"Well, we've never lost since I got here."
Imagine all the statements that were made over the last few years (or even 15 years) by rival recruiters. Every time an Arizona State head coach would recruit a player from California, he had to fight the record.
He wasn't just fighting rival recruiters, he was fighting rival recruits. Every time an ASU player from California went home he had to hear it from his former high school teammates. "We smashed you. I told you, you should have come with me to Cal...to UCLA...to USC...to Stanford."
Every ASU football Californian was an ugly duckling at home, back at a school function, with his friends, on twitter, through texts, on Facebook. The modern athlete has so many mediums to "enjoy" being humiliated.
It's easy for us as fans to just expect a coach to get the job done. If they don't, they get fired. How has that process worked out at ASU? Every coach fails and gets fired.
I have no idea what Coach Graham's long-term plans are. I do know 5-1 (yes, I'm assuming a win at Colorado) going into a Thursday night home game against Oregon following a win at Cal for the first time in 15 years looks good to a recruit.
This is ASU's bye week. This is one of the key weeks of recruiting. Coach Graham can now talk a high school athlete into coming to ASU for a visit. That California kid is doing a double-take towards ASU right now. Imagine if he can get that kid to commit to seeing ASU/Oregon for the black out. Maybe ASU fans will do something crazy and attend the game. That kid looks up at the stands and sees a sea of black screaming for the devils. I think that California kid says to himself, I haven't seen anything like this on the west coast.
The combination of Sun Devil Stadium and Sun Devil fans is, normally a negative. Recruits come here and see a stadium that's too big. They see a quiet fan base at the game. The see plenty of empty seats representing the apathetic fan. There's plenty of other schools on the west coast that have the same issues. There are some special schools that don't have those issues. I think October 18, ASU won't either.
ASU is an excellent football team with a chance to compete for a major bowl game, just a notch below BCS. Oregon is a special football team with a chance to compete for a BCS Championship. I know that Oregon is a better football team than ASU. However, for one night, one black out night, one ESPN night -- maybe ASU is better for one night.
Either way, the biggest opportunity Todd Graham, ASU and their fans will have to influence recruits for the future is in three Thursday's. Black it out and light it up.