When No News Is Bad News


Nobody has scoops anymore and, now, more than ever, Temple fans are looking for scoops around what has been an under-performing program for the first four games of the Geoff Collins Era.

In a search for
the news that
should be happening
(but is not), our
alter-ego Scoop Jackson
wrote these three
fake news stories
that we only wish
were true

The falloff has been dramatic from a year ago. Temple, arguably, was the most over-performing team in college football in 2016 because the Owls were a nation’s-best 12-2 against the spread. That meant the public perception of Temple was raised to stratospheric levels. Against the spread this season, the Owls are 0-4 and darn near a real 0-4.

The public perception is Temple is back to being the “old Temple” and that the last two years were a flash in the pan. That is not good.

If not now, when do things change?

In a search for the news that should be happening (but is not), our alter-ego Scoop Jackson wrote these three fake news stories that we only wish were true:

By Scoop Jackson
After an embarrassing loss to USF, Geoff Collins said that he will shake up his Temple football staff in an attempt to turn things around.
“I’ve promoted Adam DiMichele to offensive coordinator and given Dave Patenaude the recruiting and quality control responsibilities that Adam has now,” Collins said. “Adam is a guy Temple fans are familiar with and he will bring that ingrained Temple TUFF attitude to the offense. Adam said he’s going to open up the playbook and get away from the three plays we’ve been running all season–the fullback dive, the pitch to the tailback, sideline patterns to wide receivers. Adam showed me a film where he faked a kneel down, got up and hit Bruce Francis for a 50-yard touchdown against Navy at the end of the half. I like that kind of stuff.”
For his part, DiMichele promised fun.

“I won’t be yelling at the guys on the sidelines like Dave did,” Adam said. “Football is supposed to be fun. We’re going to incorporate things we did at Temple under Al Golden and Matt Rhule–jump passes to the tight end, shovel passes, things like that.

“The big thing coach Collins and I have is love of our kids. It’s OK to love them, but loving them means you put them in the best position to succeed.  I think we’re going to do this by doing things like giving all four quarterbacks a shot in the game. I sucked in practice, but Al Golden had a hunch and gave me a chance in a real game and I proved to him I was a gamer. I have a feeling one of our kids needs that same chance. I also believe that we should be getting the ball to Isaiah Wright in space. When you have a talent like Isaiah, got to get him in the game at a number of positions. I’m thinking tailback for Isaiah might be his best position this year. A little swing pass to him out of the backfield now and then and a couple of carries as a tailback will do so much to open up the offense and make everything else work. We haven’t seen that so far. We will now.”

sniptwoBy Scoop Jackson
Mostly, at every Temple press conference, Geoff Collins is asked why Anthony Russo–the team’s most highly-regarded recruit at that position for the last 20 years–is not given a chance to play.
Usually, Collins will say all four quarterbacks are above the line but that Russo did not get in because he didn’t have time to prepare him.
Nobody bothered to ask a follow-up question until Donald Hunt of the Philadelphia Tribune asked him this: “If Russo is above the line and you said you hate depth charts, why can’t he play? I noticed he is the only position player who is ATL who doesn’t play. Why?”
“I’ll have to be honest with you, Don,” Collins said. “Dave Patenaude hated his guts. Dave recruited Logan to play at Coastal Carolina and wouldn’t have had a sniff at recruiting a kid like Russo so he buried the kid. Now that Adam’s in charge and understands what it takes to throw 35 touchdown passes in a single year for a great Pennsylvania high school program, maybe the kid will get a chance.”


 By Scoop Jackson
The War Drums are the only ones beating at Temple football practice these days because Geoff Collins has banned the real ones.
“Rookie head-coaching mistake,” Collins said. “When I said after USF that this loss was on me, this is what I meant. That time we could have been practicing our pass blocking schemes and fake field goal attempts were spent on things like listening to a kid from the Temple band play the drums and Nick Sharga play the guitar. Love our band and love Nick, but we should be using the limited time we have practicing football.”
Sharga, arguably the team’s best linebacker, was set to practice with the ones on defense the day he was sent to the top of the E-O to play linebacker, err, guitar.
“Yeah, my bad,” Collins said. “I told Nick we were only going to use him 15 plays on offense and thought he would be more valuable playing the guitar that day. We’re going to the 5-2, putting FBL over the nose, making Dogbe and Julian the tackles and putting our two best linebackers on the field, Nick and Chappy. That should cut down on the crossing patterns underneath that had been killing us. The 5-2 will give us constant pressure on the quarterback without blitzing and that pressure will lead to quick throws under duress that will allow our great secondary, including Champ, Delvon, Artrel and Mike, to return those throws the other way for six. That’s the new plan. It should have been the old one.”

