TUCSON AZ - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Arizona State Sun Devils congratulates Cameron Marshall #26 after he scored a 2 yard rushing touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats during the double overtime of the college football game at Arizona Stadium on December 2 2010 in Tucson Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats 30-29 in double overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Sun Devils earned a big dose of respect on Wednesday, as Sports Illustrated ranked ASU 17th overall in their 2011 Top 25.
They are ahead of several prestigious football schools, including Ohio State, USC, Missouri, Auburn and Florida.
There are a few big surprises on this list, including Stanford ahead of Oregon. The Ducks haven't received a ton of respect even though they keep their offense largely intact from 2010.
Notre Dame is at 15th overall, being given their annual popularity contest vote.
With TCU at 18th, they have their work cut out for them if they want to reach the BCS. With a key game against the Boise St. Broncos in the latter part of the season, they will be able to make a statement and move up the rankings.
1. Alabama 6. Florida State 11. Texas A&M 16. Virginia Tech 21. Mississippi State 2. Oklahoma 7. South Carolina 12. Wisconsin 17. Arizona State 22. Missouri 3. LSU 8. Boise State 13. Oklahoma State 18. TCU 23. West Virginia 4. Stanford 9. Nebraska 14. Michigan State 19. Ohio State 24. Auburn 5. Oregon 10. Arkansas 15. Notre Dame 20. USC 25. Florida
6. Florida State
11. Texas A&M
16. Virginia Tech
21. Mississippi State
7. South Carolina
17. Arizona State
8. Boise State
13. Oklahoma State
23. West Virginia
14. Michigan State
19. Ohio State
15. Notre Dame
But lets return to the Sun Devils.
ASU has been decimated by injuries this offseason, yet 17th overall is the highest ranking we've seen. Perhaps SI is intrigued by Brock Osweiler's positive attitude and his confident desire to make the BCS National Championship Game down in New Orleans.
Another possibility is that the Sun Devils played well in 2010, losing close matchups to nearly every ranked team they faced. Without penalties, ASU could have beaten Stanford. Without excessive turnovers, the Sun Devils may have conquered Oregon. Who is to say they will not turn it around in 2011 and win those tight games?
And that is what brings us back to reality: the only game that matters is UC-Davis on September 1. Once that game is in the record books, the Sun Devils can focus on Missouri.
Do you think the Sun Devils deserve to be ranked 17th overall going into the season?
Yes, they are a good team (112 votes)
No, they haven't proven anything yet (147 votes)
Preseason polls are pointless! (97 votes)
356 total votes