Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/8/12

Safe to say, it’s been an interesting few months for Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham.

When we last heard from Graham it was in mid-December, mid-day, when he was midway through weaseling his way out of coaching Pittsburgh, to take the same position in Tempe. As you may also remember, Graham made even more enemies on the way out the door (of a job that he’d had less than a full calendar year, mind you) when he elected to tell his team of the decision by texting his Director of Football Operations, who in turn passed along that text to members of Pitt’s football team. After all, who has time for a team meeting when there’s a private plane to catch to Tempe? Know what I'm sayin?!

Anyway, since then all has been quiet on the Todd Graham front, at least until today, when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise reported that not only did Graham leave the Pitt’s program empty-handed, but that he actually was a bit empty-handed himself upon his departure. That’s because according to Zeise, Graham had to pay Pittsburgh $1 million to break out of his contract at the school, before leaving for Arizona State. Needless to say that’s a lot of money to not coach somewhere, especially when you’re leaving for- debatably- a job of equal stature. After all, it'd be one thing to give up $1 million to go coach at Alabama or USC. But last time I checked, no one was mistaking Arizona State for either of those schools.

Regardless, here at Crystal Ball Run, we aren’t just about reporting the news, but also giving you some context to it as well. That’s why our crack research staff (which is composed of me, sitting in sweaty workout gear) decided to do a little bit of investigating. A million dollars is a lot of money to just give away, which made us wonder: How exactly could Coach Graham have spent that money a bit more wisely?

Here’s a few ideas we came up with:

 

254,452: The number of “Thinking of You” Hallmark cards Graham could’ve purchased (at $3.49 each) and shipped (at 44 cents a stamp), to his former Pitt players, as an apology for ending things the way he did.

 

16,669: The number of Talk and Text cell phone plans from Verizon (at $59.99 per plan), Graham could’ve purchased, giving him unlimited texting service from now until basically the end of time. And given the way Graham departed Pittsburgh, well, he strikes us as a man who might need unlimited texting.

66,666: The number of crew cuts (at $12 with a $3 tip), Graham could’ve purchased at Super Cuts. Sure I totally made up that price. But judging from this picture, haircuts are not something Coach Graham takes lightly.

21: The number of foreclosed condos in the Tempe area (at $47,500) that Graham could’ve purchased, to help house that extended family of his.

3,333: The number of tickets to a single Arizona Diamondbacks game (at $12 a ticket) that Graham can purchase, to help keep that massive extended family of his entertained (Hot dogs and soda not included).

142,857: The number of burritos (at $7 per burrito) that Graham might consider purchasing at my favorite Tempe-area restaurant, Chronic Tacos.

55,555: Number of 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl t-shirts (at $18 per shirt), that Graham can grab off the internet. Hopefully this will help ease the pain of not actually getting to coach in the game this past January.

100,000: Bottles of ‘Banana Boat’ SPF 100 sun tan lotion (at $10 per bottle). As someone who lived in Tempe for a summer, trust me Coach Graham, you’re going to want that sun tan lotion.

6,711: The number of upper-level Pitt Panthers season ticket packages (at $149 per ticket) Graham might consider purchasing at Heinz Field. Having watched some of the games that Graham coached while at Pitt, I can assure you: Those tickets are readily available.

21,743: The number of replica Vontaze Burfict jerseys (at $45.99) that Graham can buy, to help commemorate the one player who might've actually made his first season in Tempe a success.

And finally…

1: The number of contract buyouts (at $1 million) Graham can afford to pay, when he decides to leave for another job next December.

For all his opinion, analysis and articles on college football, please follow Aaron Torres on Twitter.

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