That news is sweet music to the ears of Owls’ fans.

If only fake news were true in this case.

Friday: Houston Is A Problem

Sunday: Game Analysis

Tuesday: Fizzy’s Corner

Thursday: Tracking Wright’s Touches (it could be a short post)

Saturday: Game Preview


24 thoughts on “When No News Is Bad News

  1. Kudos to Collins for making the much needed change. Not only was Patenaude’s play calling abominable, but his behavior with berating his QB on the sideline and his dramatic doubled-over body language during SFU game may’ve been worse. Did he put Marchi in the time-out chair? (and is said chair located next to that silly “Get the Ball” dry erase board? Oy!! Enuff already!!) And what coach admits to hating a players guts?? You’d rather LOSE games than get over your own ridiculous inferiorities?? I am so beyond baffled that this was allowed to happen at this level…..

    • No Kudos to Collins. The three stories by my alter-ego Scoop Jackson were fake news parody stories that I only wish were true. He hasn’t done squat to change anything and that’s real bad news, not fake news.

      • Mike, the only thing that I believe is going to cause Collins to change is if he gets word though his “network” that this kind of performance gives his P5 head coaching prospects a set back. Right now things are looking more like another Bob Diaco and not a MIke Norvell with Collins

      • Sadly, that’s the only thing these guys are motivated by … their future careers … and that includes Al, Daz and Matt and certainly this guy. I hope he doesn’t take two years to figure it out like Matt did. Golden had a lot of detractors (not me), but he had a good plan from the jump, stuck to it, and Temple football was saved from the dumpster heap because of it. Collins does not look like he has a plan.

  2. Our best hope is that UConn and some other opponent aren’t any better than Nova and UMass. That way Temple get 4 wins – twice better than Rhule’s first season! Ha, ha……. We better settle back in our chairs and get used to watching what it was like 10 years ago and before. But wait, for real, didn’t I read that Collins said he’d be making some changes? We’ll find out Saturday.

    • I’ve read everything. I did not see where Collins said he was making changes. Maybe the time of the fly-in changes, but I didn’t see any. The only change I’ve read about is that Chappy gets the No. 1. That’s not the kind of change we need now.

    • Unfortunately, you’ll return to the days of choosing whatever chair you want in the empty stadium. And get those old transistors out of the garage because no one will put this crap on TV anymore.
      Such promise over the last 10 years and now just gimmicks and lip service……no substance.
      They must be better this week, they have to improve or it’s over.

    • UConn goes out and hires an experienced guy like Randy Edsall who knows what it takes to make the Huskies a winner and we roll the dice on a coordinator when we could have safely evacuated Al Golden from TE coaching hell with the Lions for a better job at Temple. I would have felt a lot better for our kids this year with AG in charge. Hell, he’s already proven he could beat Randy Edsall like a drum with Temple talent. He was pretty much the surest thing we had out there and I don’t like rolling the dice on a $17 million football facility and potentially a $126 million stadium.

  3. Collins was on one of the radio talk shows today about noon and he was asked about his use of advanced analytics. After he said that he uses them a lot, the host snarkliy said did he use them when it was decided to go for it on either 3rd or 4th and long. (Can’t remember the down). The interview ended immediately. Fact is boys, Owls may not get another win because every team the Owls play have real D-1 coaches who will coach circles around him. As I said in a previous post, I became nervous about his ability to coach after watching a Florida Tennessee replay from last season and saw his defense blow a 21-0 point lead and give up 38 straight to a so-so Tennessee team. Unless there is visible progress, we’re doomed for years to come. I know there are people who use Matt Rhule as an example. The difference is that Rhule’s teams were always competitive and always getting better. Four games in there has been no progress and the team is getting worse. It’s just so sad.

