If Geoff Collins commits to Temple like Chris Pedersen did to BSU, that would stabilize things.

One of the side benefits of this Labor of Love called Temple Football Forever is reading some of the comments.

Generally speaking, the comments are a little more insightful here than they are on or OwlsDaily or Owlscoop.
Maybe I’m just biased, but that’s the way I feel. I think part of the reason for this is that we discuss issues here related to the viability and sustainability of the program and do not generally delve into puff pieces on the players. The reason for that is simply that this site is dedicated to the long-term fans of the program. Players come and go, parents come and go and coaches come and go, but the fans are here forever. This site is for the fans of the program for the past 20 years or longer and hopefully for the fans of the team for the next 20 years. That’s why the future is such an important topic here.
Hence, Temple Football Forever.
A couple of recent ones knocked my socks off and pretty much explained where we are as a program and why we are there.

To me, there’s a fourth option here and that is to go the Boise State route and find an outstanding coach willing to put eight years in the program like Chris Pedersen was with BSU.  For awhile, Boise State had its pick between the old Big East and the Big 12. It picked the old Big East, but when the Big East became the AAC it opted out. For Temple to truly become the “Boise State of the East” it’s important that Temple become that wanted commodity. Is it realistic? Boise State is not the university Temple is in any non-football respect, so if the Broncos could do it there is no reason Temple cannot. For me, the way to do it is better vetting of future Temple coaches. I cannot believe that the subject of the coaching revolving door did not come up in the Geoff Collins’ vetting process, but apparently it did not. For that, shame on Pat Kraft and Dick Englert. It would be terrific if Collins himself says he wants to break the recent run of coaches who have left the kids holding the bag and stay here for a long time but I don’t see that happening, either. The closest thing he has come to saying that is that he “tells the kids we love them” every day. If you love them, tell them you will never leave them and keep the promise.

These kids have been burned by Al Golden, Steve Addazio and Matt Rhule. It would nice for them to not be shuffled from foster parent to foster parent every few years.

KJ is right, though, the current path is not sustainable because inevitably Temple is going to swing and miss on hiring a head coach and that is going to lead to three-win seasons. Even the best ADs don’t hit homers with head coaching hires all the time. Once you’ve teased the fans with success, they don’t want to slide back.

The other great comment was from JoninOhio here:


Jon’s points are terrific, too. Temple always seems to be on the precipice of building a great fan base, but a loss to Army before 35,000 Temple fans last year was a blow from a fan standpoint the team never recovered. That happens every season Temple suffers a disappointing upset loss. Two steps forward, one step back.

This year that can all change. A win over Notre Dame would open some eyes and be a huge step forward toward sustainability.  Remove that revolving door in the coach’s office at the E-O on top of that and away we go.

Friday: A Cracker Jack Surprise


28 thoughts on “Sustainability

  1. The issue with Temple football right now is fan support. An entire generation of football fans in the area was lost 1991-2006 with 1.9 wins per season on average and losing 10 or more games seven times in that stretch. It will take some more time to overcome that dismal period and build a population of non-alumni football fans that will come out to the Linc and support a team week after week. I think fans in Philly would support good football played by Temple, but it’s fragile equation as shown by the reaction to the Army game, as you mentioned. The last 10 seasons are heading back in the right direction, but will take 3-5 more good ones, IMO.

    • Temple would still lose money and operate in the red with great fan support at the Linc. The Eagles take all the money from concessions, charge Temple $50K to paint the field in addition to the yearly lease fees. The break even point exceeds the available number of seats.., i.e., we would still lose money if we sold out every game. This an extraordinarily unique situation, unlike ANY in FBS today.

      The current arrangement is not sustainable without conference revenue to offset the operating costs. P5 conference revenue would tip the scale…,

      or, we could build our own stadium on campus.., part of the problem is the university has not been transparent with the financials….,

      continued play at the Linc is throwing good money after bad

      • No arguments on any of that from me. It would be a lot easier to build a local fan base if Temple played home games against some regional rivals – schools like Maryland & Rutgers, etc. rather than Tulsa and Memphis. That’s another consequence of the dark period in the 90’s and early 2000’s. If Temple was competitive in the old Big East they might have been asked into a P5 conference when the old Big East broke apart… Again, just IMO…

