Moments after their heart-breaking 43-42 Cactus Bowl loss to West Virginia ASU head coach Todd Graham put the 2015 Sun Devil season to bed.
For Graham and the Sun Devil Nation it couldn’t have come any faster.
A sluggish start spiraled into a 6-7 season which included a hand-full of fourth-quarter collapses and the departure of deputy head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Norvell and a handful of other key assistants who followed Norvell to Memphis.
Despite the underachieving season and coaching defections Graham and the program he has constructed, both on the field and within Sun Devil Stadium and the football facilities, is still on the rise according to one well-respected college football announcer.
“I think a lot of times when you have a season that is not what you hoped it would be,” ESPN’s Rece Davis told Sports360AZ.com from downtown Phoenix Saturday morning. “Sometimes a little revamping, rebuilding, fresh ideas, a new energy can be good.”
Davis knows the loss of the fast-rising Norvell hurts but is confident the Devils can “reboot” in 2016, especially under the guidance of Graham who is 34-19 since taking over the program after Dennis Erickson was fired late in 2011.
“Todd’s won everywhere,” he said. “And he’s done a good job here.”
The College GameDay host and game broadcaster also believes the stumbles of last fall will further drive and motivate Graham to “make the right hires” and return to the double-digit win seasons Sun Devil fans had become accustomed to the past couple years in Tempe.