Arizona State won’t be ranked in the AP poll for its big home matchup against No. 2 Oregon on Thursday night, when the Sun Devils will have the opportunity to convince their skeptics.
I slid 5-1 ASU onto my AP ballot this week for the first time this season, putting the Devils at No. 25. Their resume is still suspect because they haven’t beaten an FBS team with a winning record — hence the skeptics — but they are passing the eye test.
ASU is a balanced team that can run the ball, make big plays on defense, and it will have a chance to contend against the Ducks if sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly keeps playing as efficiently as he did through the first half of the season.
The Sun Devils just missed out on being ranked by the AP, finishing first among others receiving votes. ASU is No. 24 in the USA Today coaches poll.
Arizona, at 3-3 and on a three-game losing streak, appeared on one of 60 AP ballots — from Josh Kendall of The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. That shows a lot of respect for UA’s strength of schedule. The combined record of the Cats’ five FBS opponents are 24-5.
Here is my AP ballot for this week:
4. Notre Dame
5. Kansas State
7. South Carolina
8. Oregon State
10. Ohio State
13. Florida State
15. Texas Tech
18. Mississippi State
19. Texas A&M
20. West Virginia
24. Boise State
25. Arizona State