Arizona State fired head coach Todd Graham Now what?
Is this because UCLA stepped up its game with Chip Kelly?
Todd Graham was fine.
He came in after one mediocre season at Pitt and won 28 games in his first three seasons, taking ASU to the Pac-12 Championship in 2013 and with four straight bowl appearances.
He had one clunker of a 2016 season, bounced back with a solid 7-5 year with a second place finish in the Pac-12 South – and he beat Arizona for a fourth time in six tries.
But that wasn’t enough.
Going 46-31 overall and 31-23 in Pac-12 play was fine.
Again, Todd Graham was fine.
But USC is great, Arizona is still rising under Rich Rodriguez – Khalil Tate has something to do with that – and then there’s the UCLA problem.
It’s hard to argue with Arizona State wanting to be better than fine.
By hiring Chip Kelly, UCLA is making a statement that it intends to be a major player, and everyone else might have to keep up.
But who can ASU get who could possibly compete with Kelly, USC, and Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Wazzu up in the North?
Who changes the dynamic? Here are five guesses …
Kevin Sumlin: He didn’t fit at Texas A&M, but ASU might be the right spot for a great guy, high-octane offensive coach.
Charlie Strong: Maybe, the idea is to defense to combat the rest of the Pac-12 offenses – and what’s coming at UCLA.
Mike Norvell: The Memphis head man is going to be part of the coaching carousel, and he certainly knows ASU as the former offensive coordinator.
Jeff Tedford: What he did in one year at Fresno State is nothing short of amazing. He certainly knows the Pac-12, and he proved he certainly knows how to coach.
Jim Bob Cooter: If AD Ray Anderson really likes the NFL style, the guy who’s making the Detroit offense go is soon going to be a big name.