coach Todd Graham, who was fired after a six-year stint that culminated in a 7-6 season.
In is Herm Edwards, a football lifer as a player, coach and ESPN broadcaster, who put together a solid coaching staff and rebounded nicely late in his first recruiting cycle to land in the middle of conference ratings.
Returning is quarterback Manny Wilkins. The senior will be at the helm of the ASU offense for the third straight year after putting together an impressive 2017 season during which he threw for 3,270 yards and 20 touchdowns while running for 282 yards and seven more scores. Wilkins will also have junior receiver N’Keal Harry to throw to. The Chandler High product caught 82 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns last year and is considered by most experts to be one of the top three wideouts in the entire nation.
In what is being predicted as a down year in the South, USC was picked to win by the media poll. The Trojans, led by coach Clay Helton, received 22 of a possible 42 first-place votes. Utah was picked to finish second and garnered 14 first-place votes. The Utes are followed by Arizona (3 first-place votes), UCLA (2) and Colorado (1).
In fact, ASU was the only school in the division not to get a first-place vote in the annual poll.
Washington is the overwhelming favorite in the North Division. The Huskies of head coach Chris Petersen received 40 first-place votes, with second-place Stanford and third-place Oregon each getting one. California was picked to finish fourth, followed by Washington State and Oregon State.
The Pac-12 season officially gets underway on Thursday, Aug. 30 when Utah hosts Weber State in Salt Lake City.
Arizona State will open its schedule two nights later, Saturday, Sept. 1, in the newly-redesigned Sun Devil Stadium against the UTSA Roadrunners.