5-5 isn’t the kind of record that keeps football coaches employed for the long haul. With two games left in the regular season, Arizona State still isn’t bowl eligible. A home beat down by USC and a teeth-extracting loss at UCLA over the weekend have left many fans wanting a change. Each week i get the “fire Graham” emails. Every week I get the “look at all the good Graham has done in the classroom” notes. A fan base torn in half. A fan base that has seen their neighbors to the south put together a 7-win season with a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback and 61 freshman or redshirt freshman on the roster.
Todd Graham has checked off a lot of boxes that most any college president or athletic director would want out of their head football coach. In the classroom the team GPA has improved dramatically under Grahams leadership. In the community, I’ve heard from those impacted by players doing good things.
Who wouldn’t want a coach who almost singlehandedly started the momentum to build badly needed facilities for the football program? Who wouldn’t want a coach that can convince players like N’Keal Harry to stay home to go to school?
If the Sun Devils lose to lowly Oregon State this Saturday, would Crow and Anderson pull the plug on the head coach before the Arizona game? If ASU splits the two games, but lose to the in-state rival, do they write Graham a check and say “thanks very much”? Do Crow and Anderson need to address Grahams future before the Arizona game if they truly intend to keep him? LOI day is December 20th. Gotta let recruits know that “this is our coach”.
The whole narrative about not being able to afford to pay Graham off is simply not true. My understanding is finding a pen to put on the check and move the decimal point down a couple of spots wouldn’t be a problem if they decided to cut ties.
The problem that Arizona State is facing is pretty simple. Is it truly about the “student-athlete” or “winning games”. Obviously most of you just want wins if I am to believe my email. Classroom GPAs don’t matter to most of those who are waving the flag of firing Graham.
It’s been 20 years since Arizona State went to a Rose Bowl. Lots of stops to smaller bowl games like El Paso, San Diego, and Chase Field for the holiday season have been written into the Sun Devil football record books. Perhaps it’s time to consider that this program is just another version of Northwestern or Vanderbilt. Academics come first. Being a regular in a BIG bowl game isn’t going to happen. Graduating lots of players who become productive citizens in society is a bigger deal than winning at minimum 8-games every season. Nothing wrong with that, right?
When I am out speaking, most want a change with the head coach. The lack of wins on the field certainly make sense for the angst. The victories off the field aren’t being taking into account as seriously as I think they should. Jean Boyd is the MVP of this team. Never heard of him? Here you go.
Where do you come down on this?