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ASU vs. Wisconsin: Todd Graham believes "the best team won"

Nobody likes when the referees interfere with the outcome of the game. But if you ask Todd Graham, he'll tell you the team that was most deserving of the win received it.

We can appreciate the dazed look, Todd.
We can appreciate the dazed look, Todd.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the rest of college football, Arizona State head coach Todd Graham has now had time to over-analyze the bizarre finish to Saturday's 32-30 win over the visiting Wisconsin Badgers. And while he's no longer holding on to his original fumble theory, Graham still feels that the rightful team walked away with the "W."

"I firmly believe the best team won that game," Graham said at Monday's weekly press conference.

That being said, Graham is the first to acknowledge that Saturday's ending was far from ideal. That's probably why Graham "fully expected" the statement the Pac-12 released Monday:

"This was an unusual situation to end the game," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "After a thorough review, we have determined that the officials fell short of the high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed. We will continue to work with all our officials to ensure this type of situation never occurs again."

"Unusual" was a sentiment echoed by Graham Monday.

"Obviously that was a very unusual deal," Graham said. "On one copy, it looks like [Joel Stave's] knee hit the ground to but on the other one I couldn't really tell."

Perhaps that, or the fact that his team walked away victorious, is the reason he's so understanding to the officials' plight.

"I knew exactly what happened [from their perspective]," Graham said. "There's a human element to this game...Even I was hollering to get on the ball."

Although it's difficult to disregard one of the strangest endings in the history of the sport, Graham remains a man of the present. And what lies ahead this Saturday is the greatest challenge the Devils will face all year: a visit to the No. 5 ranked Stanford Cardinal.

"This team that we're playing this weekend is the defending Pac-12 champion," Graham said. "And we're the contender."