Since 1997, Arizona State University has had just three seasons when its Sun Devils’ football team won 10 games.
Never anymore. And plenty of times the Sun Devils lost six, seven or eight games.
Don’t tell that to the college football coaching community. Don’t tell it to some of the country’s brightest prep football coaches and athletics trainers.
"It's the best job in this cycle ... right now," said a prominent college football assistant coach with College Football Playoff experience.
The consensus? Arizona State might be the best big-time college football job in the current coaching cycle.
Where do things stand for the Sun Devils, who fired Herm Edwards earlier this season amidst lousy performances and an ongoing NCAA investigation into what are perceived as some of college football’s most egregious COVID-19-era recruiting violations?
Well, no Arizona State list starts without Kenny Dillingham. He’s an Phoenix, Arizona, native with deep and direct ties to the Sun Devils’ program and he’s orchestrated one of college football’s top offenses week after week after a season-opening loss to top-ranked Georgia in the first-ever game for Dan Lanning as a head coach.
An ASU grad who also coached prep football at Arizona powerhouse Chaparral, Dillingham also has coached previously at his alma mater, Arizona State, and coordinated offenses now at Memphis, Florida State and Oregon.
Who else has been mentioned aside from Dillingham? Former University of Houston and University of Texas coach Tom Herman, fired from the Longhorns’ post in some controversy, has emerged as a viable candidate for the Sun Devils, and multiple other openings in this cycle.
Additionally, former NFL star Deion Sanders, a College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who’s guided Jackson State to a 22-2 record in his last 24 games as a head coach at the Football Championship Subdivision level, also has gotten some traction with the Arizona State job.
Now, could an NFL assistant coach fit at ASU or even former BYU and Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall? Perhaps.
But it seems that ASU has dialed in its focus on a narrower search.
For the latest on this search and all of college football's top openings, tap in to the FootballScoop "Coaching Searches Update" podcast:
Required podcast disclaimer: If you like the FootballScoop podcast, please rate and review as this will help us grow and keep us delivering this football-focused episodes. Maybe even tell a friend. Or an enemy. Thank you.