    • John, can’t disagree with anything you say. My question now is if this season continues on it’s current path, next year becomes a rebuilding year and if Collins has learned to coach by then maybe looking at another 2 year run of good teams then he packs his bags. Unlike some posts I’ve read (not here) I don’t think a cycle of 2 good years followed by 2-3 rebuild years does anything for this program. I shudder to think where we end up if Collins turns out to be one of those coaches where D-coordinator is his ceiling. Don’t think the program survives if we are staring at the potential of 5 years of Berndt, Dickinson, Wallace like performance. Hopefully he finds away to come away with a win on Saturday and start to get this season heading in the right direction

    • The trend is definitely downward. Now we are getting into the combination of no confidence of the players in the coaching staff coupled with them knowing they have no say in the matter…..they just have to take it day after day.
      It reminds me of that seen in Castaway when Tom Hanks is speaking about “control over nothing”.
      Sure, they’ll play hard for themselves and their teammates, because that’s who they are. But they have to keep going through the motions of a system that won’t work but gets preached to them every day. They’ll do enough not to get yelled at in practice….that won’t cut it at this level.
      Something positive needs to happen right now!

  4. JD, fact is even within the last 10-12 years of some progress and very good success giving us tantalizing hope, during that period (Golden building fron scratch to much better, Daz winning a bowl then falling hard, Rhule with 2 suck seasons then great success), the programs general uplifting trend has seen pretty low lows and pretty high highs. So I think IF Collins does the same it would mirror the recent past. I think us fans however are concerned whether he has what it takes to improve as with the Rhule learning scale. That’s the concern. The other thing is that he has enough talent to not be doing so badly and that, as has been stated, that Rhule even when losing was competitive and did improve. Collins is getting worse. Those facts are what is concerning for the future.

  5. Mike, you have now become a purveyor of fake news. I can’t believe how many people have cited your post and commented that Collins has shaken up the coaching staff. Didn’t they see your reference to Scoop Jackson was just plain parody? The sad part is that it hasn’t occurred. Clearly, most people think it would be a smart move. Unfortunately, Collins likely won’t see this this article and we’ll be forced to watch another D- coaching performance. I predict that Mayhem to BM continues for another game.

      • Mike, don’t tell me you were banned from the FB page too!!! By the Scoop’s report was linked on the FB page and there did seem to be some folks who thought it was real and good news. I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before I’m banned on FB

      • Now I see it. One guy actually believed ADM was taking over for Patenaude and believed that Patty hated Russo’s guts. In a way, I can see why. I don’t think ADM can do any worse than six turnovers and four yards but still you had to fight through about six disclaimers that the story was fake before getting to it.

      • Mike, I remember your column about Watson. I completely fell for it until I realized that it was April 1, but then I am very gullible, I believed that Coach Collins was going to be good for Temple football.

  6. Alleged Russian Meddlers hacked Patenaude’s playbook only to find it full of Italian pasta recipes and Groupons.

  7. Can’t believe the Heff is dead . Watching this team for the last 4 games is probably what killed him!!

  8. I hope your parody with ADM moving into the OC slot doesn’t give Collins the wrong idea and he axes the guy for being a favorite of the grumbling masses.

    • Rhule eventually listened to all of the main points we made here for the first two years (fullback, play-action, dump the spread, use of tight ends, max protect, etc., etc.) and made $7 million per because of it. I hope Collins isn’t as stubborn the first two years as Matt was. In the first two years, we had a Matt Rhule Apologist on here state: “If he follows the advice of a blog, I want him fired.” Well, he followed the advice of a blog and became a multi-millionaire. Geoff, the advice is free: Put Wright in the backfield, get him in space on swing passes, give Russo a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose since the offense has been abysmal. Hell, Matt used Wright as the tailback against Stony Brook and said that was a noble idea but since he had Jahad and Ryquell, he couldn’t figure out a way to get the ball to him. Matt said, though, it was absolutely vital to put the ball in Isaiah’s hands and Matt was right. Geoff (and Patenaude) put the ball in his hands two times in each of the last two games. That’s being brain dead.

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