TU Football: Season Grade is a C


Just once, as a Temple football fan, I’d like to go through one season where my Owls would beat all the teams they are supposed to beat and reach up and win one game where they are not supposed to win.

That would be a Grade A season.

I’ve never asked for a unbeaten season, which would be nice, or a national championship, which would be nicer, but just one season where the Owls would beat ALL of the teams they are supposed to beat and reach up and win one game they are not supposed to win. They haven’t done that since Wayne Hardin roamed the sidelines.

All the teachers ever asked of us on any test taken was to get the answers we should get and maybe guess right on one or two others.

Many of the outside
expectations had the
Owls finishing with
seven wins and a
third-place finish
in the AAC East and
that’s exactly where
they finished and
that’s why we give
this team and,
by extension, its
first-year CEO
a satisfactory (C)
for a final grade

After the Owls finished with their third winning season in a row, I’ve come to the conclusion that is never going to happen and we might just as well be happy where we are. Three winning seasons in a row with three-straight bowls is not bad considering where our once regional rivals and peer universities like Maryland, Rutgers and Syracuse are now.

They can have the Big 10 and the ACC as long as I get the wins. Nobody hates losing more than I do. All they have is hope their losing ends. Hope doesn’t get me into bowl games.

The Owls reached up and beat only one team (Navy) they were supposed to lose to, but lost two games they should have won (they had the Army game in the bag and committed the unpardonable sin of allowing  a triple-option team to pass on a prevent defense) and one of those two losses was perhaps the worst FBS team out there, UConn. They grossly unperformed against a rival they should have pummeled into the Stone Age, Villanova, and allowed UMass to stick around, which cannot be said for, say, FIU.

There were more wins than losses and that’s a measure of satisfaction so satisfactory is the operable word for this season.

Still, it could have been better.

Although I’ve seen first-year head coach Geoff Collins get as much as a B+ for his efforts on social media, I’m a hard marker. (I don’t think lifetime .279 hitter Ralph Kiner should be in the Hall of Fame, for instance.) I’d give him no more than a C.

A+ (outstanding) is an unbeaten season, which UCF just might get.

A  (excellent) is reserved only for that criteria previously outlined—beat everyone you are supposed to beat, reach up and win one game you are not supposed to win.

B (good) is a season where you’ve mostly exceeded outside (non-Temple) expectations and C (satisfactory) is finishing about where everyone said you would finish.

Many of the outside expectations had the Owls finishing with seven wins and a third-place finish in the AAC East and that’s exactly where they finished and that’s why we give this team and, by extension, its first-year CEO a satisfactory (C) for a final grade.

So, realistically, it was just satisfactory, nothing more and a lot of avoidable errors by a first-year coaching staff could have inched that grade up to at least a B.

They probably should have done what Collins promised the first game, give three quarterbacks an equal shot against Notre Dame and watch the cream rise to the top.

Instead, Collins said he and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude had a detailed metric system of performance in practice that separated the quarterbacks and decided the issue. The problem with that, as we said even then, was that in all of Temple (and I suspect) other school’s histories was there were plenty of great practice quarterbacks who got exposed in games and plenty of kids who couldn’t practice worth a lick but were gamers.

Collins has one such young man, Adam DiMichele, on his staff. His then coach Al Golden said he was nowhere near the practice quarterback Vaughn Charlton was, but once given the opportunity in games, he excelled.

So did Frankie Juice. Logan Marchi got his chance and did not. Anthony Russo probably deserves a chance next year and Trad Beatty should probably be groomed to battle with Toddy Centeio for the job two years from now. That’s how great programs operate.

If Collins learns from his mistakes, particularly at the quarterback position, he could get a much better grade next year. Until then, any teacher worth her salt would crack his fingers with a ruler, circle his white paper with a big cherry C and tell him he must do better next time.

Friday: The Early Haul


20 thoughts on “TU Football: Season Grade is a C

  1. anytime a new head coach comes in and gives ‘his QB’ a nickname, it’s over.., thou has been anointed.., trouble w/Collins is that he didn’t follow his instincts and gave Patenaude enough rope to hang himself..,

    program is in serious jeopardy from three consecutive bad recruiting years…, recruiter Collins is several steps below MR and AG

    conference is getting stronger and Temple is getting weaker.., next year is truly a rebuilding year

  2. “In Rhule’s first season as head coach, Temple struggled and won just two games. Despite the record, however, Rhule and his staff assembled the No. 2 recruiting class in the American Athletic Conference for the Class of 2014”

    and, AG recruited a first round draft choice…,

    Collins only sold what people were accustomed to buying.., “Alabama, Florida, MSU, etc”…., he as yet to figure out how to sell TUFB!!!!

