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Arizona State football, Herm Edwards slammed in college football coach hot seat ranking

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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The criticism for Herm Edwards and the state of the ASU football program continues to come in with an ESPN college football writer becoming the latest to slam the Arizona State coach and his team.

ESPN's Pete Thamel blasted Edwards and the Sun Devils in a story on the college football coaching carousel on Wednesday.

The ASU coach was listed among four coaches on the proverbial "hot seat" in the sport and Thamel did not go easy on the state of Arizona State's program.

"ASU has a bad roster, underwhelming staff and the Pac-12’s worst recruiting class in 2023," he wrote. "All that, and a milquetoast 25-18 record under Edwards. ASU passed on starting over when the scope of the potential allegations against Edwards became apparent. Instead, they’ve emboldened the aggrieved staffers who claim they got pushed out for not cheating, who have been overloading NCAA investigators with evidence of the violations under Edwards’ watch."

More:Arizona's Jedd Fisch included on college football hot seat list, ASU's Herm Edwards not

Thamel also did not go easy on ASU President Michael Crow and Athletic Director Ray Anderson in his story.

He wrote: "The only people who don’t see this ending poorly are in the president’s and AD chairs in Tempe."

Also: "The cartoonish way that AD Ray Anderson attempted to spin the hire of Edwards — his former client when Anderson was an agent — back in 2017 now reads like an article from The Onion."

Ouch.

More:Arizona State football's Herm Edwards plummets in college football Power 5 coach ranking

Herm Edwards and the Arizona State football program continue to draw criticism ahead of the 2022 college football season.

The Sun Devils have be mired in a recruiting investigation conducted by the NCAA, one that doesn't seem to have an end in sight.

Earlier this week, Crow told The Athletic that the NCAA still hadn't finished interviewing coaches in the probe.

"I know that we haven’t, out of my office, been very vocal about anything because we’re asked not to say anything by the NCAA," Crow said. "And the NCAA is moving in deliberate fashion. I don’t believe they’ve even interviewed our remaining coaches yet."

He continued: "If we had been doing this investigation, we would’ve moved with the greatest speed imaginable to get a sense of what’s going on," Crow said. "It’s a process. You know the process. It’s unfortunate, and we are doing our best to work our way through it and to work it out."

More:Herm Edwards, Ray Anderson set for huge bonuses because of Arizona State academic success

Recruiting has stagnated for the Sun Devils in the process, and the team lost a lot of key players to the transfer portal in the offseason, resulting in low expectations for ASU in the 2022 season … and in a lot of criticism of the program and coach, like Thamel's.

CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd recently ranked Edwards' seat as ASU's coach the second hottest in all of college football.

Of the Sun Devils' coach, he wrote: "It's safe to say the NFL model experiment by athletic director Ray Anderson was just that -- an experiment. Edwards is 25-18 as CEO-coach, not bad but not good when combined with a languishing NCAA investigation over prospects reportedly brought in during the COVID-19 dead period. President Michael Crow has backed Edwards, instead blaming departed assistants for the alleged wrongdoing. In the wake, several players transferred. This season has the look of Edwards' last. At 68, he isn't going to be around for whatever the realignment future holds. The school would have been wise to take a postseason ban to start the rebuild."

More:ASU President Michael Crow explains why Herm Edwards is still Sun Devils' football coach

Athlon Sports released a preview for the Sun Devils that included opposing coaches taking aim at the Arizona State program.

"This is the biggest dumpster fire in college football," the preview quoted one coach as saying about ASU. "It is absolutely mind blowing that Herm (Edwards) is still employed, at least in the mind of the college coaching community. Everyone knows it's a ticking time bomb, but no one knows if it's going off in a month or a year from now.

It continued: "They look like a mid-level SEC program when they get off the bus, and you start to see what they've been recruiting. Then you finish the game and it's like playing a MWC team. They're wildling inconsistent, they turn the ball over, they make mental errors, it's all stuff that screams no stability. We've played them when they're locked in and physical, and we've played them when they're just not interested in being there."

More:Did ASU football, coach Herm Edwards deserve scathing criticism from anonymous coaches?

Will it be a long season in Tempe?

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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