There is a lot to like about the Arizona State football program heading into the 2020 college football season.
While the team did lose some talent from a year ago, it has quarterback Jayden Daniels back for his sophomore season and is adding a touted recruiting class.
Should Herm Edwards’ team be ranked at the beginning of the season?
The coronavirus may have stopped spring practice, but it hasn’t stopped the release of early Top 25 polls and rankings for college football.
Arizona State showed up in a lot of those rankings.
NCAA.com ranked the Sun Devils No. 25 in its preseason Top 25.
Wayne Staats wrote: “The Sun Devils have gone 7-6 and 8-5 in Herm Edwards’ first two seasons. But Arizona State won their final three teams of the season, which included beating eventual Rose Bowl champion Oregon. QB Jayden Daniels could be one of the most exciting players in the country after his 2,943 passing yards (17 touchdowns with only two interceptions) and 355 rushing yards last season as a freshman.”
Sports Illustrated had Herm Edwards’ team No. 18 in its early rankings.
Pat Forde wrote: “The Sun Devils finished with a surge in 2019, shocking Oregon, beating rival Arizona and defeating Florida State in the Sun Bowl. They lose running back Eno Benjamin to early entry but keep rising star quarterback Jayden Daniels, who had an excellent freshman season. Nine of ASU’s top 11 tacklers are expected to return as well, as the Herm Edwards hire continues to pay dividends.”
CBS Sports ranked the Sun Devils No. 24 in the nation in its early poll.
Dennis Dodd wrote: “The Sun Devils should be a challenger for the Pac-12 South. Herm Edwards has done what Todd Graham could not: recruit California. Fourteen starters return, including budding quarterback Jaylen Daniels. Not to gush, but Edwards’ emphasis on physicality reminds me of the early USC days of Pete Carroll. “
Sporting News put Arizona State at No. 22.
Bill Bender wrote: “Herm Edwards has the Sun Devils in position to make a run at the Pac-12 South championship. Quarterback Jayden Daniels should make the jump as a sophomore after finishing with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions, but they will need to find a replacement for Eno Benjamin at running back. Jermayne Lole has breakout potential at defensive lineman. Four of Arizona State’s five losses came by 10 points or fewer in 2019, and they get Utah at home next season. Road trips to Oregon and USC are the most difficult part of the schedule.”
Bleacher Report had ASU No. 25 in one of its preseason polls.
Another poll by the site had Arizona State ranked No. 19.
Not everyone put ASU in their Top 25, however.
Athlon Sports put Arizona State in a “other teams to watch” in 2020 category.
Steven Lassan wrote: “Herm Edwards has Arizona State on the right track. Quarterback Jayden Daniels is already one of the Pac-12’s top signal-callers, and the arrival of coordinator Zak Hill should help the sophomore take the next step. Daniels’ supporting cast has to be restocked, but the Sun Devils should be among the best in the Pac-12 on defense.”
ESPN had ASU ranked No. 41 in its initial Football Power Index rankings.