  2. Mike, I appreciate your appreciation of my comment above. I’m just resigned to the situation at Temple and just hope for the best and enjoy success when it comes along.
    But wait a minute, TFF is just for fans of the past 20 years? Well, I guess that includes 45 year fans too (that would be me!) because your next 20 year fans? Maybe, but don’t know if I’ll be around for that stretch. Maybe tho.
    Owl, I don’t know if Temple can build much more of a fan base. What I meant was that Temple has a unique situation, meaning a combination of things that don’t engender that “rah, rah” kind of feelings. I think that’s the single biggest reason Temple doesn’t get any nibbles from the P5 conferences, regardless of the 4th largest TV market. Vanderbilt is the closest school to what Temple could in a P5 – 40-45K seat stadium. But they’re “fathered in” to the SEC, being a member for a long time. Temple is trying to start from scratch to try to get into a P5. Some very special circumstances would have to take place for it to happen.
    In this years first game a loss won’t be as bad as last years loss to Army. But boy, do I want to see a win at ND!

    • Me, too. Thanks to the less-than-ambitious scheduling model of Pat Kraft, this is Temple’s last chance for a “statement” win until 2024. That’s a sobering thought. Wins over Maryland, BC, Rutgers won’t cut it on the national scene compared to Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

    • Not sure TUFB can ever recover from the failed BOT leadership during the Big East days. The BOT’s failed direction, vision, and lack of an appreciation for the emerging college football landscape is damning…., heck, even those folks at Rutgers saw the handwriting…,

      where are we now? where is our commitment? Our only commitment has been to the head coaches, grooming them for P5 jobs, AG, DAZ, MR, and now CC..,

      we have not committed to program sustainability.., we don’t have strategic plans for getting into the P5 or getting out of the dollar draining Linc..,

      Lurie rapes Temple because his fan base allows it.., including the Temple grads, who will not criticize, protest, or act against their beloved Eagles

  3. A win at ND is maybe 3 steps forward, 2 for TU and 1 for the conference. It would go a long way toward that P6 claim. And it couldn’t be scheduled better for TU given the situations for both teams. Both teams will have new QB’s. TU, however, will have a rookie HC. Maybe CC springs something defensively that surprises ND on their first game of their season. IMO, having this as the first game of the season is much better for TU than playing it the following week or during the middle of the season. I’m interested in what others think as to whether this opening game date is best for TU or would you prefer it be played further into the season.

    • Brian Kelly is a mediocre coach at best. Despite having top ten recruiting class after top ten recruiting class he has not been able to generate consistent success. Losing last year to Navy and a couple of other teams should have gotten him fired. Frankly, I think his players don’t really like him and I can see why after he threw his QB under the bus for leaving.

  4. Easy, I agree having ND first game is best: both teams have questions. ND has higher profile players and are deeper but TU has a solid returning bunch of players who want to win real bad and they won’t be banged up yet. Nd had a lousy season last year, so can they do a 180 this fast or can the Owls take advantage of a hopefully flounding situation? It all comes down to what CC can “spring” on them actually on both sides of the ball. I just have a feeling Temple has a real chance. Hope I’m right.

  5. Mike, your thought about the scheduling not providing another big game for a while is true. But at least the teams you mentioned are from P5 conferences and are eastern, more local opponents that maybe will raise some fan interest and decent paydays for away games. It leads me to wonder if the AD’s thinking is to simply get a schedule that provides an opportunity for lots of wins to attract P5 conference attention. If Temple can knock off the bottom dwellers in those P5 conferences at least it shows they can be middlin’ competitive if invited. Just a thought. But TU better win them. It’s a gamble considering the outcome in the last 2 bowl games.

  6. Geez, didn’t Chris Petersen take the head coaching job at Washington 3 years ago? So much for that commitment to Boise State .

    Please get off your ridiculous soap box about Collins committing long term to Temple. In today’s coaching landscape. there is no such thing as head coaches committing long term to a football program . Your living in the past !

    The good thing is that Temple can sustain their winning program . The best example to follow is the U of Miami. The Hurricanes share an off campus stadium ( Hard Rock) with the Miami Dolphins. Since 1984 they have had 7 head coaches , none lasting more than 6 years .Additionally, they’ve won 4 national championships since 1984.

    The first step in sustaining the program is renegotiate a short term lease at the Linc. .Can’t believe that Temple signed a lease allowing all concessions to be kept by the Eagles, when the construction of the Linc was partially funded by tax payer dollars. Step two is to begin building a stadium on or adjacent to campus.

