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Is Arizona State's Football Program Imploding?

Between the NCAA investigation, transfer portal news and numerous coaches departing, what in the world is going on at Arizona State?

The Arizona State Sun Devils have had quite a start to 2022. 

Frankly put, this wasn't the vision anybody at Arizona State had in late 2017 when head coach Herm Edwards was hired by the school to replace Todd Graham. 

“Competitive consistency in my view is comprised of recruiting, developing players that you do recruit into here, developing and retaining your assistant coaches, and then in-game preparation and in-game management," said athletics director Ray Anderson after Graham's dismissal.

“At the end of the day, we’re still average, middle of the pack and going to a low bowl game. We deserve more. We have the capacity and the university and the community deserves more and very frankly should demand more.

"I don’t think there is any coach on staff who would tell you honestly that ‘I’m satisfied with being 7-5,’ second place in a weak Pac-12 South, very frankly, and going to a low-level bowl game as opposed to being 9-2 and going to a major bowl game where we can really make some noise and really compete at the highest level.”

Fast-forward to the present day. 

Quarterback Jayden Daniels announced his decision to enter the transfer portal and the Sun Devils are now forced to find a new starting quarterback since Daniels first arrived at the program in 2019. 

Transfer? Fine by many ASU fans who don't see what Edwards does in Daniels. 

However, Arizona State reportedly had interest in transfer portal quarterback Spencer Rattler, a top-ranked passer in his recruiting class who made himself available out of Oklahoma and potentially sought to return to his home state. 

The Sun Devils, as rumor has it, held a meeting with Daniels and decided he was still their guy for the future, effectively pushing Rattler away. 

Now, Daniels is in the transfer portal, and Arizona State doesn't have two of their top desired options at quarterback. 

The Daniels news was another step in the wrong direction for an ASU football program that could be described as gloomy (among many other things) for the past few months. 

Arizona State has been under NCAA investigation since last June, and the ripple effects have been costly. 

The Sun Devils have seen a total of five coaches leave the program due to their involvement in the NCAA's investigation at ASU, as offensive coordinator Zak Hill, defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce and tight ends coach Adam Breneman all resigned while defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins and receivers coach Prentice Gill were terminated. 

On the recruiting trail, the Sun Devils immediately lost their top three recruits in the 2022 class after the investigation was launched, and recent dismissals on the coaching staff have pushed others away from their commitment to Arizona State. 

ASU ranks at the bottom of the Pac-12 in 2022 recruiting rankings on and is No. 103 nationally. The Sun Devils are one of only three teams in the Pac-12 to not reach 10 or more commitments in the incoming class. 

Since the NCAA investigation launched, Arizona State has seen 16 players hit the transfer portal. While some transfers were organically going to happen, the investigation has undoubtedly made an impact at ASU. 

So here we sit: The Sun Devils have failed to deliver a satisfactory product on the field, a large portion of the coaching staff from last season is gone, recruiting has faltered and worst of all, the NCAA may very well drop the hammer after concluding their investigation. 

Is Arizona State's football program imploding? Some will argue that process has long been underway for the aforementioned reasons listed.

Others would point to the mass entrance of players through the transfer portal, coaching positions already filled and the inconsistent rulings of the NCAA to say perhaps reality won't be as bad as people believe. 

Spring practice should give a better idea of where the Sun Devils are in the beginning stages of preparation for the 2022 season, although we won't be able to fully judge until actual football is played in the fall. 

Maybe the sky isn't falling in Tempe, and everything will be just fine. 

However, Arizona State has done nothing but wrap itself in negative attention since last June, with each self-inflicted wound seemingly carrying greater consequences than the previous one. 

What was once considered a team to watch in the Pac-12 has now turned itself into a team with little hope for success in the immediate future. It's up to those in charge to change the trajectory of the program.

It's cloudy, ASU fans. Be sure to bring your umbrella.