Losing Is An Attitude


Watching Army march down the field a couple of weeks ago, a thought occurred to me even before the Cadets scored the game-tying touchdown. The defensive players were looking around for someone else to make a play instead of taking that bull by the horns themselves.

Losing is an attitude and it appeared as if Temple adopted that mindset early on in the season, but especially during the UConn game.

John Chaney wrote a great book called “Winning is An Attitude” with Steve Wartenberg about Temple basketball but this Temple football book appears headed for a less happy ending unless the Owls truly embrace the principles that gave them consecutive double-digit-win seasons.

Late in both the Uconn and the Army games, you could see the Owls—especially the defensive players—look around and wonder how their hearts would be broken now.

Instead of grabbing the game by the throat and sacking the quarterback, they allowed a 59-yard draw to a slow-footed Huskie quarterback and gave comfort to a triple option team that was very uncomfortable at throwing the ball by playing a prevent defense.


As Harry S Truman once said, “The buck stops here” and the buck of this losing attitude has to stop at the desk of Temple football CEO.

If Geoff Collins were to write a book about the 2017 Temple football season, its title would be “Losing is An Attitude” and the subtitle might be “How I Turned Temple TUFF Into Temple MUSH in 8 Games.”

Other possible titles might be “Unfulfilled Promises” or “Undelivered Mayhem” because  Mayhem–which really is attacking the quarterback relentlessly—would have probably gave Temple wins, not losses, in the last two games.

Basically, this whole attitude was established from the first weeks of Collins’ tenure when he gave the offensive coordinator job to a spread offense guy, Dave Patenaude, who gave only lip service tribute to the Temple style of play which produced consecutive 10-win seasons. You knew this thing was headed south when, in January, Patenaude said he was going to run the tailback behind the fullback but also incorporate spread principles into the offense.

You can’t do both.

At least not effectively, and Patenaude has strayed from what the Temple personnel if best-suited for—run a great tailback behind a great fullback—to the point where the great fullback seldom even plays. The running game always set up explosive downfield plays in the passing game for Temple, making great use of play-action. The spread lends itself to punting on 4th and goal, which is exactly what the Owls did in the Houston game.

Defensively, the pressure on the quarterback we’ve been promised and subsequent backfield fumbles and interceptions returned the other way (Mayhem) has been MIA for eight games, even in the wins.

There are four more games left. It’s up to the CEO, not the OC and the DC, to order that the Temple offensive brand be restored in full and give the home fans at least a hint of the Mayhem he promised nine months ago.

Thursday: Navy Preview


34 thoughts on “Losing Is An Attitude

  1. we’re beating Navy on Thursday! That is all.

  2. If Dan Mullen is offered the Gator job and takes it, wonder if he would call GC back as DC, and if GC would go? Pray a lot.

    I don’t disagree with the position you’ve taken regarding the staff and how their strategy has been a disaster for the program. But you’ve made your point and fear anymore like you’ve created above will diminish your ability to drive change and you’ll be ignored like the guy preaching on the corner. Suggest post game analysis with Fuzzy can question calls and personnel decisions that can’t be challenged by defenders of the staff.

    Keep in mind, you could also be influencing thinking of possible recruits.

    • Unfortunately, just as Nick Saban doesn’t go from head coach of Alabama to head coach of Temple, you don’t go from head coach at Temple to an assistant anywhere else–even a Power 5 school.

  3. Just got a mailer looking for me to donate to the Owl Club, interestingly enough, I can’t find the comment section…..just the box for how much and the return envelope.
    In all seriousness, I am relieved to see Temple’s attempt at creating tradition. They have a superimposed pic of Coach Hardin and some info regarding his tenure……finally! Now start getting some alumni back here to Coach….stop hiring coaches that are only here to use this as a springboard. I could go on and on but my arthritic thumbs are acting up.

  4. I think the criticism on here is warranted and as far as “defenders of the staff” how can any sane logical person defend this staff? Need to cut the losses and get this guy out of here ASAP.

  5. Reading similar commentary on the USF Stampede site about their OC (Stan Gilbert) who has taken a spread offense team and made it a dive team.

    Hmm. Maybe a swap could be arranged?

