Through the first half of the year, Arizona State is 5-1, their sole blemish coming on a difficult road trip to Missouri. Since the loss to the Tigers, ASU has gone 3-0, winning all of their conference games to this point. Unfortunately, the teams ASU played, frankly, weren't very good. Current records for FBS teams on ASU's schedule:
Combined: 11-22 (33.3% winning percentage)
Arizona State will have no such luck going into the rest of the season. As of today, five out of six opponents have .500 records or better, with the sole exception being Wazzu. In fact, future opponent of the Sun Devils have a total of 26 wins on the season.
Lets break it down, game by game.
October 18: Oregon Ducks @ ASU, ESPN
Right off the bat, ASU faces their biggest test of the 2012 season. A close game, win or loss, would mean big things for the Sun Devils. A blowout would be devastating.
Saturday, October 27: UCLA Bruins @ ASU
Following an extended layover following the Ducks game, UCLA and Noel Mazzone come to Tempe for a Pac-12 South clash. Brett Hundley's maturation project is already in full swing; he is a difficult quarterback to prepare for and could present the Devils a host of issues defensively. Jonathan Franklin's rushing ability could also be tough to stop. However, UCLA has not looked to be world beaters these past few weeks, and Arizona State will be at home.
Saturday, November 3: ASU @ Oregon State Beavers
By this point, the Pac-12 South standings should be very clearly delineated. Either ASU will be the indisputed leader of the division, or the field will be wide open. Playing in Corvallis against the talented Beavers will not make things any easier.
Saturday, November 10: ASU @ USC Trojans
Just when you thought it couldn't get any more difficult, a road trip to play USC pops up on the schedule. The Trojans appear to be mortal, but our well-documented struggles in the state of California are reason enough for concern.
Saturday, November 17: Washington State Cougars @ ASU
Finally, some form of respite. Though with 10 games under his belt, Mike Leach should have his air raid offense functioning efficiently, and we need only look back at last season's dismantling at the hands of the Cougars to know what can happen if we're not prepared for Wazzu. This time, there won't be snow: I guarantee it.
Friday, November 23: ASU @ Arizona Wildcats, ESPN
While we all like to make fun of the Wildcats and talk smack, it's never an easy task to go into Tucson and win the Territorial Cup. The Devils will need to bring their 'A' game if they want to finish the season on a strong note.
As of today, our future foes have a total winning percentage of 70.2% (26-11). Should the Devils want to continue their torrid start, they will have to do it against very capable teams.