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Arizona State Football Preview Predictions and Schedule 2011
If you're looking for a coach on the hot seat, look no further than Dennis Erickson. He took over the Sun Devils in 2007 and talent he inherited went 10-3. But he hasn't had a winning year since, with last seasons 6-6 being the best year since. 2007 was also the last time the Sun Devils went Bowling. It's safe to say that Erickson is in trouble if we don't see an 8+ win season and a nice late December or Early January Bowl appearance.
It's not as if the team wasn't competitive. They had close losses against what turned out to be some of the best teams in the Nation last season. They lost by 1, as a 12 point dog at Wisconsin. They out gained Oregon in a 42-31 loss in a game where turnovers killed them. They missed a late field goal and lost to USC by 1 and they went toe to toe with Stanford, losing by 4 in a game they let in the 4th quarter.
Last year was another example of "what could have been". All in all there were 5 games that could have been wins. That turns 6-6 into 11-1. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Unfortunately for Dennis Erickson, you don't get anything for close losses.
The Sun Devils return a good number of starters on both sides of the ball, 15 in all. Brock Osweiler started the last 2 games in 2010 at QB and will be behind center this year. They also return all 5 starters on the offensive line. The defense is in good shape, particularly at linebacker.
There should be no excuses. If the Sun Devils can get past having a QB with just 2 career starts, all of the other pieces to the puzzle are in place. This is a talented team that showed last season that they can compete with the big boys. Those close losses need to be turned into wins and this team needs to appear on a bowl game for Erickson to keep his job.
Oddsmakers have posted odds of 6/1 on Arizona State to win the PAC 12.
The Sun Devils don't play Stanford this year, so no chance for revenge there, but they do play USC, Oregon and Oregon State. They'll have to wait until the very last game of the year, but they also get a chance to avenge their worst loss from a year ago, a 50-17 thumping to Cal.
If you go through the Sun Devils schedule game by game, you can probably pencil in 6 wins. After that, it comes down to turning those losses into wins. If they are successful, there could be some Roses in their future. If not, we may see the rebuilding process start with a new head coach on 2012.
2011 Arizona State Football Schedule
09/01/11 vs. UC Davis
09/09/11 vs. Missouri
09/17/11 at Illinois
09/24/11 vs. USC
10/01/11 vs. Oregon State
10/08/11 at Utah
10/15/11 at Oregon
10/29/11 vs. Colorado (Homecoming)
11/05/11 at UCLA
11/12/11 at Washington State
11/19/11 vs. Arizona
11/26/11 vs. California
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