Pitchfork Sports: Football season winds down, expectations rise

Football season winds down, expectations rise for next year.

With the regular season for the Sun Devil football program coming to an end last week in Tucson, the team improved to 7-5 and has earned a bowl game bid.

A record of 7-5 may not be enough to compete for the Pac-12 conference, but it is an improvement from last season. So, did ASU really get better as a team after losing it’s starting quarterback, Brock Osweiler, and two defensive specialists in Omar Bolden and Vontaze Burfict? Or is the newly-formed Pac-12 conference experiencing saturation within the teams and players this year?

Has the Pac-12 conference experienced an “off” year? Photo courtesy of Reddit.

Defensive Tackle, Will Sutton, was named the Pac-12’s Pat Tillman Defensive Player of The Year and was named to the All-America Team. Sutton and fellow defensive lineman Carl Bradford led the team with 10.5 sacks each. Sutton’s intensity for his size as a 6’2’’ Defensive Lineman has gotten his name on the NFL Draft radar.

For the fans, the trip down to Tucson might have salvaged the season with the dramatic win over U of A. ASU and U of A finished with the same record, but the win over the ‘Cats gives ASU the kicker edge.

From the pre-season quarterback battle, to starting tight end Chris Coyle having the chance to set ASU records in the upcoming bowl game, this season has been an exciting one.

However just because the season is over doesn’t mean we can’t start looking forward to next season.

In week three of next season, the University of Wisconsin will travel to Tempe for a primetime battle.

More notably, in the sixth week of the season, Notre Dame and ASU will travel to Arlington, Tex. for a neutral-site shoot-out on the home turf of NFL-team, the Dallas Cowboys.

The Notre Dame team is currently undefeated and will be playing for a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) final on Jan. 7.

Just to put it in perspective on how crazy the season has been, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame finished their perfect season by beating rival and the number one pre-season ranked University of Southern California (USC) Trojans. Coming into the season, Notre Dame was unranked and had a coach who was on the hot seat.

In the end, ASU and USC have the same record.

For the Pac-12 Conference, a chain of wins and losses between the teams creates a balance. Colorado, the 1-11 team’s lone win came against a Washington State team who upset a strong Washington team. The chain goes all the way around the conference and one team never prevails.

Just like every other seasonal sport, it comes fast — and it’s gone.

 

What are you looking forward to next season? You can reach me at etrianta@asu.edu