Arizona State Sun Devils athletics director Ray Anderson stood before media members shortly after firing head football coach Todd Graham following the conclusion of the 2017 season.
In his final season, Graham led the Sun Devils to wins over ranked squads such as Washington and Oregon before eventually defeating Arizona.
However, Anderson had enough of meddling in mediocrity as a whole during Graham's tenure, ultimately deciding to part ways with Graham.
“Competitive consistency in my view is comprised of recruiting, developing players that you do recruit into here, developing and retaining your assistant coaches, and then in-game preparation and in-game management," said Anderson after Graham's dismissal.
“At the end of the day, we’re still average, middle of the pack and going to a low bowl game. We deserve more. We have the capacity and the university and the community deserves more and very frankly should demand more.
"I don’t think there is any coach on staff who would tell you honestly that ‘I’m satisfied with being 7-5,’ second place in a weak Pac-12 South, very frankly, and going to a low-level bowl game as opposed to being 9-2 and going to a major bowl game where we can really make some noise and really compete at the highest level.”
Current Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards arrived in Tempe in 2018, and is now nearing the end of season No. 4 at Arizona State.
Edwards' results haven't been exactly ideal. Edwards has stayed right near the 7-5 annual records that Anderson once spoke down upon, finishing seasons in the likes of the Sun Bowl and Las Vegas Bowl.
Fast forward to the present day, where Arizona State is fresh off of its fourth loss of the season after a road trip to Oregon State last Saturday.
NCAA investigations are still ongoing, Arizona State is down to just five commitments (the lowest out of any Power-5 school) and arguably the most talented team to come through Tempe in years will not realize their full potential.
Patience has worn thin during Edwards' tenure.
Job Security Under Scrutiny
Following another Arizona State loss where the team looked flat while once again hitting double-digit penalties, frustrations surrounding the Sun Devils began to boil.
All valid points.
Edwards wasn't brought in to be be somewhat competitive. Graham had done enough of that to make Anderson look for new blood.
Yet those words and characteristics Anderson preached about several years ago have failed to come to fruition since Edwards took over.
With an intense rivalry matchup against Arizona upcoming for the Sun Devils at home this weekend, will a convincing win over their in-state rivals and a successful bowl game appearance be enough to keep Edwards around?
Many are looking to use Arizona State's last regular-season game against one of the worst teams in all of college football as a litmus test for Edwards and his team.
Simply put, beating the Wildcats on a yearly basis shouldn't be the benchmark; it should be just another order of business for ASU.
Questions aren't only surrounding Edwards, however. Anderson shares just as much responsibility for the program's overall success (or lack thereof), with discussions about his future at Arizona State also up for debate.
Will Anderson even get an opportunity to select a new head coach?
The overall atmosphere surrounding the Sun Devils football program is cloudy. There's no expected date for when the NCAA may conclude its investigation. Recruiting looks as grim as ever, and Arizona State is trending downwards on the field after displaying so much promise earlier in the year.
The temperature on Edwards' seat is unknown at the moment, although when putting the pieces of the puzzle together, you'd figure it's at least uncomfortable.
Time will tell if Edwards can salvage anything of this season, or if the decision-makers at Arizona State even believe he needs to salvage anything.
However, in the court of public opinion, Edwards should be on his way out.