Todd Graham has done wonders for the ASU football program. He brought in high talent players and reformed the once discipline-less team into a calm, cool and collected unit.
He took the reigns in December of 2011 and immediately started recriuting athletes from across the nation. CTG wasn't going after just fresh out of high school players, he managed to get top recruits from junior colleges as well. Along with a stellar recruiting class Graham took the Sun Devils from ranked last in all of college football for penalty yards per game to the fifth nationally. That's a change of 79.77 yards under Dennis Erickson to 31.18 with Graham.
Besides the discipline and recruiting heroics from the one time- Pitt coach, Graham was also a media darling. He did so many interviews once he arrived on campus, I'm sure his head was spinning. Not only that, he made appearances around the university and even at a ASU basketball game where he jumped around with the student section and went nuts.
Here's the kicker in this whole dream situation where ASU went from a group of do-what-you-want-players to a solid group: this is Graham's fourth head coaching job. Two of his previous jobs, he was at the school for a year before he bolted for better programs. Graham said at his first ASU press conference that this was his 'dream job.' (Fun fact: when introduced at his previous job, University of Pittsburgh, he said the same thing then left the university and sent a text to his players saying goodbye.)
While everyone is singing CTG's praises after putting a 7-5 season together, including a huge comeback win vs. U of A, I'm weary. As of November 26th, 2012 there are four open coaching positions in the SEC. Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Auburn are open spots right now and there are rumors that Missouri’s Gary Pinkel may be out soon.
Graham's first coaching position was in Conference USA followed by the Big East and then the PAC-12. He spent a single year at Rice( C-USA) before leaving for Tulsa (C-USA) where he spent four seasons. After Tulsa he went to Pitt (Big East) for a year before coming to ASU (PAC-12). Let's face what we all know is the truth: the SEC is greater football conference than the PAC-12. It is the closest thing to the NFL in college football.
With four, possibly five open coaching positions in the SEC, Todd Graham is under a microscope for me. I would not be surprised if Graham left to go play in a conference that has seven national titles since 2003 and has won the last six.
Todd Graham you broke the hearts of everyone at Pitt after a year, please don't do it again.