Updated: Todd Graham Tells Rich Rodriguez And Steve Kragthorpe: 'You Didn't Build That'

"I'm in your base, stealing your accomplishments."

Todd Graham is our favorite coach of all time. Except for all the others. The serial monogamist of college football coaches truly is the gift that keeps on giving. In addition to recycling his tired shtick from Rice to Tulsa to Pittsburgh to Arizona State like a snake oil salesman run out of town, Graham is now adding achievements that aren't even his to his increasingly hilarious resume. A release, today, from Arizona State that marked the opening of fall camp had this to say about coach Graham and his accomplishments at previous stops:

Coach Graham arrived at Arizona State following a stint as Pittsburgh's head coach. During his coaching career, Graham has been a part of two of the NCAA's top single-season turnarounds in recent history. In 2003, Graham led a Tulsa team that was 1-11 the year prior to go 8-4 under his defensive leadership. In his second season at West Virginia, Graham improved the Mountaineers record from 3-8 to 9-4.

Leaving aside that his less than 12 month stay in Pittsburgh probably doesn't even qualify as a "stint", the claims are hilarious. First, ASU claims Graham "led" a Tulsa team that was 1-11 in 2002 to an 8-4 record in 2003. It hedges slightly adding "under his defensive leadership". But did Todd Graham's defensive leadership spark the Tulsa turnaround to the point that you can claim he "led" it? Graham's defense at Tulsa improved from 109th in total defense and 101st in scoring defense to a mediocre 60th in total defense and a still-below-average 72nd in scoring defense. His defense shaved 80 yards and a touchdown off its averages from the previous year. Not bad.

But what really sparked the Tulsa turnaround? The improvement of the offense under head coach Steve Kragthorpe and offensive coordinator Charlie Stubbs. In 2001, Tulsa averaged 316.75 yards and 19.42 points per game. In 2002, they improved to 387 yards and 30.77 points per game. The scoring offense in particular improved from 101st nationally to 28th.

The West Virginia claim is almost the same. In 2002, the Mountaineers defense shaved a mere 14 yards and a single point off of its averages from the previous season. So what changed to cause the turnaround? Again, the offense, something Graham had no hand in. In 2002, the Mountaineers offense, led by Rich Rodriguez, improved by 73 yards and nine points per game.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the turnaround was the fact that West Virginia went from turning the ball over 32 times in 2001 to just 15 times in 2002. Looking at those numbers, is it even remotely true that "Graham improved the Mountaineers record from 3-8 to 9-4"? The kicker: Graham was only the co-defensive coordinator on the 2002 West Virginia staff.

Keep up the good work, Todd.

UPDATE: I don't know if it was in response to just us or if other outlets took an exception to what we pointed out about Graham's bio in the Arizona State release, but, the message got through to someone. The release on the Arizona State site has been updated to provide a more accurate portrayal of Graham's role in the turnarounds at West Virginia and Tulsa. Before it read:

Coach Graham arrived at Arizona State following a stint as Pittsburgh's head coach. During his coaching career, Graham has been a part of two of the NCAA's top single-season turnarounds in recent history. In 2003, Graham led a Tulsa team that was 1-11 the year prior to go 8-4 under his defensive leadership. In his second season at West Virginia, Graham improved the Mountaineers record from 3-8 to 9-4.

Now the paragraph reads (changes are in bold):

Coach Graham arrived at Arizona State following a stint as Pittsburgh's head coach. During his coaching career, Graham has been a part of two of the NCAA's top single-season turnarounds in recent history. In 2003, Graham led a Tulsa team that was 1-11 the year prior to go 8-4 under his defensive leadership. As the linebackers coach in 2001 and co-defensive coordinator in 2002 at West Virginia, Graham helped improve the Mountaineers record from 3-8 to 9-4.

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