PAC 12

ASU football picked to finish behind Arizona in early 2022 Pac-12 football projection

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

The Arizona State football team went 8-5 overall last season.

The Arizona football team went 1-11.

One early college football projection for 2022 sees that being different next season.

It projects the Wildcats to finish ahead of the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 South.

The San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner recently pegged Jedd Fisch's Arizona football team to finish fourth in the Pac-12 South in 2022.

It had Herm Edwards' ASU football team fifth.

There are six teams in each Pac-12 division. Wilner projected Colorado as the lone team to finish behind ASU in his early season projection for the division.

He had Oregon winning the North division and Utah taking the South.

Of Arizona, Wilner wrote: "No program has made more progress off the field in the past six weeks than the Wildcats, who gained ground on both Colorado and ASU, particularly at quarterback. Jayden de Laura’s relocation from Washington State to Tucson seemingly guarantees a quality option at the position. (Either he wins the job or someone plays well enough to beat him out.) The Wildcats are two or three seasons from contending for a top-tier finish in the South, and they might not get there — major upgrades are required on the lines of scrimmage. But they should avoid another last-place finish."

More:Arizona football 2022 schedule: Wildcats open Jedd Fisch's second season at San Diego State

Of Arizona State, he wrote: "We initially planned to slot the Sun Devils into fourth place but became more skeptical as the research progressed. Yes, Jayden Daniels is returning, but his lack of progress since 2019 hardly suggest an elite season awaits. The touted receivers haven’t developed, do-everything tailback Rachaad White is off the the NFL, and the line loses several key pieces. Meanwhile, the veteran defense gets hit at every level, especially in the secondary. Add the uncertain outcome of the NCAA investigation — and the impact it could have on roster reloading — and ASU looks destined for a regression. Much remains to-be-determined in Tempe."

More:Arizona State football 2022 schedule unveiled: Sun Devils open vs. NAU, close at Arizona

Could Jedd Fisch's Arizona Wildcats football team catch Herm Edwards' ASU Sun Devils football team in the Pac-12 in 2022?

ASU finished 6-3 in the division last season, tied for second with UCLA, although the Sun Devils beat the Bruins head-to-head for the tie breaker.

Arizona was 1-8 and last in the division.

Could we see a big change with those Arizona teams in the upcoming season?

Arizona is earning rave reviews and marks for its recruiting class this season, while Arizona State has been struggling on that front amid an NCAA recruiting investigation.

Still, Arizona really struggled in Fisch's first year in Tucson, and Arizona State is returning some talent for Edwards' fifth season in Tempe.

The Wildcats open the season Sept. 3 at San Diego State.

The Sun Devils open Sept. 1 against Northern Arizona.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

More:Arizona football record prediction: How many wins will Wildcats get in 2022 season?

More:Arizona State football record prediction: How many wins will Sun Devils get in 2022?

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