Let’s start with Dr. Michael Crow and Ray Anderson and then I’ll get into Saturdays impressive performance by Arizona State football at Utah (30-10 road victory).
The school president and athletic director made comments before this current season started about the future of their football coach. Just so we are crystal clear, Dr. Crow said this before the season started on August 15th, when talking about the future of Todd Graham as head coach after two straight losing seasons.
“Losing records in any sport are unacceptable and losing records over more than one year in any sport are unacceptable. Now you have to look at what the reasons are and the dynamics. Coach Graham completely understands that his very successful start at ASU has got to be realized again.”
More from Crow on August 15th of this year:
“In everything that we hear, we’ve got tremendous athletes, new coordinators, thoughtful additions to the coaching staff. Coach Graham is completely energized — I don’t think it’s possible for him to be un-energized — and so we’re excited about bringing all of that together. We think we’ve got a great culture that has been evolving. We’re excited about this season but losing seasons without some transformational explanation are unacceptable at our level of performance expectation.”
Ray Anderson had these comments on August 15th too, when asked why he didn’t recommend to the Board of Regents to extend Todd Grahams contract last spring.
“We haven’t sugar-coated it ever. You make the business decision like you would with any other leader. Do you award after a performance that was substandard? The answer to that is ‘no, you don’t.’ Todd has four years left on his contract and I have great confidence he’s going to deliver a great year so people won’t be asking the question going forward, but I also have a responsibility to the university and to the athletic department and to the business of football to make prudent financial decisions. I feel very confident that we’ve done that.”
So as fans if you truly believe that all is well then you should demand that Dr. Crow and Ray Anderson call a press conference Monday and announce that Todd Graham isn’t going anywhere and that he is going to be the head coach for many, many years to come. National Letter of Intent day in football recruiting has been moved up to December 20th. Todd Graham has been listed on websites across the country as “sitting on the hot seat.”
That doesn’t help him in his cause of building a solid recruiting class. If the head coach has done enough to show his bosses that “all is well”, then put out the fire that was started.
Should it matter that the ugly numbers like holding a team under 30 points for the first time in 11 games (Washington). Winning a road game for the first time in 400 days (Utah) are now a thing of the past? Great programs don’t EVER go through brutal stretches like what we’ve seen out of Arizona State over the last two years. Simply forgiving all of the bad football after a few games isn’t acceptable to me. They are making progress, no question, but in mid-October am I ready to say this is a juggernaut? Hardly…
One of the biggest excuses I’ve heard through the years out of the ASU camp is “it’s a pro sports town, too many teams competing for the entertainment dollar so our stadium will never be a sell out”…Um…next week the Cardinals are on a bye and the Suns are out of town at Portland. ASU will be ranked in the Top 25 for the first time this season, USC is in town. Will the game be a TRUE sellout? Can’t use the pro sports excuse on this one. Your argument doesn’t hold water. Is the paying public ready to support college football? Prove it…
There’s this little game in a month against Arizona. Last time I checked, the Wildcats were still running untouched to the end zone again and again and again and again vs Arizona State in 2016. Facts are that there are still those in the community that will only want Graham back if he beats Arizona. If he loses that game, the pressure will be immense on the President and AD. That’s a fact.
Arizona State looked and played like a top 10 team in the country on Saturday.
PICK 6️⃣ Jay Jay Wilson #ASUvsUTAH
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) October 21, 2017
I had text messages flowing in throughout the game from big cigars and longtime fans wanting to know “Is Arizona State this good, or is Utah that bad?” The Utes were a speed bump, nothing more. To me, it was easily the most impressive performance in a long, long, long time.
But, when you’ve been as bad as the program has shown the last two years, every week you have to put up, in order to shut up. IF Arizona State runs the regular season table and wins the Pac-12 Title game, they can do some special things. A really good bowl game rather than another trip to El Paso, San Diego, or Las Vegas (meh). For me, it’s simply an impressive road victory in mid-October.
Maybe it’s viewed differently by Dr. Crow and Ray Anderson.