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Aguano tasked with taking Arizona State in a new direction Pac-12 looking stronger at top after early-season losses CFP expansion talks head toward October after 7-hour meeting

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TEMPE, Arizona. Arizona State Completed Herm Edwards experiment one day after the ugly loss of the house.

The Sun Devils are hoping this change will help them build a season with nine games left.

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At the helm of this transition will be an acting coach Sean Aguanoformer ASU running back coach closely associated with Grand Canyon State football.

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“This opportunity is, by and large, a dream come true for me, and all I can ask for is an opportunity,” Aguano said on Monday. “What I can do with this opportunity in the next nine games is try to present a product that the Sun Devil Nation is proud of, and I will do my best.”

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Arizona State took a chance by hiring Edwards in 2017, handing over the reins to a former NFL coach who had spent the previous nine years in the TV studio and out of college for 33 years.

Edwards avoided being fired last season despite some questionable losses and a pending NCAA investigation into alleged hiring violations. When it became clear Edwards wasn’t going to change the program fast enough, athletic director Ray Anderson fired him on Sunday, less than 24 hours after a disappointing 30-21 home loss to Eastern Michigan.

Anderson expressed optimism that the season could be salvaged even if Utah, No. 7, and Washington, No. 18 were next on the schedule.

Aguano will steer in difficult waters.

Born and raised in Kapaa, Hawaii, Aguano was one of the most decorated high school coaches in Arizona history, leading Chandler High to four 6A state titles. Aguano joined Team Edwards in 2019, helping build the Sun Devils into one of the best teams in the country.

Now he has to lead a program that he has watched or participated in for more than two decades.

“I will give my heart and soul to this program,” Aguano said, holding back tears. “I don’t take it lightly. I’ve been here for over 20 years and I know what that means. I know this landscape. My children are children from Arizona. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my family.”

Agauno’s task will be to fix a team that is having trouble getting out.

Arizona State was one of the most penalized teams in the nation last season and is suffering from untimely errors this year. The Sun Devils opened the season with an easy win over FCS rivals Northern Arizona, but lost to No. 9 Oklahoma State in the end.

Arizona State lost 458 yards to East Michigan on Saturday night, having been penalized nine times for 84 yards, and became the first Pac-12 school to lose a Mid-American Conference school.

“For me, it’s the attention to detail,” Aguano said. “I had a meeting with the coaches and we are not going to lose sight of anything. If in practice something is done wrong, we will make sure that everything is done right by laying the foundation for these children. It won’t be a miracle, but it will change.”

The next nine games will serve as an audition for Aguano, who Anderson said will be considered for a full-time job.

Anderson made a calculated gamble when he hired Edwards, hoping the garrulous coach would be the right person to spearhead an NFL-like program model.

Next Arizona State Coach will probably to be someone better equipped to navigate the wild new era of college athletics, from the NIL to a rapidly expanding transfer portal and conference reorganization.

“We will be looking for someone who is likely to be a little more attuned to the changing changes and landscape in college athletics,” Anderson said. “He’s changing fast and you have to have someone who is willing to take on all of these extra changes because he’s going to keep changing.”

The state of Arizona has already undergone one big change. Aguano wants to make the most of it.

With Oregon being choked out by leading Georgia and Utah losing to Florida, it looked like the Pac-12 was headed for another college football playoff miss.

The week before the start of the season, the top two teams in the conference had already failed big early tests.

Fast forward three weeks and it looks like Pac-12 might be in good shape after all.

The Ducks and the Utes took the win with big wins, and the conference leader looks strong with four teams in the top 15 for the first time since 2016.

It’s still early, but Pac-12 is positioning itself to take the team to CFP for the first time since Washington in 2016-17.

Watch how the Pac-12 peak stacks up on the first weekend in October:

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

The No. 6 Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) seem to have quickly returned to glory in their first season under Lincoln Riley. Former Oklahoma Coach Brought Quarterback Caleb Williams with him to Southern California and they did well in the first four games.

Williams threw for 1,054 yards and threw for nine touchdowns, adding 100 yards and two more scoring shots. USC’s defense was opportunistic, leading the nation with 11 interceptions and tied for the lead with 14 clearances.

