When you’re a college football coach your job security is always in question unless your name is Nick Saban. When your name is Todd Graham and you’ve had two back to back disappointing seasons, questions about your job pop up daily. After Tuesday, Coach Graham’s job is really on the line in 2017.
First, lets talk reality for a second. To think that Coach Graham didn’t already know he was the proverbial coaching hot seat would be a gross understatement. The Sun Devils are coming off seasons in which they were 6-7 and 5-7 and leaving doubt in the hearts of the Sun Devil faithful about the state of the Arizona State football program.
Observers of the program have seen a steady decline in the amount of wins that Coach Graham has produced for the school. The first three years of the Todd Graham era saw a very healthy 28 wins and brought back thoughts of a consistent winning for the program. Those thoughts were dashed the last couple of years.
Last year ended with a thud in the Territorial Cup. The Sun Devils were run over by their in-state rival, the Arizona Wildcats. Frustration, in difference, and anger with the direction of the program began to seep out from the fan base in Tempe.
Fast forward to August 15, 2017 and a press conference where ASU President Michael Crow and ASU Athletic Director Ray Andersen were discussing the job security of Coach Graham.
“Losing records over more than one year in any sport are unacceptable. You have to look at what the reasons are and the dynamics, but Coach Graham completely understands that his very successful start at ASU has got to be realized again.” (Azcentral.com) Michael Crow stated.
If that wasn’t a line in the sand, I’m not sure what is.
“We’ve got tremendous athletes, new coordinators, new thoughtful additions to the coaching staff. Coach Graham is completely energized. I don’t think it’s possible for him to be in-energized. We’re excited about this season, but losing seasons at our level of performance expectation are unacceptable.” Crow added.
Like I said earlier, Coach Graham doesn’t need anybody to tell him that his coaching job is on the line. He knows.
This years team does have talent, but can the defense stop anybody?
Last season the Sun Devils had a lot of problems keeping people from scoring. The Devils had the second worst defense in the nation. The only team that was worse was Texas Tech. Let that the sink in Sun Devil fans.
Another stat that Sun Devils want to keep in mind for this upcoming year is that Todd Graham has to get his team to score at least 38 points a game to have a chance at winning. Last year, the average points per game for the winning team was 38 points.
Todd Graham came to ASU as a defensive minded coach. Now, he’s a defensive minded coach with his job on the line. Can he get his program turned around 2017?
For Sun Devil fans he better.