Cesmat-What Does the Future Hold for Graham and Rich Rod?

Since beating Notre Dame two seasons ago, Arizona State is 9-13 vs Power 5 teams…

Arizona is 0-5 in Pac-12 play. You have to go back to 2002 to find a Wildcat team that started worse(0-6)…

Arizona State faced Marcus Mariota, er Joey Harrington, er Bill Musgrave, I will get it right eventually. True freshman Justin Herbert on Saturday. All Herbert did against the Sun Devil defense would shatter the one-game total offensive record held by a Oregon QB(Musgrave). Herbert had 512 yards on the afternoon…

Arizona completed just 5 passes in Saturday nights loss to Stanford. 5!!!

When Arizona State plays at Arizona later this month, we can call it the “Band Aid Bowl”. Both schools have had more than their fair-share of injuries this season…

Hearing from MANY fans of both programs who want to change out their head coach. I can’t see it happening, purely because of the financials. According to USA Today it would cost Arizona $8.9 million to fire Rich Rod and Arizona State would be on the hook for $14.2 million if they let Graham go. Of course, there is ALWAYS a way to find the money if enough of the big cigars wanted a change…

Let’s not forget that Rich Rod did get on a plane last January and kicked the tires on the South Carolina job. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do the same thing again in the coming coaching cycle, but the record this season makes it seem unlikely that a big job(LSU) could be one that he could get in on. As for Graham, plenty has been said and written about how he wasn’t Ray Andersons hire. Anderson has moved plenty of coaches in and out since taking over almost three years ago, but the head football coach would be a different animal. Injuries are one thing, sloppy defense and tackling is another. Even before the injuries started piling up, ASU wasn’t much better from the end of last season on the defensive side of the football. With his agency and NFL front office background, Anderson knows the difference between good football and bad. He knows when a program is sliding or emerging. He’s a smart man. What does he see this year? Looking at the coming job cycle, it appears there will be several jobs in the state of Texas that may come open. Would Graham have a wandering eye that direction? Don’t bother asking the coaches about their status. Both will say they are happy where they are, so on and so forth. Their agents and search firms know the real story.

Both Arizona State and Arizona head coaching positions have never been a “destination” in the industry. I believe that the stadium project in Tempe is moving ASU in the right direction as an elite job, Greg Byrne is trying to raise the funds to do the same to their antiquated stadium in Tucson,  but being in the Pac-12 South means that both schools will always be in the shadow of UCLA and USC. Both schools complain about the deluge of late night start times for their programs when most of the nation is in bed by kickoff. That isn’t going to change as long as both schools are in the Pac-12.

I look at what’s going on in both Tucson and Tempe today and believe that the loser of the rivalry game next month will be sitting on the hottest seat for 2017. Both coaches could decide it’s time(if they haven’t already) to have their agents explore moving them on to the next job instead of dealing with the criticism that is starting to build around both men.