Arizona State may have worked its way up to No. 17 in the BCS Standings, but according to a new article from ESPN, the Sun Devils are among the top 10 teams in the nation right now.
ESPN used its own team metrics, input from coaches and Las Vegas odds to produce the "Real Top 10," an Insider piece published Wednesday.
The goal is to determine the top-10 teams in the country by asking this question: On a neutral field, who would beat whom? Or, put another way, who would be favored over whom?
In terms of team index metrics, we've incorporated ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) and Insider contributor Brian Fremeau's FEI metric to help determine our "real ranks." And for our Vegas component, we culled thoughts and individual power ratings from BrianEdwardsSports.com, DonBestAdvantage.com and MadduxSports.com.
On the list, Todd Graham's squad came in at No. 8, one spot behind Wisconsin -- a team the Sun Devils defeated 32-30 back on Sept. 14.
ESPN's Travis Haney had this to say about ASU's surprisingly high ranking:
This is a team you might not expect to see this high, but the strength of the Pac-12 schedule, a win against the team above it (never mind how it happened) and an offense that rates high in our efficiency evaluations are all reasons for the placement.
Despite identical 8-2 records and schedules, it's interesting to see the Sun Devils' primary competition in the Pac-12 South, UCLA, coming in well behind ASU at an average of 17.2 in the metrics.
Florida State and Alabama came in first and second, respectively, on ESPN's list -- which is interesting because the two are switched in all the major national polls at the moment.