So, way back in August—before winter actually did come just as those characters in Game of Thrones repeatedly tried to warn us—House of Sparky put together its annual local media preseason roundtable to get insider takes regarding how the Arizona State Sun Devils’ season would play out.
Some reporters were as accurate as this year’s Lou Groza Award winner. Others, like myself, were not.
Hindsight is 20/20. Before we present the local media’s postseason thoughts, we decided to revisit the preseason edition.
Ryan Bafaloukos - House of Sparky (then) Co-Managing Editor (@RyanBafo)
Connor Pelton - House of Sparky Co-Managing Editor (@ConnorPelton28)
Kaelen Jones - House of Sparky (then) Football/Staff Writer (@kaelenjones)
Zac Pacleb - House of Sparky Multimedia reporter (@ZacPacleb)
Blane Ferguson - (then) House of Sparky Writer (@BlaneFerguson)
Miles Todd - House of Sparky Multimedia Reporter (@5280fs_s)
Fabian Ardaya - Devils Digest/Campus Rush Reporter (@FabianArdaya)
Justin Toscano - Devis Digest Reporter (@JustinCToscano)
Stefan Modrich - State Press Football Reporter (@StefanJModrich)
Mathew Tonis - State Press Football Reporter (@Tonis_The_Tiger)
Brad Denny - Former House of Sparky Editor/3 TV Sports Writer - (@BDenny29)
Let’s take a look at how wrong we were about ASU’s 2016 season in the preseason. To make things interesting, we’re adding a point/grade scale.
(correct response worth 2 points per question)
O/U 20 Pass TDs for single QB
Under (Manny Wilkins-12 TD): Pacleb, Ferguson, Ardaya, Modrich, Tonis, Denny
O/U 1,300 Rush Yards for Demario Richard:
Under (Richard-593 yd): Bafaloukos, Pelton, Jones, Pacleb, Ferguson, Modrich, Denny
O/U 10 Total TD Tim White:
Under (White-3 TD total): Pacleb, Todd, Ardaya, Tonis, Denny
O/U 60 Catches for Single WR:
Under (Harry-58, White-56): Bafaloukos, Ardaya, Toscano, Modrich, Denny
O/U 1.5 Instances of Starting QB Benched (non-injury):
Under (none, everyone got hurt): Pelton, Pacleb, Todd, Ardaya, Toscano, Modrich, Tonis
Through the first round: Pacleb, Ardaya, Denny (tied-first, 8 pts); Tonis (6 pts); Ferguson, Bafaloukos, Pelton, Toscano (4 pts); Todd, Jones (...2 pts)
Individual Choice and Awards
(correct response worth 5 points per question... I’ve gotta come back somehow)
Correct Answer — DJ Calhoun-77 total tackles, 60 solo: none
Correct Answer — Koron Crump-9 sacks: Jones* (2.5 pts rewarded for choosing both Wicker and Crump.)
Correct Answer — De’Chavon “Gump” Hayes-3 INT: none
Correct Answer — N’Keal Harry and/or Kalen Ballage: Denny* (2.5 pts rewarded for selecting Ballage)
Correct Answer — Crump: none
Starting QB Final Game
Correct Answer — Wilkins: Pelton, Pacleb, Todd, Modrich, Denny
Freshman of the Year
Correct Answer — Harry: Bafaloukos, Pelton, Jones, Toscano, Denny
Through the second round: Denny (20.5 pts); Pelton (14 pts); Pacleb (13.5 pts); Modrich (13 pts); Jones (9.5 pts); Toscano, Bafaloukos (9 pts); Ardaya (8 pts); Todd (7.5 pts); Tonis (6 pts); Ferguson (4 pts)
(5 points awarded for most profound/accurately predictive segment)
What would you consider to be a successful season for the Sun Devils in 2016?
Top Answers: “I don't feel that definitively answering the quarterback-of-the-future question is possible this year, even with a good season by Manny Wilkins or Brady White.” (Denny); “Finishing the season with a definitive direction.” (Tonis)
Who is your breakout player for 2016?
Top Answers: Harry (Modrich, Jones*, Pelton, Bafaloukos); Ballage (Toscano, Pacleb); Crump (Jones*) — *only 2.5 pts awarded because he listed four players as candidates.
Which game will make-or-break ASU’s season?
Top Answer: Arizona (Denny, Todd, Pelton)
When the dust settles, what is ASU’s final regular season record and where do they finish in the South?
Top Answer: 5-7 (none)
Final Point Tally: Denny (30.5 pts); Pelton (24 pts); Pacleb (18.5 pts); Modrich (18 pts); Toscano, Bafaloukos (14 pts); Todd (12.5 pts); Jones (12 pts); Tonis (11 pts); Ardaya (8 pts); Ferguson (4 pts)
Be on the lookout tomorrow for our local media postseason roundtable on House of Sparky!