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The Devil’s Best Interest: Week 1 Around the Pac 12
Cameron Johnson
By Cameron Johnson, DieHardDevil.com
August 22, 2013 2:45 PM

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 2.34.32 PMTo the casual ASU fan it might seem that from September to January there is only one important football game each week, that being when the Devils take the field. To a certain extent this is true.

If the Devils were to win each and every week they would win the Pac 12 South, the Pac 12 Championship Game, and of course, the National Championship. While this is the ultimate goal of the program, and no doubt every Sun Devil fan alive, an undefeated regular season is rare, especially in the Pac 12.

Now, more than ever, the college football landscape is about who plays who at what point in the season, strength of schedule, strength of conference, national rankings, and a myriad of other components that can cause even the gurus to lose sleep at night.

The purpose of this column is to educate fans on who to root for each week within the conference that is in the best interest of the Devils. Week 1 is a slow one with only three Pac 12 games on the schedule, but let’s take a look.

Almost here..

Almost here..

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Week 1 kicks off at the end of August and consists of mostly non-conference games for the power conferences as their teams spend the first month or so of the season prepping for the difficult conference schedule. At this point of the season the name of the game is for the Pac 12 to look like a dominant conference. This makes it more likely that top teams in our league get ranked higher which in turn benefits all of the teams in the Pac later in the season.

The start of the season also provides lesser Pac 12 teams the opportunity to upset a nationally ranked team from another power conference. This not only strengthens the Pac 12 but diminishes the credibility of the other conference.

The end of August has three Pac 12 games to be concerned with. On the 29th we see Utah host Utah State. While Utah State is no pushover, we want the Utes to handle their in state rivals to start the season. Also on the 29th is 24th ranked USC traveling to Hawaii. While I love Norm Chow at Hawaii and root for him to do well with that program, we again have to root for USC. The results of this one look good since the Trojans have pounded Hawaii in recent years.

August ends with the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona traveling to Tucson to play the Wildcats. I love NAU and had an opportunity to cover them last year, and since my wife is a NAU graduate I always keep an eye on them. However, in this case we have to put our hatred aside, bite the bullet and look for UA to start with a win. Although it would be better for the State of Arizona in general to see the Lumberjacks pull off the upset, a UA win helps the Pac-12 conference overall.

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Week 2 will be a busy one, and we’ll have a look at each of the Pac 12 matches. Every new week of the season will hold more unique story-lines and scenarios for both the Pac 12 and the Sun Devils.

Every week, DieHard Devil will present all Pac 12 team match-ups and who to root for (and against) in the best interest of the Sun Devils. If you would like other information to be included in our weekly report, just contact DieHard Devil at the bottom of the site.

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