Arizona State football has a brand new head coach and after one of the worst seasons in recent memory for the Sun Devils, what’s realistic for 2023?
When it comes to the Arizona State football program, head coach Kenny Dillingham is reason enough for Sun Devil fans to be optimistic about the future.
After all, Dillingham is known for being a really good offensive coach and his recruiting prowess might be even stronger. Arizona State football has already landed a blue-chip quarterback under his watch in Jaden Rashada, who was rated as a five-star in 2023 by 247 sports.
Yes, the Oregon offense was explosive last season and the system Dillingham put in place was a huge part of that.
Of course, Arizona State football isn’t going to be an easy rebuild. The Sun Devils have lost multiple starters on the offensive line in the transfer portal, despite making 26 additions including former Notre Dame starter Drew Pyne.
Pyne is likely heading into next season as the starting quarterback but don’t count out Rashada, who is hoping for early playing time and has enough talent to earn his way onto the field.
If you include the 2023 recruiting class, which has 20 players signed total, with JUCOs, Arizona State football will have 46 new scholarship players out of 85 total. That’s definitely an overhaul.
The idea of adding guys in the transfer portal is to win right away or at least come close to doing that. Arizona State football has a solid class of talent. The recruiting class is ranked 36th overall but the question is, what does that mean for 2023 in terms of wins?
Realistic expectations for Arizona State football in 2023
The one good thing is that the Pac-12 isn’t as difficult as the SEC or the Big Ten. The schedule isn’t easy though. Southern Utah, Fresno State, and Oklahoma State make up the non-conference portion of the schedule with all three games at home.
The Sun Devils need to win two of those three or a bowl game isn’t happening. In terms of conference play, home games against Colorado, Washington State, and Arizona are all winnable.
Just about every game on the road will be a huge challenge as Oregon, USC, Washington, and Utah are all games played away from Sun Devil Stadium. There is a trip to California earlier in the season which is another winnable game, so a bowl game is possible.
I’d say something in the 4-6 win range is a realistic expectation and as long as the Sun Devils beat their non-power 5 opponents, it will be hard to be disappointed with what Dillingham does in his first season, knowing how far there is to go after the Herm Edwards debacle.