    • Most concerned that a non-Philly staff (except for Foley) has not laid the groundwork with the Philly-area recruits that Golden and Rhule leaned on for much of the turnaround.

  3. KJ, been saying the same thing about 2018 being the real rebuilding year for Collins. Given the injuries on the O-line this year has helped with setting things up for next season but I don’t see replacements on the roster yet for Finch, Martin, Jennings and Kirkwood just to name 4 key players gone. Unlike some over on FB I will be very happy if next season the team could win one against either Maryland or BC and add 1 more conference win to go 8-4. Right now I can’t see this team being any better than that

  4. Marchi is gone. Would love to see our OC follow him

    • Addition by subtraction. Nutile deserves the job. Russo moves to backup. Centeio and Beatty battle it out two years from now, with Centeio getting some Wright-like packages this season and Beatty getting a redshirt.

  5. I’m suffering watching Daz run the ball like TU should have this season. What would he have done with a fullback like Sharga? Patenaude has to go and Collins too if he doesn’t realize that Patenaude is not TU Tuff.

    • Satisfactory (C) when you look up the definition of the word is a pretty generous grade considering the awful losses this team had. UConn should not have gotten within 30 points of this team, let alone beat them. The Collins Apologists should be thanking Mike and not criticizing the grade over on Al Jazeera (or is it Pravda?

      • Having a nice little back-and-forth with a couple of Collins’ apologists on the Temple fan facebook page now. One of them is trying to say that Ryquell was nowhere near as good as Jahad was in 2016. Countered with facts. He countered with “alternative facts.” Alternative facts are falsehoods.

  6. Better watch yourself, Mike. Those idiots don’t take being criticized all that well. You could be banned like I was. Don’t know why you are wasting your time trying to bring truth to delusional liars.

    • A guy that doesn’t even know the basics of assignment football (FB blocking linebacker, for instance) in set formations is now trying to tell me Sharga should have blocked a DB. Rather than tell him he’s an idiot there, I’m going to take your advice, John.

      • I don’t post on the Facebook page (read only and resist temptation) but I cannot believe the low-level of football intelligence over there. One guy said he played soccer at Temple but it’s obvious he knows nothing about college football or Temple’s personnel but just posts banal stuff. The level of football intelligence is much higher over here so this is where I post.

      • Mike, don’t you watch pro football. 🤣. Loved that one, just get the feeling the FB page is becoming Pravda for those who don’t want to spend the $$$ on the real thing. Hope I’m wrong but I think 2018 could be tougher to get 7 wins than this year, I think Collins has as much a chance to “repeat” Dax’s performance bowl win followed by a losing season as he does to improve on this season with the rebuild this roster will need

  7. a few thoughts…., wish Marchi all the best, he works hard and deserves success;

    we have a lot of Talent and Depth at the QB position, the most I’ve seen in the last 25 years;

    Collins needs to hire a QB whisperer now, i.e. an OC in the waiting.., Patenaude should have been going yesterday.., blind loyalty is stupidity and is a dishonor to TUFB

    is it me or does Temple really play better when wearing Cherry and White? Not all white, or all cherry, or any combination of black..,

    does anyone know our record over the last five years in Cherry and White (White jerseys/Cherry pants, or Cherry jerseys/White pants)?

    how many next level guys or college starters in the last two recruiting classes?

    • The 2016 team won seven straight to close the season in some combination of Cherry and White (even though one game was all white uniforms with the Cherry T on the helmet) after losing to Memphis in all black. Have a feeling if Matt was still here we’d never wear black again just as a superstition.

  8. Navy, so far, kicking Virginia’s rear end on both sides of the ball. Virginia’s D could have another 3 weeks of practice and they’d still not be able to stop the Navy O.

  9. Watching Stanford-TCU in the Alamo Bowl and looks like Stanford for the most part running the kind of offense that Temples talent was geared for. Lot of 2 back sets, I formation with fullback as lead blocker, play action, you know the kind of offense that according to former soccer players teams haven’t used since the 70s and 80s

    • That Stanford coach is a great coach. Cannot (yet) say same for Collins. If he goes 7-6 at Temple every year, he’s not getting plucked by any P5 school and I think that’s what we’re looking with him for the next 2-3 years. Golden turned around a team with a 20-game losing streak and Rhule had back-to-back 10-win seasons. That gets attention. Mediocrity does not.

  10. Of course, if Collins follows the Rhule/TFF blueprint and goes with Nitro as the full-time fullback and a lot of deft faking to running backs for big plays in play action, then he gets to win 10 games next year. I’m betting he does the same thing he did this year and cede his offense to a total baboon.

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