The Exception To the Rhule


If the Owls go from 10 wins to five in one year, staff changes need to be made

Whatever happens in Tulsa a week from now, 11 games have provided more than enough evidence to come to one conclusion.
If Matt Rhule was the perfect guy to lead Temple football into the next decade, and he probably was, Geoff Collins is The Exception to the, err, Rhule.
In other words, The Anti-Rhule.
matt rhule, temple football,

What made Rhule great here doesn’t necessarily transfer to Waco and what made Geoff Collins a good coordinator in Gainesville doesn’t necessarily transfer to the top spot here

It took Rhule three years to understand the key to winning at Temple is running the football behind the fullback, playing sound, fundamental defense (no Mayhem), shortening the game with long drives predicated on a running game that forced opposing defenses to bring their linebackers and safeties up to the line of scrimmage and then hitting on explosive plays in the passing game by using play-action.

You’ve got to wonder
if the Temple
administration is
kicking itself now
knowing that there
was a guy out there
who knows how to win
here, Al Golden,
and they passed on
him to roll the dice
on an unproven coordinator
It’s a simple formula but it’s a proven effective one for the last two double-digit win seasons. This is football, not Rocket Science.
Why Collins saw the need to tinker with that formula with talent tailor-made to run it is beyond the comprehension of most Temple fans.
Certainly this one.
The shame of it all is that Temple went from a guy in Rhule who understood what it takes to win here to someone who might never grasp the concept. What made Rhule great here doesn’t necessarily transfer to Waco and what made Geoff Collins a good coordinator in Gainesville doesn’t necessarily transfer to the top spot here. Rhule’s gone and probably won’t be back but you’ve got to wonder if the Temple administration is kicking itself now knowing that there was a guy out there who knows how to win here, Al Golden, and they passed on him to roll the dice on an unproven coordinator.
Now we have at least a 50/50 chance–I assume Tulsa will be either a two-point favorite or a two-point underdog when the lines come out–of going from two 10-win seasons to one five-win one.
I made it a point to approach Dr. Pat Kraft at the pre-game tailgate and congratulate him on one thing.
“What’s that?” the Temple AD said.
“Firing the soccer coach,” I said.
“Because you said in the statement that Temple will not accept mediocrity,” I said. “That’s something new at Temple because Temple never fires any coaches. That statement shows Temple’s not playing when it comes to holding coaches to a standard.”
“I meant it,” Pat said.
If this season finishes in a five-win disaster, big changes need to be made at least at the coordinator level if not above.
In a week, the Owls have a chance to be either mediocre or bad.
If it’s the latter, I hope Kraft holds American football to the same standard he demands from the international kind.
Tuesday: 5 Reasons To Give Thanks
Thursday: A Throwback Thanksgiving Day Story

25 thoughts on “The Exception To the Rhule

  1. In a year where we saw a good amount of returning pieces and constant promotion of mayhem coming and championship football, were at 5-6. We got embarrassed by our toughest competition in the division (USF & UCF), lost games to bad teams (UCONN & Houston) and the games we did win we nearly gave up the lead almost every time due to weak defense in the 4th. The team looked scared and that type of leadership comes from the top down. These coaches don’t want to hear it either since they seem to be more proactively blocking people on social media than coming up with solid game plans and making adjustments. Im torn…going to a bowl would be so well-deserved for the seniors but i dont know if i want this staff to have any feathers to put in their cap by going to a bowl in their first year, possibly winning, and then having to see all the promotions about winning the Frito Lay Potato Chips Bowl or something. Tough year all around with very little accountability from the staff…not very endearing. One more game to go. I guess beat Tulsa to spite the staff. Go owls!

  2. I was there and watched a rather strange Temple Football game , where after the initial 10 minutes when we had the ball and little scoring, our Owls team looked like they didn’t belong on the same field.
    Was UCF so great , they made is look stupid and bad ? Maybe.
    Did it look like almost nothing they did worked well ? Maybe.
    Did Temple blow all their energy and emotion on the previous 2 wins ? Maybe.
    Do we have a QB crisis with all those horrible throws and INT’s ? Maybe,
    Is Temple this bad for real ? Maybe.
    Where TUFB fans in the stands unhappy and puzzled and P-O’ed ? Maybe.
    Are we in big trouble in the future ? F-N-Yes.

  3. IF we get to 6 wins and a shitty bowl game, hope that isn’t considered “good enough” and no coaching changes are made. AD will not fire Collins but as a minimum, Owls need to fire both OC and DC. The UCF game, itself, was reason enough to get rid of those Coordinators. Temple is losing many starters to graduation, BETTER COACHING WILL BE A MUST NEXT SEASON!

