So since the long lost days of summer when I first began looking forward to ASU football again, I lumped the Wisconsin and Oregon games together. It was my (eternally optimistic) opinion that if we could step up and take the nationally-televised game in Madison then we would carry the momentum into a home win against conference favorite Oregon. I conversely felt that if we lost to Wisconsin, no matter how hard fought, that we would come home worn out and flat, leading to another Oregon stomping.
While we all know how miserably the first in that two game package ended (Sun Devils vs Badgers recap), I for some reason do not feel as pessimistic as I should about this Saturday's contest.
If before the season I felt like losing that week 3 game could send us in to a tailspin, why do I not feel that way now as the days tick away until the opening matchup of pac-10 play? It can't be something Oregon has done, because they have done nothing other than look even better than everyone expected them to.
Maybe I am too close and too optimistic (Read: definitely), but this year the matchup with Oregon doesn't feel like I need to brace myself for a painful wincing experience. While the last couple years, Oregon's bright threads have cut through ASU almost at will, but this year I get a feeling of the Devils toeing the line and getting in the Ducks' face (dear God, not in the personal foul sense hopefully).
This round of UO v. ASU (Ducks vs Sun Devils preview) feels different in that I don't think the speed or dynamic playmaking Oregon possesses on both sides of the ball intimidate or scare ASU at all. The D has shown the speed to hang with that Ducks' O, and the retooled Devils' attack has shown that it can move the ball effectively and commandingly in the hands of Steven Threet. I'm not saying that the Devils shouldn't be the clear underdog, I'm just saying that what used to be intimidation has grown into a respect with a side of confidence that they can stand toe to toe with everything the Ducks have to offer.
Well I just had to get that out there to put my craziness into writing. Going to school out of state makes it difficult to keep these wildly optimistic thoughts to myself without turning myself nuts. If I'm totally wrong then I wince again and settle for the fact that my preseason notions were right; If the Devils back me up on this then I have it on figurative paper to prove I'm a genius.
Until next time -- Go Devils