The Pac-12 football schedules have been out for some time but we’re just now getting to a point where we can be comfortable at projecting wins and losses ahead of the 2020 season as athletic activities are returning nationwide.
One of those interesting win-loss projections happens to come from a Pac-12 school as well as the Arizona State Sun Devils are said to have the ‘easiest schedule’ and could reach 10 wins this year. That would be their first 10-win season since 2014.
They have, however, improved their win-loss record in each of head coach Herm Edwards’ seasons so far and a 10-win season would only continue that.
So, are 10 wins in the question for the Sun Devils? I took a look.
Week 1 vs Northern Arizona
This is a W.
Week 2 @ UNLV
There’s a lot of rebuilding in Vegas, or well building. This is a talented rushing attack that couldn’t quite figure out their QB situation last year with a first-year head coach (and I really like coach Marcus Arroyo). W.
Week 3 vs BYU
I’m a big Zach Wilson fan but this Cougars team should be outmanned, easily across the board. Another W.
Week 4 @ USC
They could surprise the Trojans but I think this USC team is the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 this year. Chalk up the first L.
Week 5 vs Oregon State
I keep saying it. Jonathan Smith is building something special at Oregon State but this year won’t be it. Arizona State in this one, big W.
Week 6 vs UCLA
The Bruins come over, and the Bruins lose. This year will be the make-or-break year for head coach Chip Kelly and as it stands right now, the Sun Devils are the better team, the better coach and the better quarterback. That’s three Ws in and of themselves but a real W on the schedule.
Week 8 @ Colorado
I’m starting to understand why they said they have the easiest schedule. Traveling to Colorado in head coach Karl Dorrell’s first season should mean a W, especially considering we don’t even know who the Buffaloes’ QB is yet. Confident W here.
Week 9 @ Washington State
Another road game against a team with a first-year head coach? Sure. Max Borghi must be stopped and this one becomes another W.
Week 10 vs Cal
Now things start to heat up. The race for third-best Pac-12 team heats up as well. This will be the make-or-break moment for 10 wins, though they can probably reach it in a bowl game as the third-place Pac-12 team. Still, Jayden Daniels > Chase Garbers because we don’t even know if Garbers can stay healthy all year. A cautious W.
Week 11 @ Oregon
Dare I say it? Arizona State will NOT defeat the Ducks like they did last year and it’s because of one reason: No Justin Herbert. Literally the former Oregon signal-caller gave the game away with errant decisions and bad interceptions. No Herbert, no loss for Oregon. A loss for ASU.
Week 12 vs Utah
Will it be Jake Bentley or will it be Cameron Rising? We don’t know. Utah doesn’t know? It doesn’t matter, though. This is a W because there is too much to replace on the defense that stymied the Sun Devils last year. They won’t be doing that again.
Week 13 @ Arizona
Another close one, for sure. This is the battle for best sophomore QB not named Slovis when Grant Gunnell and Daniels go at it. Daniels has proven more and the Sun Devils are the more well-rounded team, but don’t discredit the rivalry game feeling. Another cautious W.
This gets us to 10 wins in the regular season, which would absolutely see them ranked in the top 25 and absolutely send them to a great bowl game for notoriety. That would only make them more desirable than they already are.
The more I look at it, the more I think I agree that this schedule is easy. Now it’s just time to execute it. I think 10 wins is a cautiously optimistic figure that is absolutely within reach, especially considering we got there without a bowl game victory.