Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham had a very successful first season in the desert, leading the Sun Devils to an 8-5 record and a their first bowl victory since 2005.
The folks over at Athlon Sports, in preparation of the 2013 season, have ranked all 125 FBS head coaches, and they’ve got Graham at #29, ahead of big names like Mike Leach at Washington State, Gary Andersen of Wisconsin, Bo Pelini of Nebraska and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. Not bad, right?
Athlon on Graham:
Under Graham, Arizona State also cut out the boneheaded mistakes and penalties that seemed to plague this program in recent years. The Sun Devils have the personnel to win the division in 2013, and Graham could have this team in the mix for a spot in most preseason top-25 polls.
Earlier in the passage, they did poke at Graham’s job-changing ways — he has had four head coaching jobs since 2006 — but they do recognize what he’s done at ASU in a short period of time.
In case you’re wondering, here’s where the other Pac-12 coaches rank on Athlon’s list:
20. David Shaw, Stanford
21. Mike Riley, Oregon State
22. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
31. Mike Leach, Washington State
44. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado
45. Steve Sarkisian, Washington
54. Jim Mora, Jr., UCLA
55. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
56. Sonny Dykes, California
57. Lane Kiffin, USC
73. Mark Helfrich, Oregon