  6. Losing is not only an attitude it’s also contagious. Once the losing bug infects a team, the only medicine that will work to cure the patient is immediate surgery. The cancerous teammates have to be excised and those that remain must undergo extensive behavior therapy because once the bad attitude infects enough of a team, the rest of the other players succumb to the what’s going to go wrong next flu (Let’s face it TU fans, who can blame them-we all have that same malady) It took Dr. Al Golden’s prescription for attention to detail and toughness to change the team’s mindset and along the way, some members of the team had to be amputated. Collins is not the doctor for this procedure. He’s already gone to finger pointing and bad luck as the cause of the malady infecting the team. That’s the equivalent of medieval cures that call for bloodletting and leaches. They sound good but do nothing to cure the patient. Collins needs a consult here and unless he accepts that his procedures are killing the patient I’m afraid that TU football will expire.

    • The problem is talent. You’re making this way too complicated. Unless you have a check for many millions, Collins is your coach. Hope he improves. Remember Rhule was 2-10 his first year. We lost a lot from last year and we’re not Alabama where they just reload.

      • Don’t believe the problem is talent, not when 3 of 5 starting OL guys return, the entire wide receiving corps, the best tailback on last year’s team (sorry, Jahad, but Ryquell had better numbers), the best fullback in the country (Collins’ words, not mine, but I believe him), defensive linemen who have started games for Temple in the past like Dogbe, Martin, Finch, FBL, Webb, and newcomers like Roche and Archibong, and 3 of the four starting DBs. That’s enough talent to maybe not win 10 games, but certainly in the 6-9 range and this staff is just not getting it done. It’s pretty clear to most Temple fans, not just me (see the Al Golden poll), the MAIN problem is the coaching, not the talent. (Yeah, I know he’s my coach for years to come but if I’m Dr. Kraft I walk into his office after the season and tell him to get rid of Patenaude at a minimum.) If we had lost most of our offensive linemen (we didn’t), most of our wide receivers (we lost none), most of our defensive linemen (we did not) and most of our DBs (we did not), I would agree the problem is talent. The empirical evidence is pretty stark the other way.

      • Please, enough with this “we’re not Alabama where they just reload”, we also don’t play in the SEC. Yes the team lost a number of key starters from last year but Collins also inherited more talent coming off of a 10 win, conference championship season than Rhule dii his first year. Plus, I really think Rhule’s first team could have easily been a 4 to 5 win team that year. I look at his first 2 years as being teams that could have been a 5 win team followed by a 7 or 8 win team. Having to go to the bottom of the division every 3 to 4 years and then spend 2 season to “build” the team back up should not be the expectations of this program, especially id the goal is to move up in the future if the opportunity presents itself.

      • Let us draw 40,000 a game, then maybe you’ll be right. Until then, we are who we are. As far as how many wins we coulda had under Rhule, remember Bill Parcells saying, that “You are what your record says you are.”

      • You are what your record says you are only applies if your coach has shown some level of competence. Don’t think the Eagles’ fans under Kuharich and Kotite thought those teams were what their records say they were. This coaching staff BLOWS … blows … and that’s the kindest way I can put it. Let’s put it this way: the guy you hate (Dunphy) has won two AAC coach of the year awards. This guy will NEVER win a single AAC COY award and I will put any amount of money on that bet.

  7. TUFB 2017 is dead.

    Rebirth in 2018 unlikely absent of two new coordinators and the recruitment of freshmen with the physical ability and talent to start immediately.

    The BOT needs to provide an immediate cure and vaccination. ugh.., we’ll all be dead and gone waiting for that to happen.

  8. It starts with the coach, the CEO, the players mentor. It’s painfully obvious they don’t have faith in the OC or HC, and for the seniors who have spent the last several years watching the program hit new heights it’s sad.

    Losing is definitely an attitude and rampant from what I can tell.

  9. I say it is possible this coaching staff, unwittingly , has pulled the plug on Temple Football hopes. How long will the BOT allow Temple to be a bottom dweller in the AAC with 3 or 4 wins a year. I doubt if they care, except this will be a expensive root cellar to call home.
    And what will the AAC do if Temple returns to bottom dweller status ? We will discover the answer in 4 years. This is new territory for the AAC also, true ?

    • Bingo! The BOT cares not.., 85% of the BOT is comprised of people who have little if any ties to Temple.., they sit on the Board to pad their resumes and egos…, most have ties to ‘NOVA, PSU, etc and have been appointed or elected by people who don’t give a rat’s tail about TUFB..,

      don’t think so? how is the new stadium coming along? and, how many BOT members went to the AAC championship game last year, and how many went to the Bowl Game?

