If you’re a DieHard fan, ASU football is a 365 day gig. Between recruiting news, tweets, instagrams, press releases, the Pac-12 Networks, podcasts and your favorite websites and forums, it’s baffling that we can set aside time for work.
Here we list what we think are the 10 biggest days to be a Sun Devil Football fan, starting with the present time.
1. Camp T
As the season nears, the Sun Devils seclude themselves in the Tonto National Forest for one of ASU’s biggest traditions and one that originated with coach Frank Kush in 1960. Camp T was reignited by Todd Graham after it had been shut down for a few seasons due to poor conditions. This year, camp begins on August 12 with the official scrimmage slated for August 16.
2. Season Opener
It’s what we’ve been waiting for since the last snap of the Devils’ debacle vs Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. There’s nothing like it, that first kickoff. Months of pent up hope and anxiety culminate in an evening with unmatched buzz. Where will you be on Thursday, August 28 at 7:30PM when ASU welcomes Weber State to Tempe?
If you are considering just one away game this season, this is it.
On September 13th, the Sun Devils will head north for a match with the Buffaloes. We mark this date not because we expect a necessarily tough contest with the rebuilding Buffs. No, this is about the road trip to Boulder. Colorado is home to many devout Sun Devils, and they know how to throw a party. Our friend Rob Malara of the Devils Den Podcast is behind the scenes with the big parties and tailgates for alumni and fans. If you want to make one road game in 2014, this is it.
This.. is.. big. On Thursday, September 25, the Bruins visit the House of Heat for a nationally televised battle. Revenge will undoubtedly be on the minds of Coach Jim Mora and his squad since ASU went to Pasadena in November and left as champions of the South. At the same time the Sun Devils will look to avenge their last second home loss to UCLA in 2012. This is likely ASU’s most important game of the year.
5. Notre Dame
ASU’s defeat at the hands of the Irish last year was a rare dark spot in a largely positive season. While they may not have out-dressed the Devils in Texas last fall, Notre Dame forced three turnovers from a sputtering offense. That 3-point loss left many a Sun Devil fan with a sick taste in their mouth. And for that there is but one cure, and it’s available on Saturday, November 8 in Tempe, AZ. #BeatTheIrish
6. UA Game – Friday, November 28
Duh. Get your punt flags ready.
7. Pac-12 Championship
Though it didn’t go the way we wanted, the Pac-12 Championship in Tempe was an experience all it’s own. This is the most important game every year for the the Devils because it sends the winner to the Rose Bowl. For that shot, Todd Graham’s team must out-shine USC, UCLA and the rats in the South. This is the formula to establishing an elite program. Friday night, December 5 at Levis Stadium.
Christmas and Signing Day battle for the prize for the holiest day of the year.
8. Sun Devil Football Banquet
The end-of-the-year banquet features season award presentations, speeches and a celebration of the departing seniors. This marquee night includes a mix of players, alumni, faculty and boosters in a classy setting.
9. Signing Day
For avid followers, Christmas and Signing Day battle for the prize for the holiest day of the year. Simply put, tracking the intense tug-of-war for the nations elite recruits is exhausting, emotional madness. Signing Day puts to rest all of the anxious speculation. The countdown is already on for February 4, 2015 when ASU’s 2015 class becomes official.
10. Spring Game
The Spring game is a full-on scrimmage open to the public where fans can gauge the team’s progress, evaluate the newcomers, get a peak at a few recruits, and start to establish story lines for the upcoming season. It’s not much but it “wets the appetite.” ASU has done a great job at turning the day into a more complete experience by launching the Fan Fest in 2012. 8,000 fans turned out for this years event.
Did we miss something that should have made this top-10?