Pac-12 Football: Five burning questions for 2015

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Nov 28, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Mike Bercovici (2) against the Arizona Wildcats during the 88th annual territorial cup at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Is Kirk Herbstreit Losing His Mind?

In his annual preseason “Herbie” Awards, ESPN Analyst and college football guru Kirk Herbstreit told the entire nation that the Arizona State Sun Devils are going to make it to the College Football Playoff.

Yes, the same Arizona State program that has not won a conference title since 1996, and the one that lost a must-win game at the end of the 2014 campaign to arch-rival Arizona. A game that would have given the Sun Devils the Pac-12 South division crown and a match with the Oregon Ducks for the conference championship.

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In that game, Scooby Wright III destroyed the Sun Devils and Wildcat’s head coach Rich Rodriguez would see his team claim the South title and a trip to Santa Clara to play the Ducks. Prior to that, however, was the bigger debacle. The Sun Devils traveled to Corvallis, Oregon, to play a downtrodden Beavers team that was clearly outmatched, talent wise, compared to Arizona State. That did not matter, though, as the Sun Devils laid an egg and flew home to Tempe with a loss.

Combine those two games with the horrific beating the team received from the UCLA Bruins early in the year and it was clear that this team and program was not ready for that kind of pressure. Even with a senior quarterback in Taylor Kelly, the 2014 squad seemed to be nothing more than a lovable group of over-achievers who just could not overcome the talent gap against the other contenders in the conference.

While I love what head coach Todd Graham is doing, the thought of this group making it all the way to college football’s final four seems crazy. Of course, I am not Kirk Herbstreit and there is chance that the guy just knows something that I do not, adding another burning question to the 2015 Pac-12 season.

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