      Kraft went from a ‘hot commodity’ to a ‘sell’ in less than three months

      • There is on BOT member who was a walk-on for four years and cares greatly about TU football. If I see him Thursday, I’ll ask him if the BOT is aloof when it comes to athletics generally and football in particular. , This guy says the stadium us a done deal.

      • He’s definitely a sell, KJ. To go from 10 to 3 wins is an abomination but that’s a lot more likely now than it is to go from 10 to 6.

    • One BOT member and the board GENERALLY supports Temple football. Dr. Kraft swung and miss with this hire. It’s not too complicated. Look at Mike Huston, the JMU coach, or the Elon coach, Curt Cignetti (a former Temple assistant). They get way more with less than Collins gets with way more.

      • Kraft demonstrated that he cannot hire the most important coach of your athletic program, It is the most important based on the attendance numbers possible for a successful football team. Even a top ten bb program that has 16 home games at 8500 fans per game can’t match the attendance or revenue of a successful football team that averages 35 thou for six games. Football tickets at most schools are three to four times the cost of bb tickets and the revenue therefrom supports other programs. Kraft will show what he’s made of if we hear that the two coordinators are axed at the end of this pitiful season.

      • Can somebody explain to me how Elon talent … ELON … beats Villanova more easily than Temple .. TEMPLE .. talent? Don’t tell me it’s because the Temple talent is overvalued because double-digit players of that talent saw significant time on an AAC championship team under a different coaching staff.

  10. Dr. Kraft needs to step in and exert control. If he lets this guy run amok, Collins will make all the mistakes Rhule made in the first two years and we can’t afford to slide back that far. Temple should have been 10-4 with an AAC championship last year. No one .. .. no one … would have been satisfied with 4-8 or worse THIS YEAR with this great talent returning and that’s what we are looking at now.

    • by exerting control, saying, “Geoff, you need to get rid of Patenaude and bring a play-action pro set guy in here. That’s what your talent is suited to play until you can recruit four full classes.” Probably also needs to take a good look at the DC, too.

  11. Philly.com says that Russo is second team qb this week. Maybe we’ll see him play Thursday.

    • I covered the kid when I worked at the Inquirer. His poise and ability to throw the intermediate and deep balls are off the charts. He’s a gamer. Vaughn Charlton always outpracticed Adam DiMichele, but once ADM got in a real game, it was all over. I really believe in this kid and I think I have a good football radar. That said, Nutile was light years better than Marchi so I hope he does well, too.

      • real head scratcher.., the two QBs with the most talent and upside sit…, Nutile did play well…,

        the Temple OL is banged up, the Navy front seven is bigger and tougher than Army’s front seven.., Patenaude’s game plans are perplexing.., Russo will play in the 4th qtr

  12. Interesting factoid: IF the staff was wrong on starting Marchi over Nutile (pretty clear it was if Nutile’s play against Army was any indication), could they be just as wrong about not starting Russo over both Nutile and Marchi? It’s only logical. I don’t go to the practices every day but, then again, they do and they f-ked up on the Marchi/Nutile evaluation so what do they know? I only know what I saw at the Cherry and White game and there were three equal quarterbacks (Nutile, Centeio, Russo) and one clearly below-the-line guy (Marchi). Why does he start? Could it be that Patenaude recruited only one Temple quarterback for Coastal Carolina and that was Marchi when he was in high school? Hmm. Something’s rotten in Denmark.

  13. Navy game is a loss. Navy’s running and passing game is better than Army’s and so is their defense. They gave UCF, a top ten team as far as I’m concerned, a tough game. They also played Memphis tough. The only thing TU has going for it is that TU played Army two weeks ago and has had almost three weeks to practice against the triple option. Navy will throw at least two td passes against the Owls.

    • Can’t disagree with you, there. Offensive woes not withstanding, this was an attacking defense last year with guys like Champ, Delvon, Artrel, Dogbe, Martin, Webb, FBL, making plays everywhere. Now they play like they are walking on eggshells and looking over to the sideline. Don’t like the look at all. Pretty much the same talent, different coaches.

  14. Mike:
    Who is this asshole on Twitter challenging your credibility and reputation?

    • Trying to explain to him the difference between thinking if Russo gets on the field he wins the job versus wishing Frank gets hurt (I clearly don’t) was like talking to a 12-year-old. So I blocked him. Only person I’ve ever had to block on twitter. Like the petulant child he is, he is sulking now. I’m not losing any sleep over him. He’s big on having twitter followers. I’ve never sought a single twitter follower.

      • The wording on that tweet almost sounds like a certain Andy S. on FB who had the same kind of rant against you.

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