    • Stan, couldn’t agree more, especially with your last statement. So many folks over on the FB page keeping harping on this being a rebuilding year but as you say, I’m looking at 2018 as being one just as much. Need to replace, right now, 14 sacks on the D-line, don’t know how bad Bryant’s injury is but hopefully full recovery for next season so at least with he and Wright you have 2 solid starting WRs but who makes up for Jennings and Kirkwoods production. Hope Collins is as good of a recruiter as his resume indicates.
      As for the staff changes won’t be surprised if none are made. With that being said need to hope Centeio or Beatty are ready to be a starting QB at this level as I don’t believe any of the current 3 are a good fit for Patenaude’s offense. On defense, seems to still be a nucleus on the line, linebackers should be better and not sure about the backfield. All that being said, contrary to what the “young team, rebuilding, give the coach a chance” gang on FB, 2018s starting line up may be younger than this season. Have doubts that these coordinators can improve their performance enough to make 2018 not much more than a copy of 2017

  4. One situation sums up Collins in my opinion OUT OF HIS LEAGUE! Early in the 1st quarter as a huge underdog, 4th and 2. Collins sends the offense on the field to try to draw CF offsides. Then burns a timeout, ices his own kicker, and miss. 1st of all, an undefeated, well coached team is not jumping offsides. 2nd, you dont waste a timeout that early in the game. 3rd, you ice your own kicker who has struggled this year.

    Did you ever see Nick Saban try that? Or any other D-1 coach? He would probably be a good high school or D-2 coach. But this is big boy football and he has not displayed anything that makes me think he can do it.

    • MD, in addition to that series, pretty much from the middle of the 3rd quarter to the end of the game, things seemed very confused on the Temple sideline with regards to getting the right players on the field, getting plays in and having any sense of urgency. Ok, down 45-19 probably not going to score 4 times but the offense was basically doing UCFs job for them in burning up the clock. I definitely think the OC is out of his league, DC while I’ve seen some improvement, still not sure about and as for Collins I think we have to hope he is a great recruiter so at least the team can win on talent against “teams they should beat” until he earns how to be a head coach.

  5. Yesterday was as mad, exasperated, and disappointed as I’ve ever been as a TU player and football fan after yesterday’s game and this season. As I’ve said previously, while Rhule was not the best his first two seasons, I always saw progress. Not with this crew of frauds.

    Not going for it on the first drive was inexcusable. Later about the same spot on the field, Owls had 2nd and four and here comes the spread with two horrendous passing plays. Where is Sharga? Collins should be fired just because of how he handled Sharga. I was on the field for the game and can tell you that the D was not prepared to play. At least five times half the D were looking at the sideline with fear, looking for answers from the coaching staff instead of simply playing down, distance, and formation, which should have been drilled into them during the week. I cannot understand how the d-backfield, a crew that was supposed to be one of the best in the country, looks so lost and clueless on so many occasions. They simply are not being coached like they were the last two seasons and maybe they aren’t being coached at all. I’ve never seen a team that allows opposing receivers to be so open game after game. Finally, what was Collins thinking when he turned down the procedure penalty that gave them 3rd and three? Of course you take the penalty. The sooner we’re done with this guy the better. Things will likely be worse next season given how poor a recruiting class he had. There is no one waiting in the wings to come to the rescue because if there were, they would be playing. One more thing, Not playing Russo is inexcusable. I’m really going to hate seeing him playing for an FBS team next season.

    • John, I haven’t followed the 2018 recruiting that much, aside from the QB and RB (who has since de-commited), I did look at the current roster this morning and to your point as I’ve been saying to your good friend Mark L. over on FB, if you think this is a rebuilding year wait until 2018. Which Mark L. by the way feels Temple will have a good chance to win the AAC. On defense Quincy Roche has looked good at times at defensive end and should be able to pressure the opposing QB next season, but I don’t see where the 14 sacks from Martin and Finch are going to be replaced. Basically won’t have the same level of depth at WR at the same skill level at this season. Defensive backfield and linebacker hope the returning players are better with experience this year but they’ll be getting the same level of coaching so who knows. What you mention about the defense, I noticed the same thing regarding the offense. I sit just above the TU bench in the club level,so the sight lines are great,and saw offensive players running back and forth to the sideline not knowing who should be in for a given play, seemed to take forever to get the play in and worst of all the offense just seemed to be taking their good old time to get plays off. Since I don’t think there is going to be any coaching changes in the staff I sure as hell hope Centeio or Beatty can do the job at QB running Petanude’s system.
      One slightly off topic question, since you were won the field for the game does Stella look as mean up close as she does on the big screen 🙂

  6. The question now becomes, other than Temple, which of these teams have had the most disappointing season .
    A) Our in state brethren Pitt
    B) Florida
    C) Tennessee
    D) Nebraska
    E) Florida State
    F) UCLA
    G) Penn State

    • Nebraska and Florida’s folly will result in a AAC coaching vacancies.

      • The first AAC team that figures out a way to beat this coaching carousel thing will be the conference’s perennial powerhouse. Think outside the box. Get an older coach who has nothing to prove but can get the most of the talent he inherits and stop hiring coordinators, who may or may not be “up and coming.” UConn will get a lot better under Randy Edsall because he won’t have a wandering eye and knows the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Al Golden would have gotten a lot more out of this year’s talent than Collins did.

