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Arizona State Projected to Play in Holiday Bowl by College Football Insider

The Sun Devils aren't quite smelling roses, according to this college football insider.

Opinions are like . . . podcasts. Everybody has one. 

Projections are in full throttle for college football season, as Arizona State and all other programs are gearing up for their first game of 2021. When it comes to the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks typically find themselves as favorites despite a general consensus that the conference is open for anybody's taking. 

Expectations for Arizona State vary, depending on who you talk to. Fans in Tempe believe this could be the year the Sun Devils make a push for a conference championship given the talent littered across the roster. 

Other's aren't convinced ASU can do that quite yet.

In Sports Illustrated's preseason Pac-12 rankings, ASU ranked as the fifth-best team in the Pac-12, finishing behind Oregon, USC, Washington and Utah. 

Action Network's Brett McMurphy views the Sun Devils in a similar light. McMurphy recently released his college football bowl projections, creating matchups for all 42 upcoming bowl games this year. 

Where does Arizona State find itself? Just a few hours drive away in the friendly weather of San Diego as participants in the Holiday Bowl. The Sun Devils, per McMurphy's projections, are slated to take on North Carolina State on Tuesday, Dec. 28. 

For what it's worth, ASU is favored by 4.5 points over the Wolfpack. 

Not happy with Arizona State's outcome? McMurphy expects his projections to not be flawless, writing, "And remember: if you hate my projections, they’ll probably change next week."

Across the Pac-12, Utah finds itself as the typical conference representatives in the Rose Bowl; Oregon is slated to participate in the Peach Bowl; UCLA looks to dominate in the Sun Bowl; Washington is a gamble to make the Las Vegas Bowl, and USC will go to battle in the Alamo Bowl.

Based off the aforementioned bowl games, McMurphy has the Sun Devils finishing fourth in the Pac-12 South division and sixth overall in the conference.

Of course, the game of football isn't played on paper. Arizona State begins its quest to prove many people such as McMurphy wrong next Thursday, as the team opens its season at home against Southern Utah. 

Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. Like and follow AllSunDevils on Facebook, and for more ASU news visit