The Trojans survived a panic against the bully Oregon State over the weekend and started 4-0 for the first time since 2012. USC is scheduled to play in Utah on October 15 but has avoided Washington and Oregon this season.

UTAH

12th-place Utes opened the season with a heavy road loss at The Swamp in Florida, but won three lopsided games in a row.

Short of a costly interception against the Gators, the quarterback cam growth was sharp, throwing for 954 yards and 10 TDs. Utah (3-1, 1-0) has physical defense and is third in FBS with 132.8 yards per game.

The Cliff also has a veteran team that won the Pac-12 championship last season. Bad news: hard ending Brant Kuittheir lead wide receiver, out for the season with a knee injury.

Utah will play Oregon State this weekend and have tough games against USC and Oregon still on the schedule.

OREGON

The Ducks’ playoff chances plummeted after a 49-3 loss to defending national champion Georgia in the first game.

No. 13 Oregon (3-1, 1-0) bounced back with a decisive victory over a good BYU team and outlasted previously undefeated Washington State 44-41 last week.

The Ducks couldn’t match the Bulldogs in any way – there aren’t many of them – but they’ve averaged 51.6 points in their last three games. Oregon’s biggest weakness is his pass defense. The Ducks allow 72.5% of passes to be completed, the third worst in the country.

Oregon’s biggest test left this season will come in back-to-back games against Washington and Utah.

WASHINGTON

The Huskies quickly changed in their first season under a coach. Kalen DeBoer.

defender Michael Penix Jr. now that he’s healthy, he had an FBS-best tally for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns in a single interception. No. 15 Washington (4-0, 1-0) has a solid home win over Michigan State and has 15 sacks this season, including eight against Stanford last week.

On Saturday, the Huskies will play their first road game at undefeated UCLA before facing Oregon on November 12.

University of California at Los Angeles

After winning in Colorado for the first time since 2014 last Saturday, the Bruins (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have the longest winning streak since winning their first eight games in 2005.

UCLA had a hard time getting past South Alabama and opened its Pac-12 schedule with a victory over the struggling Buffaloes.

The Bruins will find out how good they are over the next three weeks, a brutal stretch that includes home games against Washington and Utah before heading to Eugene to play the Ducks on October 22.

ROSEMONT, Illinois. On Tuesday, the conference commissioners, who run the college football playoffs, spent nearly seven hours working on expanding the postseason system from four to 12 teams by the 2024 season.

There is still a lot of work to be done.

“We won’t be summarizing this week,” the CFP chief executive said. Bill Hancock said.

The CFP Steering Committee, consisting of 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame Athletic Director, is scheduled to meet again at the Big Ten offices for a few hours Wednesday morning. They are going to meet again in person in Dallas on October 20th.

“It will be important,” Hancock said.

Expansion talks have been reopened by university presidents and presidents who oversee the College Football playoffs last month.

By adopting a 12-team plan that has been on the table since the spring of 2021, the presidents pushed panel members to try to implement the new format before the current CFP contract with ESPN expires. This deal ends after the 2025 season.

The expansion from four to 12 in 2024 and 2025 will require rescheduling the semi-finals and championship games, for which dates and locations have already been set, as well as adding four new first round games in mid-December to be played on campus.

Squeezing it all in about a month and working with the NFL for TV is going to be tough.

Hancock said the idea of ​​moving the start of the college football season to a week before Labor Day was discussed to create more room at the end for the playoffs, but was discussed more after the 2025 season.

“I think most people see it as a subject for the future. As a long-term issue, not an urgent one,” Hancock said. “Remember, there are so many details here.”

Hancock said CFP officials have spoken to bowl partners and host cities due to host semi-finals and championship games after the 2024 and 25 seasons, but have not been given exact new dates.

Atlanta has already been selected to host the championship, which will take place after the 2024 season on January 6, 2025. If the playoffs grow from four teams to 12, the game will have to be rescheduled by about two weeks.

“(The Atlanta organizers) have a lot to work on because of other businesses in the community,” Hancock said. “Other business meeting, hotel business and business conference center there ….



Source: collegefootball.nbcsports.com

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