I've got to admit, I've been rooting against the Texas Longhorns for a while. Nothing against those fans in the burnt orange colors, but the more they lost, the better the chance that we could see former Pitt
snake head coach snake Todd Graham try to finagle his way eastward.
Now Graham, I've been convinced, likely wouldn't be a candidate for the job. He'd need to show a lot more than the 6-6 season he did with Pitt and I wasn't all that sure he could do it. Graham, though, if you've not been paying attention, is quietly building a nice little program for Arizona State. He won eight games last season and ten this year, and looks like he knows what he's doing. It's really hard not to give him credit at this point to be fair.
But with that success, Graham certainly has to be on the radar of some new schools. Based on all he's done in the past, I have a hard time believing he'd leave the job for a lateral move or even a slightly better one. The Texas job, though, isn't that - it's one of the dream jobs in college football.
Could Graham be a target of the Longhorns? Yeah, it's complicated.
In the 'yes' camp, consider that Texas athletic director Steve Patterson was the AD at Arizona State before taking the job just last month. Patterson's obviously familiar with what Graham's done and worked with him at ASU. So yeah, that's a factor.
Still, two things of note.
Despite the fact that he's had some success, I'm still not sure it's enough to land one of the top jobs in the NCAA. Graham has had success in his career, but it's possible they want someone with more of a track record of winning or even competing for national championships.
There's also this from NBC Sports:
It turns out Patterson will not be allowed to hire anybody currently employed by Arizona State though, according to Arizona State’s president Michael Crow.
Crow, who confirmed the news and released a statement Tuesday, said he allowed Patterson to explore the opportunity to leave ASU for Texas but had at least one requirement.
“For him to be hired by Texas (specifically), I had to give permission for that,” Crow said in a report by The Arizona Republic. “As a function of our agreement, he’s not allowed to hire someone from ASU.”
Now, is there a way around that? Maybe, I guess. I mean, you can get out of almost anything these days (see universities changing conference affiliations). But if that's true, it would seem to be a big obstacle to Graham potentially bolting.
FWIW, Graham seems to have a great relationship with Patterson:
“Obviously, I think the world of Steve,” said Graham, who learned of Patterson’s departure after football practice Tuesday. “He's a person that was instrumental in bringing me here. I have no knowledge of what's going on or anything like that, so I won't comment on any of that. I'm just focused on our team.”
What can we make of all this? Beats me. Even if Patterson thought he could challenge the ruling of not hiring ASU employees, would he really want to go down that road of challenging it, anyway? Especially when, at Texas, they could pretty much have their pick of coaches? My guess is this doesn't happen, but ...
Well, I'm hoping it does.