Updated Jan 8, 2013 - 11:47 am
Early Pac-12 power rankings have ASU fifth, Arizona eighth
Locally, both Arizona State and Arizona will be coming off surprising seasons, as both Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez led their respective programs to bowl victories in eight-win seasons.
Where they go from here is anyone's guess, though ESPN's Ted Miller believes the Sun Devils are in better shape than the Wildcats -- at least going into next season.
In his first power rankings for 2013, Miller places ASU fifth and Arizona eighth.
5. Arizona State: Quarterback Taylor Kelly and running backs D.J. Foster and Marion Grice are a good start on offense, as is productive OLB/DE Carl Bradford on defense. The talent is there to challenge for the top of the South Division. Still, there are questions on both sides of the ball, most notably at receiver and in the secondary. If unblockable DT Will Sutton shocks just about everyone and opts to return for his senior season instead of entering the NFL draft, well, that would be a huge boost.
8. Arizona: The big question is quarterback. Replacing Matt Scott won't be easy. Every starter returns on defense, but that might not be a good thing for a woeful unit, one that is particularly lacking on the defensive line. A good offensive line and running back Ka'Deem Carey will make the Wildcats competitive.
Miller's points on both teams is fair, as the Devils are riding high after a strong finish and would appear to be set at quarterback. The Wildcats, on the other hand, are losing their quarterback but still return some quality players.
It's worth noting that neither team was projected to do much in 2012, so very early 2013 predictions don't exactly carry much weight. Then again, it's always nice to see people think highly of your team at all times.
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