ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

ASU, Arizona football rank near bottom of Pac-12 preseason media poll

Jul 28, 2022, 3:46 PM
In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, the Pac-12 logo is displayed on the field at Sun Devil Stadium d...
In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, the Pac-12 logo is displayed on the field at Sun Devil Stadium during an NCAA college football game between Arizona State and Kent State in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

The Pac-12 Conference preseason media poll for football was released on Thursday.

Arizona State and Arizona found themselves near the bottom of the barrel at No. 10 and No. 11, respectively.

Despite the conference going away from the North and South divisions in favor of the top two teams with the highest winning percentages facing off in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, the poll is predicting Utah to repeat as champions over Oregon.

The Sun Devils and Wildcats will go into the 2022 season trying to prove the doubters wrong, with the two programs’ currently on different trajectories for very different reasons.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Following a tumultuous offseason filled with roster turnover and uneasiness, the Arizona State football program finds itself in unfamiliar territory.

The Sun Devils endured an NCAA investigation coaching scandal that led to three assistant coaches being dismissed from the program due to the coaches participating in impermissible local meetings with recruits.

Former Arizona State defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator Antonio Pierce, as well as former offensive coordinator Zak Hill both resigned as part of the total of five coaches who are no longer with the program.

Entering the season with low expectations, a plethora of former Sun Devils from 2021 are no longer on the team due to the transfer portal and NFL Draft.

ASU lost quarterback Jayden Daniels (LSU), defensive tackle Jermayne Lole (Louisville), offensive lineman Ezra Dotson-Oyetade (TCU), wide receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton (Oklahoma), linebacker Eric Gentry (USC), running back DeaMonte Trayanum (Ohio State), wide receiver Johnny Wilson (Florida State), defensive back Tommi Hill (Nebraska), wide receiver Geordan Porter (New Mexico), wide receiver Lonyatta Alexander (Washington), linebacker Jordan Banks (Northwestern State) and wide receiver Ricky Pearsall (Florida) all to the transfer portal this past offseason.

However, there are a good amount of returning starters from last season that the Sun Devils will bring back.

Those returners include fifth-year senior linebackers Merlin Robertson and Kyle Soelle, fifth-year senior cornerback Timarcus Davis, redshirt junior corner Jordan Clark and graduate wide receiver Bryan Thompson.

Arizona State also brought in former Florida quarterback Emory Jones, who threw for 2,743 yards while throwing 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions last season as a Gator.

Arizona Wildcats

After a 1-11 (1-8) season in head coach Jedd Fisch’s first season, the Arizona Wildcats will look to put last year behind them in hopes of gaining respect among their Pac-12 counterparts.

Despite the uncharacteristic year they endured last season, there is still a good amount of returning talent on the roster.

The Wildcats currently have three players named to the 2022 Preseason All-Pac-12 Conference Teams.

Those players include punter Kyle Ostendorp (first team), wide receiver Jacob Cowling (second team) and defensive lineman Kyon Barrs (second team).

Arizona also brought in transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura from Washington State this offseason.

For the Cougars last year, de Laura threw for 2,798 passing yards while tossing 23 touchdowns to nine interceptions.

Penguin Air

Arizona State Football

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards speaks during the Pac-12 Conference men's NCAA college football me...
Kevin Zimmerman

Arizona State’s Herm Edwards makes SI’s most intriguing head coach list

It's not for the best of reasons, but a bit of national attention will be on Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards this upcoming season.
3 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils left guard LaDarius Henderson. (Twitter Photo/@ASUFootball)...
Jake Anderson

ASU notebook: QB battle continues; LaDarius Henderson an on-field coach

The Arizona State Sun Devils football team wrapped up their fourth practice of fall camp on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
General view of action between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats during the sec...
Nikash Nath

Sun Devil football announces open house for Aug. 6

The event on Saturday, Aug. 6 will allow for the fans and community to engage with the 2022 Sun Devil football team.
2 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Jordan Clark. (Twitter Photo/@ASUFootball)...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s secondary to utilize length, Jordan Clark at safety

The Arizona State Sun Devils have a whopping 21 defensive backs on the roster heading into the 2022 college football season.
4 days ago
Pac-12 Conference commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at Pac-12 NCAA college football media day Fr...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12, Larry Fitzgerald-backed startup to monetize highlights for NIL

The Pac-12 is entering the NIL space by partnering with a startup that will help athletes earn money from their personalized game highlights.
4 days ago
Arizona State defensive back Chase Lucas reacts after knocking down a pass against Colorado in the ...
Nikash Nath

Wildcats WR Jacob Cowing named his son after ASU product Chase Lucas

Here's something you don't see every day: A college football player naming his son after a former player from his rival school.
5 days ago
ASU, Arizona football rank near bottom of Pac-12 preseason media poll