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ASU’s Herm Edwards not relying on motivation off low media poll ranking

Arizona State first-year head football coach Herm Edwards isn’t reacting much to being ranked last in the Pac-12 South preseason media poll.

“Somebody’s got to be first, somebody’s got to be sixth,” Edwards said at Pac-12 Media Day on Wednesday. “It’s great. Doesn’t matter to me. We don’t go by polls. We’ve got our own aspirations. I told you at the press conference, we’re trying to win a Pac-12 Championship. So whatever people write, they can write what they want. That’s good. Hopefully, no players are listening to that, because no coaches are listening to it.”

If his players are listening to it, Edwards doesn’t want them to rely on that as motivation.

“I would hope that if you need someone else to motivate you, that’s not good,” he said. “I learned this a long time ago on how I grew up. You’ve got to be able to bet on yourself. You don’t let other people set your expectations. Don’t fall into that trap.

“I tell players all the time. I’ve been good enough in my lifetime. Bet on me, because I know the work I’m going to put in and what it takes. If it doesn’t turn out that way, I can live with that.”

The ranking comes despite the Sun Devils finishing second in the Pac-12 South last season under Todd Graham and returning key players like quarterback Manny Wilkins and wide receiver N’Keal Harry.

Edwards isn’t worried about any noise outside his team.

“To be quite honest, you’ll figure this out about me, I don’t know what happens on the outside world,” he said. “And I’m not saying that to belittle what you guys do. I was in your world. I was in people’s homes every night, every morning.

I don’t read it. I don’t watch it. I am a football coach. When I’m not a football coach, I’m trying to be the best father I can be. That’s what I concern myself with. I don’t concern myself with the outside elements because the outside elements don’t coach the team. I’ve got to coach coaches and players, and that’s my obligation. I’ve got to stay focused on that.”

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