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ASU Football: Devils Receiving Votes Again in Poll

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It’s week 6, and ASU is back to receiving votes in the AP Poll since their hiatus beginning right after the Preseason Poll was released.

After receiving the fourth-most votes of teams not featured in the Top 25 in the preseason, ASU failed to receive even one vote last week, when the AP started including PAC-12 teams in their ranking again.

Oregon was the only team ranked (14), but three other PAC-12 teams at least received votes. That was USC (104), Utah (14), and Washington (4). It appeared as though ASU maybe was slipping in its recognition from the media.

Washington, for instance, hadn’t received nearly as many votes as ASU in the Preseason Poll and managed to jump ASU last week.

This week, ASU is still behind Oregon (who is in the ranking at 12), USC (115 votes), and Utah (30 votes); however, they received one more vote than Washington’s 4.

The PAC-12 dynamic is tough to decipher this year. There are questions to be asked about every single team in the conference, and with the news of USC LT Alijah Vera-Tucker and Oregon CB Deommodore Lenoir opting back into the season, it’s even tougher to figure out what’s to come from the conference this year.

Lenoir and Vera-Tucker coming back is certainly not good news for ASU (especially Vera-Tucker, as ASU, is set to play SC week 1); however, those teams were already generally favored over ASU. ASU receiving votes as they get closer to the season is going to be about how the media sees them as PAC-12 contenders entering the year. It’s the same story with Utah or Washington.

Will Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham outcoach Southern California Head Coach Clay Helton to the point where Utah takes the South despite having very little talent returning? Does Washington have the program stability to overcome Chris Petersen’s departure and capitalize off of Oregon’s three key opt-outs to win the North?

For ASU, it’s going to be about how good the young guys can be in their freshman seasons. ASU is replacing a ton on offense, and while they have talent at skill positions, there’s a drop-off in their OL talent. That young skill position talent, in particular, is going to need to step up big time considering ASU’s two best players from last year, Brandon Aiyuk (WR) and Eno Benjamin (RB), were obviously skill position players and on NFL rosters now.

That could put a lot of pressure on the young guns, but this NFL coaching staff/style that ASU has adopted could help with that. Pressure can be overcome by being surrounded by leaders, and Herm Edwards is regarded nationally as a great leader.

There’s a lot of competition this year, and ASU has many questions to answer if they want to be taken seriously and as a Top 25 team.

ASU does have some potential to be featured in the polls this year, and the AP voters showed this week that they have taken notice.