  7. I think that Collins should be replaced. The UConn game was a clear example of his ineptitude. Also, the incidence of stupid (2 targeting penalties in consecutive weeks) penalties, along with misuse of timeouts, show a complete lack of discipline and/or organization (Take your pick). As a season ticket holder and Owl Club member, I feel that he should go or be put on a short leash.

    • I agree, Jack. Cut the losses, admit you made a mistake, and either get Al Golden, Curt Cignetti or the guy from JMU who is unbeaten in here. Temple needs a guy who can recruit and win on game day. The jury is still out on Collins’ recruiting. It has came back with a unanimous guilty verdict on some of the worst game-day coaching since Ron Dickerson, and that’s pretty bad.

      • Mike, seems the “key” recruit for the 2018 class is the QB, Beatty, who I have to figure if he is ready to contribute right away at the FBS level will have P5 programs coming after him. As to the rest of the class have to admit haven’t done much research, do you have any insights in that department. For example for what it’s worth ranking within the AAC. If Collins isn’t one of the top 3 recruiters in the conference I think this program is in trouble as I don’t see him getting victors through coaching.

      • No G5 first-year freshman (not talking transfers or JUCOs) has ever been an impact quarterback. As good as this kid is, he’s not going to be a star right away. Even P.J. was a 2-10 qb his first season. Now, freshmen recruited by the P5 have stepped in and become stars in their first seasons but that’s why they are P5 recruits.

  8. Someone please tell Linwood Crump to mature give or take 5 minutes. Then he’d see that jawing at the receiver who’s about to expose him as a mediocre corner is going to do so on the next drive. Then maybe I wouldn’t have to see him making an embarrassment of our defense on TV.

  9. How many teams in recent history have gone from conference champions to loser, bowl ineligible? the answer is astonishing

    sometimes we have to sit back and absorb the facts before judgement…,

    TUFB is a ‘SELL’

  10. All these negative comments may be correct, but wanting Temple to lose to Tulsa? C’mon. Look, Nutile had a horrible day which didn’t help the cause for sure. 3 picks within the Owl’s 25 – it wasn’t all coaching screw ups. I mean Temple was looking decent 2 games before this one, beating Navy, and thru the 1st quarter until the picks started. There were a couple unforgiveable loses, yes, but if Collins goes 6-6 with a bowl, it’s still much better than Rhule did. Bottom line, if Collins loses to Tulsa he should be ordered to make coordintor changes (especially OC), because they ain’t gonna fire Collins. But really? we’re all disgusted this season wasn’t better but maybe things will improve just like Rhule did. We have no choice but to wait and see anyway.
    Just beat Tulsa and go from there.

  11. I’ve carefully read this thread and I don’t see anyone even remotely suggesting that they’d like to see us lose to Tulsa. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  12. If everyone wants to see Collins go sooner than later, beating Tulsa and then getting to, and, winning a bowl game will advance that possibility more than will a loss this week.

  13. Don’t think Collins is gone with a win over Tulsa, but the point made is well-founded. Temple’s not firing him even if he goes 4-8 the next four years but a 6-6 followed by a 7-5 will get him outta here more certainly than a 4-8, 4-8. Hell, Daz got outta here off a 4-7 season but he had a bowl win at Temple (the only one in 30 years) on his resume. If you love Collins, beat Tulsa. If you hate Collins, beat Tulsa. Beating Tulsa is a no-brainer. Only positive I can see out of a loss to Tulsa is that Kraft forces Collins to bring in new coordinators but I don’t think Kraft has the balls to do that.

    • George: I’m hoping CC sees all the P5 openings and realizes he’s essentially auditioning for those jobs in the future while at TU. With that ambition, there’s not a lot of time to waste hoping underperforming coordinators grow into their jobs. Agree Kraft doesn’t make needed changes. CC has to if for no other reason than his own career advancement.

  14. Have to agree with the last few comments, don’t see anyone here wanting to lose to Tulsa and I don’t see any positive losing this game. 6-6 with a bowl win, while a disappointing season give this program a stretch of 4 non-losing seasons in a row for the first time since the 70s under Wayne Hardin. Worst case scenario if Collins can follow a 6-6 year up with even an Addazio level record, who Collins is really starting to remind me of, for 2 or 3 seasons that is better than 5-7, 4-8 performance.

  15. IF Temple beats Tulsa, chances are they end up with a losing record with a bowl loss, just sayin’. With this coaching and Temple’s record in bowls, that’s my guess. But Tulsa is going to be tough. Could very easily end up 5-7. BTW, somebody made a comment about wanting to lose to Tulsa – maybe not this article. But, whatever…..

  16. Actually it was Owlfan in the very first comment alluding to not being sure if he wanted this staff to succeed in their first season – maybe not WANTING them to lose.

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