ASU coach Herm Edwards thrives when others think he has no chance

You don’t want to smoke with Sparky. Not this year.

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards looks like he’s got everyone where he wants them with preseason predictions putting his team down in the Pac-12.

“It’s the Pac-12, it’s 1 to 12, and wherever they point you, however they get to that number, it’s great, that’s how it starts,” said he said at the start of training camp. “We will see how it ends.

Don’t forget, he’s the guy who twice beat Michigan State’s perennial Big Ten power with unheralded quarterbacks, a slew of rookies — and a black hat.

He was the guy who showed up to beat USC at the Coliseum, where the Trojans were riding a 19-game winning streak, with a group of Southern California Sun Devils who had been overlooked by the program they idolized growing up – and a black hat.

And he was the one who said he would turn ASU into a pro football power system before sending more than a dozen guys to fight for NFL spots, including six inside linemen. and Darrien Butler – a linebacker who now wears silver and black.

Edwards still has some business to settle: He has yet to play for a conference championship, reach the Rose Bowl or finish in the top 15.

Maybe this is the year?

Read more: Arizona State football, Herm Edwards slammed into college football coaching hot seat rankings

it’s going to be hard

To succeed, he will have to defy the expectations of a large number of media and observers who place the Sun Devils from last place to last place.

“There’s always a team to predict here, another team to predict there… that’s the uniqueness of the sport, that’s what makes it so great. And if you do something different, people say “Wow!” I don’t worry about that stuff,” he said, stopping and laughing. “I don’t care at all.”

Not to exaggerate, but Buster Douglas didn’t care about predictions before he fought “Iron” Mike Tyson. The Giants didn’t care about predictions before facing the undefeated Patriots. And Michael Jordan didn’t care about predictions the time he played against the Monstars.

To be clear, it’s all stacked against Coach Herm. It has new coordinators. A new quarterback. New receivers. New running backs. New linemen. A new secondary. And a depth issue at linebacker that’s so bad coach Chris Claiborne should check to see if he has any remaining eligibility.

Plus, there’s that NCAA investigation into who did what during the COVID-19 recruiting freeze and a segment of the fanbase that’s still sore from Todd Graham’s firing.

They’ll take care of all that later.

“We have 12 games,” Edwards said. “We know who our opponents are, and that’s what we’re going to focus on as a football team.”

ASU Football Position Analyzes: Special teams | Half-officials | Wide receivers | Offensive line | Quarterback | Tight Ends | Defensive line | Linebackers | Defensive backs

August 10, 2022;  Tempe, Arizona, USA;  Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards during practice at the Kajikawa football practice grounds.

That’s how you play

Winning heals everything, especially when no one expects it.

And if you can’t win, you can fight such a fight that everyone knows you were there.

You can bring the smoke. Make a game until the last player. The last piece. Make sure you know who wants it the most. Give yourself a chance. And right now, it looks like no one is giving that to ASU.

It’s long, but maybe that means Coach Herm has everyone where he wants them.

Maybe the fight will go to the guy in the black hat?

As Herm said, “We’ll see how it ends.”

Contact Moore at [email protected] or 602-444-2236. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @SayingMoore.

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