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Arizona State vying to get back on track

The Arizona State Sun Devils opened the 2017 season with a less than impressive 37-31 win over New Mexico State.

Photo courtesy of ASU athletics

The Arizona State Sun Devils opened the 2017 season with a less than impressive 37-31 win over New Mexico State.

TEMPE (AP) – Arizona State coach Todd Graham received contract extensions after each of the past four seasons, keeping his contract length at the original five years.

This summer, Arizona State President Michael Crow and athletic director Ray Anderson opted not to give Graham an extension, a decision the coach had no trouble with after a pair of losing seasons.

"If you're 5-7, I don't really think that you should get an extension," Graham said during preseason camp. "I do have a good contract, a five-year contract with over four years left on it with a great investment and commitment from Dr. Crow and Ray, but we're in the performance business. I signed up for it so I have no problem with that."

Graham once had Arizona State's program performing like a sports car, leading the Sun Devils to three straight bowl games and a pair of 10-win seasons.

The Sun Devils have been stuck in neutral the past two seasons, going 6-7 and losing in the Cactus Bowl in 2015 before finishing 5-7 last season.

Arizona State's offense, once one of college football's most prolific, started to sputter the past two seasons and the attacking defense became susceptible to big plays, ranking among the worst in the FBS each of the past two seasons.

Another losing season and Graham may not only get passed over for another extension, he may be looking for a job.

"If you look at and see the investment this university has made to me, it's been remarkable and I'm very grateful for that and grateful for the opportunity we have here, but you have to perform," Graham said.