It's time for Todd Graham to go

Graham's inconsistencies are reason for the Sun Devils to move on

ASU football head coach Todd Graham posted a 28-12 record for his first three seasons in charge, but since then Graham has lead the Sun Devils to a subpar 16-19 record.

After a successful start in Tempe, Graham’s inability to win road games and establish a positive record may be the indication that it is time for Graham to go.

One failing aspect of Graham's coaching tenure is the steady decline of the ASU defense.

"Lack of depth (on defense) would be the first problem," Greg Moore, Arizona Republic and AZCentral.com's sports columnist, said.

ASU only gave up 24.3 points per game in Graham’s first season as head coach. Now, the Sun Devils are giving up 31.4 points per game on the season, while last season Graham’s defensive unit surrendered nearly 40 points per game.

Even after ASU gave up a combined 17 points against then-No. 5 University of Washington and the University of Utah on the road, the Sun Devils have allowed over 40 points per game in three of its last four contests against the University of Southern California, the University of Colorado and the University of California, Los Angeles.

"There was a news conference where Michael Crow did the majority of the speaking, but Ray Anderson was right there," Moore said. "They said that they had really high aspirations for this program that they wanted to beat all of those California schools." 

Nevertheless, ASU still failed to win against all four of its California opponents this season.

Although ASU’s offense this season has scored 20 points or more in every contest but two, the team is only one loss away from failing to get a winning record for the third-straight year.

This ties into another big issue that we have seen from Graham in his tenure at ASU — his inability to consistently win games.

The Sun Devils this season have failed to win more than two games in a row. Even after impressive performances against Washington and Utah, the Sun Devils were blown away against then-No. 21 ranked USC at home by a final score of 48-17.

The only consistency from Graham in the last three seasons has been his ability to lose Pac-12 games on the road.

ASU’s win at Utah this season is marked as the first win the Sun Devils have had on the road against a Pac-12 opponent since 2015. In that game, ASU defeated then-No. 7 UCLA. ASU has since beat another Pac-12 opponent on the road in Oregon State, but even with that said, the Sun Devils still went a whole season and a half without a Pac-12 win on the road.

To go along with a winless record on the road against Pac-12 opponents, the 2016 Sun Devils went on a six-game losing streak to finish out the season. During that streak, Graham’s team gave up no less than 37 points in a game.

Worst of all, against UA, the Sun Devils allowed their in-state rivals to score 56 points in a 56-35 rout in Tuscon.

Graham was already on the hot seat at the beginning of the year. After another up-and-down season at the helm, it looks like time is up for Graham at ASU.


Reach the columnist at kbriley@asu.edu and on twitter @Kokiriley.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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