When he was hired last winter as the new Arizona State football coach, the reaction to Herm Edwards new role was one mainly of …skepticism.
After all, the 64-year old Edwards had last coached anywhere in 2008 (Kansas City Chiefs), and he had last been a college football coach in…1989, when he was a defensive backfield coach at San Jose State.
Adding to the murmurs of doubt was that Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson, a former agent, listed Edwards as one of his clients.
Wait there’s more.
Edwards and Anderson then preached a new philosophy of college football administration, which would be set up more like an NFL model, with a General Manager which evaluated talent. Edwards talked about “”cutting” players who under performed.
The wise old owls of the college football world quickly dismissed ASU, which was a middle of the road Pac-12 team last season (7-6, 6-3), as another experiment which would not really work.
We are now two games into the 2018 season and Arizona State is not only 2-0, but the Sun Devils are ranked (No. 23 in the AP poll) for the first time since 2015.
Matched against the 0-2 start of more talked–about hires at UCLA (Chip Kelly) and Arizona (Kevin Sumlin), ASU’s start looks even more impressive.
Edwards, of course, is having none of the “I told you so”’ chatter. “”Rankings won’t help you win games,” he said at his press conference this week. “”We won’t get caught up in that.”
Two games does not a season make and ASU must hit the road the next two weeks against San Diego State and Washington, a pair of teams who can beat the Sun Devils.
“We haven’t played a road game yet,” acknowledged Edwards, who a year ago was working as a football analyst at ESPN. “”It will be very difficult.”
It may well be all of that and ASU could be back in the pack by the first of October, but for now, the sun is indeed shining in the Valley of the Sun, which is why Herm Edwards is TMG’s Newsmaker of the Week.