CollegeFootballNews.com breaks down Arizona State as part of its season previews of the Pac-10 Conference.
After delivering a statement to the nation with 10 wins in 2007, Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson is hoping to serve up an equally impressive encore in 2008.
The nomadic head coach immediately put his stamp on the wayward program and hasn’t let up, trouncing rival Arizona on the recruiting trail in February and setting a tone that ASU is about to enter the glory days. However, the success of his first year did come with little smoke and plenty of mirrors.
Even with the big season and for all the good things that happened, the losses to Oregon, USC and Texas showed that there’s still work to be done to be among the elite. However, ASU can’t be faulted for beating all the average teams; you have to beat everyone, and ASU hasn’t been good at doing that.
Past Sun Devil teams folded in tight games, but under Erickson, the 2007 squad came through in the clutch, going 3-0 in games decided by four points or fewer. If those three swing the other way, ASU is 6-6 and nowhere near the Holiday Bowl. And that’s how things have changed. This team will find a way to get it done under Erickson, while past teams found a way to blow it. This year, there are several things the Sun Devils need to work on so they don’t slide the other way.