7-5 overall, 4-4 conference, 5th Pac-10
Against the spread
6-6 (4-4 home, 2-2 away, 4-5 grass)
7-5 (5-3 home, 2-2 away, 6-3 grass)
+.58 per game
2005 Season Summary
Head coach Dirk Koetter’s first four seasons at Arizona State produced two bowl seasons including a 2004 campaign that saw the Sun Devils finish 9-3 straight up and 7-5 against the spread.
Something seemed to be missing
Koetter was 26-23 overall in his four seasons at Tempe and although he had produced two bowl seasons in the last three seasons entering 2005, something seemed to be missing still with his program. The Sun Devils were both inconsistent and featured poor defenses, which Koetter hoped to improve in 2005 with a new coordinator.
Arizona State seemed to be the type of team that would let you down just as soon as you decided to believe in them. They were very streaky against the pointspread with such against the spread runs starting in 2001 of 1-5, followed by runs in 2002 of 6-1 and 0-3, then 2003 which saw losing streaks of 4 and 5 games sandwiched by one solitary cover. In 2004 ASU covered its first 5 games, only to lose 5 of their next 6 against the spread. This inconsistency coupled with their weak defense made many gamblers leery of them but that was offset by what seemed to be their championship potential, which brought in “business” from other gamblers.
Overall entering 2005, there were high expectations of ASU as they were coming off that 9-win season and would have defending national champion USC at home, which was considered a winnable game that could launch them into BCS status.
ASU opened the 2005 season with a Thursday Night home game against woeful Temple as a whopping 32-point chalk, covering with ease in a 63-16 blowout win for a promising start.
Portent of things to come
ASU next had an unexpected home game against SEC contender LSU, who was supposed to host the game but had to move it due to Hurricane Katrina. ASU was a 1.5-point “home” dog and had the game in hand before allowing the Tigers off the hook in a 31-35 loss that was a portent of things to come.
The Sun Devils rebounded nicely with a 52-21 blowout win over Northwestern as 15.5-point home chalks and followed that up with another blowout win at Oregon State in the Pac-10 opener, 42-24 as 7-point chalks.
Arizona had built up good momentum with those two wins and covers that followed the tough loss to LSU. The game that was circled on everyone’s calendar was next as USC came calling in a much-anticipated game. The Men of Troy where whopping 17-point chalks. USC was clearly over-valued as ASU proved by bolting out to a 21-3 halftime lead. With the game seemingly in hand, however, the Sun Devils let USC take the lead midway through the 4th quarter. ASU rallied to take the lead again with 5:57 left to play before USC rallied to escape with an epic 38-28 win. This game served as the defining moment to ASU’s season as they were never the same after this game in which their defense collapsed down the stretch.
Slow to recover
Deflated ASU was an over-priced 10-point home chalk in their next game against Oregon, which was a 17-31 loss. Things were to get worse, however, in their next game at struggling Stanford. ASU was an 11.5-point chalk in a 35-45 loss as they were slow to recover from that USC heartbreaker.
Up then down
Standing at 3-4 straight up and 4-3 against the spread, ASU was in danger of having the season get away from them. They rallied with two consecutive wins and covers over Washington and at Washington State before losing at UCLA. With Koetter’s job reportedly on the line, (as well as a bowl berth), ASU beat archrival Arizona 23-20 as 10-point chalks and beat Rutgers in their bowl, failing to cover, finishing up then down.