ASU to get 'Hard Knocks' treatment in new show
"Hard Knocks" is coming to college football. Sort of.
Arizona State will be featured this season in a new Pac-12 documentary series similar to HBO's popular NFL series. "The Drive" will also feature Cal and air in 14 parts on the Pac-12 Network beginning Sept. 11.
"The Drive" will take fans behind the scenes of ASU football. Athletic director Steve Patterson and coach Todd Graham have agreed to allow a Pac-12 production crew to follow the team from the start of fall camp through the end of the regular season.
In a release announcing the show Thursday, ASU said the show will give fans "an unprecedented behind-the-scenes understanding of the inner workings of the football program, both on and off the field."
Added Graham, "The intimate connection between our team and our fans is one of the things that makes college athletics so special. This show is another chance to bring all of Sun Devil Nation closer to us and make them an even bigger part our family than they already are."
The series will cover everything from practices and games to academics and community service. The crew will have access to the locker room and team meetings and conduct sit-down interviews with players and coaches.
"We are always looking for unique and compelling ways to showcase our football program and the Pac-12 Networks," Patterson said. "'The Drive' offers the perfect outlet."
The Sun Devils are coming off an 8-5 season in which they won a bowl game for the first time since 2005. It was Graham's first season leading the team, and the effort was heralded as a turnaround of a program trending in the wrong direction. Expectations are higher this season, both internally and externally. ASU was voted last week by Pac-12 media members to finish second in the Pac-12 South.
While the show will utilize the same format as HBO's "Hard Knocks," series, which is entering its eighth season featuring NFL teams, the shows are not affiliated.
"The Drive" will premiere in a one-hour special before going to weekly half-hour shows through Dec. 11. The first episode will cover ASU's fall camp, which opens next week, and its first game against Sacramento State. Episodes will be split between ASU and Cal.