The college football season is underway and naturally, most sports fans are directing their attention to the gridiron. But despite the excitement of football’s return, ASU fans shouldn’t neglect the other teams in action this fall.
Understandably, most of the attention has been directed toward the ASU football team after a 55-0 rout of Sacramento State in the season opener and a meeting with the nationally ranked Wisconsin Badgers rapidly approaching.
Outside of football, ASU athletics has started hot out of the gates.
Most notable of ASU’s early season accomplishments has been the women’s volleyball team’s perfect 6-0 start.
Volleyball has not only won all six of its games but has done so without dropping a single set.
For a historical perspective, the last time ASU volleyball started 6-0 without losing a set was 1995, when the team made it to the Sweet 16.
An upcoming match against the reigning national champion No. 2 Texas will test the Sun Devils’ perfect record, as will this weekend’s matchup against No. 14 Illinois. Even if the unbeaten streak comes to an end, fans should be excited about the way this season has begun.
Along with the hot start of the volleyball team, women’s soccer has been strong to start the year, and the other ASU teams starting their seasons this month look ready for great years as well.
Women’s soccer has raced out to early season success, winning four of the first five games including a double-overtime thriller against visiting Illinois.
The Sun Devils have scored twice as many goals as they have allowed, having netted 14 while only allowing seven in their five games.
Led by two talented sophomores, Jon Rahm and Max Rottluff, the ASU men’s golf team also looks for early season success.
Rahm, who took home the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award, is ranked 37th among collegiate golfers. The team is also ranked 37th in the nation.
The women’s golf team is also primed for a good season and is ranked fifth nationally heading in to the new year, behind junior Noemi Jimenez and senior Laura Blanco.
ASU’s club hockey team finished last season ranked second nationally, a .750 winning percentage and the first Final Four appearance in team history. The team brings back many key returners and combined with a strong recruiting class begin the march to a national championship.
After making it to the conference championship game last season, the men’s club soccer squad started off on the right foot in their quest to build on last year’s success. The Sun Devils began their season Sept. 7 with a 3-2 victory over New Mexico Tech.
It makes sense that football gets most of the attention when it comes to fall sports. Football is the big-money entertainment that rakes in mounds of revenue and national spotlight.
This isn’t a pattern that applies only to ASU. All across the nation, college sports fans turn their eyes to the gridiron and relatively neglect the other teams that play under the shadow of football.
I can’t fault anyone for this – I myself am a huge football fan – but after taking a glance around the ASU sports slate this September, I can’t help but be wowed by the success the other Sun Devil teams are having.
In order to be true Sun Devil fans, we should give all the teams their proper credit. We should be in attendance at all different sporting events, cheering our teams on and enjoying the winning-caliber teams ASU has to offer.
The football team looked impressive in their season-opening win over Sacramento State and a win over the visiting Badgers could very well vault the Sun Devils into the Top 25.
But being a Sun Devil fan means you’re more than just being a football fan. We have an obligation to support our other sports teams, especially when they are having as much success as the Sun Devils have had this fall.
Reach the columnist at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ICBeck21