For the first time since Arizona State offensive coordinator Todd Graham took over in 2012, the school is not granting him a contract extension ahead of the new season.
As AZ Central notes, Graham is under contract for less than five years for the first time since his arrival.
Is this just a formality and are we overreacting? I don't think so.
According to the AZ Central piece, ASU Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson said a contract extension for Graham is not mandatory though his contract reads, "if grounds do not exist for termination for cause, ASU will ask the board to extend coach's contract for one additional year following the 2016 football season."
I'm not some lawyer who understands the jargon in contracts of this magnitude, but this one feels pretty clear-cut. It seems that the ASU brass at least feels like there are "grounds for termination," if they aren't extending Graham, a practice that has become commonplace over the last four years.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 13, 2017
After back-to-back 10 win seasons in 2013 and 2014, Graham has led the Sun Devils to a combined 11 wins over the last two seasons. The Pac-12 isn't slowing down anytime soon with teams like Washington, USC and even Utah emerging as true contenders in a conference with plenty of notable programs, so it isn't a stretch to think the pressure is on for the ASU head coach.
As Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports notes, there will be plenty of interested well-equipped candidates if the job were to come open, so Graham better turn it around quickly. It's also fair to note the Sun Devils will enter the 2017 campaign without offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, considered one of the brightest up-and-coming offensive minds in college football. He left to take over the same position at Auburn.
I don't want to jump to any quick conclusions — but if ASU puts together another mediocre campaign in the upcoming season — it's safe to say Graham may be out as head coach.