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Arizona State preparing for final season in Pac-12

The Sun Devils are in fall camp preparing for the upcoming season amid news the school will be moving to the Big 12 in 2024.

TEMPE, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona State president Michael Crow had long been one of the Pac-12's biggest advocates and was a main proponent of trying to save the conference, but last week he had to make a decision to save his own athletic department as the conference crumbled. 

"Once Oregon and Washington decided to go to the Big 10 the conference was no longer viable," Crow said during practice on Saturday. "You can't be in a non-viable position for more than a few hours, in our mind, so we resolved that."

He also added that Oregon and Washington did not show up for a last ditch meeting to save the conference on Friday.

It may be a dawn of a new era in Tempe with the program moving to the Big 12 in 2024; however, this is a change that ASU head football coach Kenny Dillingham and his staff have already been preparing for.

"I had a plan," Dillingham said after practice. "If you notice how I’ve been recruiting in that region since we've been here. I knew that was an option and we made sure we diversified where we were recruiting in this class. That way, we were ready for whatever decision was made.”

Dillingham acknowledged that the programs in the Big 12 have higher budgets and have greater financial investment and he stressed that the program as a whole will need to step up.

"We are going into football heaven, Texas," Dillingham said. "If we’re not ready, if our fans aren’t ready, and everybody is not ready we will be in for a rude awakening.”

Even with this move the horizon, the Sun Devils still have one last season in the Pac-12. Dillingham says right now the focus is on getting ready for week one. 

"I think the growth from spring ball to now in terms of what it takes to win," Dillingham said. "We are still a long way away, but we are a lot closer than we were. We just practiced two hours and 10 minutes and people are out here smiling. They are competing. They are falling in love with the process.”

One of the biggest question marks for the Sun Devils is who will lead Dillingham's offense. Despite the fierce competition, the quarterback room has grown together and has celebrated each other’s successes during camp. 

"You know being able to see us grow, not only from spring, but day to day and during this camp throughout this whole first week has been amazing," red shirt sophomore quarterback Drew Pyne. "We are all part of one working group and we are all just trying to win. And we work really hard, so why not celebrate."

Drew Pyne and Trenton Bourget are the more experienced heads in the competition. Pyne started 10 games last season, going 8-2 with the Fighting Irish. Last season, Pyne threw for 2,021 yards completing 64.6% of his passes with 22 touchdown passes and six interceptions. Bourget started five games last season for ASU. During his seven total appearances, Bourget threw for 1,490 yards completing 71.1% of his passes with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Many around the program expect one of Pyne or Bourget to be the starter week one, but the wildcard is the ultra-talented freshman Jaden Rashada. The number six rated quarterback in the class of 2023, according to 24/7 Sports, believes he has improved in many areas since arriving in the spring. 

"I would say mentally and decision making, better feet work," Rashada said. "I still have a lot of work to do and i’ll put in the work. I’m getting way more comfortable every day so i’d say its jumped dramatically since spring ball.”

ASU's fall camp continues and the quarterback battle rages on this week at Camp Tontozona. The Sun Devils will kick off their final season in the Pac-12 on August 30 against Southern Utah at Mountain America Stadium.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Chas Messman

Chas Messman joined KYMA in July 2023 as News 11’s Sports Director. If you have any sports story ideas, send them to


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