    • He stayed EIGHT YEARS at Boise State. Eight years. I rest my case. Not getting off my soap box. You are welcome to leave the site. The difference between the U and Temple is the U fires coaches. They leave Temple voluntarily. That kind of bleeding has to stop.

      • No can do amigo. I’m sticking around to critique the critic. The coaching carousel is here to stay . Including Temple . Don’t be so naive!!

      • Not naive. It did not exist for Boise for EIGHT years. Temple should be proactive and make sure it does not exist for Temple. These kids deserve better than the Memphis, UConn or Houston kids. Eight years. Two recruiting cycles. That’s all I ask of Collins. Should not be too much.

      • Mike think of it this way . Your managing a AAA baseball team and your pretty good as the manager. You’ve won your division the last 3 years and your team won the AAA title game the last 2 years. All your hard is rewarded, when you get the call , naming you as the Pro Team’s next manager. Do you turn the promotion down because of your loyalty to the AAA team . Of course not! Now in this analogy, substitute Matt Rhule or Al Gulden , as the AAA manager.

    • the last two seasons are a clear indication of the limits of winning towards program sustainability…,

      only a handful of teams in the entire nation can claim back to back appearances in their conference championship game…,
      and yet we are deeper in the red, and steeper in the climb towards program sustainability..,

      winning is a key ingredient but it is not the elixir…, meanwhile woeful Rutgers gets a fat Big 10 check…,

    • Fortunately, between 6-10K fans traveled to D.C. to see the Owls play in a bowl, more for the championship game. Don’t think these figures would have held up if either was more than a few hours’ drive. I guess the Temple fan base versus the Indiana fan base is a good comparison.

  7. I wonder what happens to the bowl games in light of ESPN’s cost cutting via the firing of many on and off air personnel. Will they be forced to cut back on the financial backing of so many of the bowls they own? Is so, probably a half dozen or more bowls go away. Andif the payouts get reduced, perhaps something like the Pinstripe Bowl gets a little more flexibility in choosing between TU as the AAC champion to play in NYC with 6 to 10k following rather than forced into a tie-in with a 6-6 p5 team that brings 1-2k. This whole ESPN financial situation is just starting to take hold.

  8. Lincoln Financial Field is a financial fiasco for Temple and the city, so a new stadium is a must for sustainability. TBOT needs to formulate more than one stadium option and consider bribes for the city council and mayor. The Owls deserve a stadium deal like the hapless pro teams in town.

  9. Unfortunately, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know if your guy will be the 10 year guy. Everybody thought Rhule was (myself included). He left for the money also. They all do. Outside of Frank Solich, name 1 long time G5 coach.

    As for scheduling, Temple is in a no win situation. Who wants to play them? If a P5 school schedules them and wins, they just beat a G5 school. No upside, regardless of how good Temple is. If they lose, it is extremely damaging. And there is no way to know if Temple will be good in 3-4 years when the game would be played. If Temple is bad, it really hurts the P5 school. If Temple is good. It was still just a G5 school.

    • Pat Kraft made it clear that the middle of the pack P-5 teams do not want to play Temple and if they do, they want two home games and one away game, something he refuses to do. That’s why we have Bucknell on the schedule. Fact is that with conferences playing nine conference games there’s less of a pie to go around. That’s why I think Kraft has to change his policy.

  10. Temple really NEEDS to win their next bowl game. Losing to pretty good but mediocre teams has to stop for credibility to rise.

    • Agreed. The “Unfinished Business” last year was getting to the AAC title game and winning it; the “Unfinished Business” this year is ending the season with a bowl win (it would be also great to win the AAC again). Can’t get the fan base all hyped up to make great showings in Boca and Annapolis and send those big crowds home disappointed.

      • Clearly, Temple can only win bowls played in states with “New” in their name. Or played in Japan…

  11. Yeah, I still say winning bowl games (even mediocre ones) gives a school more national viability than winning the AAC championship – but both are better of course.
    kj, maybe just building any old crappy stadium that can be improved and added onto later would be better for the uni than staying in that horrible deal with Lurie. Hell, making a deal to play at Franklin Field and paying them 50K to put our logo on the field would be better for a short while than the Lurie deal. For the number of fans Temple gets to the games they’d fill up Franklin and it would look better on TV at least. Don’t know how it would effect recruiting however, if at all.
    But for right now, beat ND!

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