AP reports that Arizona State's head football coach Todd Graham will receive a contract extension, subject to Board approval through 2018. His previous contract was through 2016. So I thought would be a good time to look at ASU under Graham using the Complex Invasion College Football Production Model, which is just the 2012 and part of the 2013 seasons.
In 2012, the Sun Devils went 7-5 in the regular season and played in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl defeating Navy (as the model "predicted") to finish 8-5. Of ASU's five losses - four were to teams that were ranked #50 or higher (at the end of the season) and the other was a loss to Missouri which was ranked #93 at the end of the season. All of ASU's victories were against teams ranked (at the end of the season) #60 or higher. The Sun Devil's victory of the highest ranked opponent was against in state rival University of Arizona at #61. Overall, ASU faced an "easier" than average strength of schedule (SOS) of 76.54 as compared to the average of 65.53 for the "league". Given that ASU's SOS is greater than one standard deviation above the mean, I conclude that their SOS was "easier". Yet, ASU finished the 2012 season as the #24 team in overall productivity, with the #25 most productive offense and the #34 most productive defense, which is an improvement over the Sun Devil's #63 final total production ranking for the 2011 season.
This season through week #3, ASU is 2-0 with an average SOS but an above average production ranking (#25 in total production, #40 in offensive production and #19 in defensive production). Given their performance so far, it seems as if the Sun Devils are making a good investment to date in Todd Graham.
I hope to look at head coach Graham since 2008 in early 2014, given his head coaching stops at Tulsa, Pitt, and now Arizona State it would be interesting to see how those teams have performed before, during, and after (probably only possible with my data for Pitt).