Early projections for 2012 Sun Devils not good

Jan 10, 2012, 9:07 PM | Updated: 9:15 pm

Most people concentrated on the confetti falling from the
rafters and the Crimson celebration at the Louisiana
Superdome in the moments that followed Alabama’s 21-0 win
over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday
night.

Some watched The Bachelor.

Others started looking ahead to the 2012 season. Among
those was ESPN Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller, who took an
early look at the way the conference could shake out next
season.

And at least in Miller’s eyes, it doesn’t look good for
the Arizona State Sun Devils of head coach Todd Graham,
whom he projects to be the 11th-best team in the
conference
.

The Sun Devils tumbled in these rankings when
quarterback Brock Osweiler, curiously, opted to enter the
NFL draft. With just 10 starters back, a quarterback with
no real game experience — whoever wins the job — and a
challenging locker room, new coach Todd Graham might find
the going rough in Year 1.

Not only will the quarterback be new and inexperienced,
but he will have a lack of seasoned receivers to throw to.
Gerell Robinson, Aaron Pflugrad and Mike Willie, who
combined to catch 157 passes for 2,517 yards and 15
touchdowns, all graduate.

There are bright spots, however. Sophomore running back
Deantre Lewis should return after missing all of 2011
recovering from a freak gunshot wound. Lewis had 987 all-
purpose yards as a freshman in 2010.

And senior linebacker Brandon Magee returns from an
achilles tendon injury that kept him off the gridiron for
the 2011 campaign.

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