Arizona State: 5 Things That Will Keep Head Coach Todd Graham Up at Night
There is a ton of weight currently sitting on the Arizona State Sun Devils new head coach Todd Graham's shoulders for the 2012 college football season, so it should be no surprise if he experiences some restless nights.
Graham has much to recover from with his former situation with the Pittsburgh Panthers as well as figuring out what to do with his new Sun Devils.
He has to hope that he will be able to start anew, but certainly won't be sleeping peacefully until things start looking good for the new Pac-12 coach.
Text Messages from Former Players
When Todd Graham left the Pittsburgh Panthers in favor of Arizona State, he informed his former players via text message.
According to NBC Sports' John Taylor of College Football Talk, Graham sent the following message to his players.
“I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State. Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless. Coach Graham.”
While the text was sent from the school's director of football operations, coach Graham should be afraid to receive texts at around 4:00 a.m. from former players.
Coach Graham, I'd set your phone to silent. Or just change numbers—if you haven't already.
His Quarterback Controversy
The Arizona State Sun Devils still have no idea who their quarterback will be for the 2012 season.
The choice between Taylor Kelly, Mike Bercovici and Michael Eubank isn't clear, as each have shown different strengths at this year's spring game.
This should not only keep coach Todd Graham up for the time being, but all season. He has three viable options at quarterback, and depending on how the year goes, he may find himself worrying quite a bit if he makes the wrong choice.
There will be a turf battle for the state of Arizona, as both universities have new head coaches.
While Todd Graham is now the man in the desert, it is former Michigan Wolverines head coach Rich Rodriguez taking over the Arizona Wildcats.
It remains to be seen which man will be the superior in-state recruiter, but Graham already has a leg up on the competition nabbing versatile offensive weapon D.J. Foster.
Foster was a big catch for Graham, but he will need to continue bolstering his in-state recruiting over the competition.
Nobody owns anything yet, so now is the time to grab the state.
Not Messing Up Like Dennis Erickson
Luckily for Todd Graham, he can see what went wrong with the Arizona State Sun Devils when Dennis Erickson led the program.
That knowledge gives Graham the perfect opportunity to learn from his predecessor's mistakes and increase his chances for success.
There is a ton of work to make up, but if Graham wants to make sure he stays in the desert for quite some time, he cannot afford to watch his team perform in the same manner as it did under Erickson.
Perhaps instilling things like old traditions will do the job. Whatever it is, Graham must make sure he doesn't get stuck running the same program.
November 10th, 2012
After an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils last season, you can bet that the USC Trojans have November 10th, 2012 circled on their calendars.
The Sun Devils will be visiting the Trojans, who they beat a year ago at Sun Devil Stadium 43-22 in a shocking early-season win.
This will be quarterback Matt Barkley's last season with the Trojans, so don't expect him to hold back at all in his last game against the Sun Devils.
There is no doubt that ASU will be the underdogs in this game, and this will be a big test for Graham facing a Trojans team anxious to avenge last year's defeat.