There used to be an old Beach Boys’ song about a Thunderbird and one of the lines was:
“She had fun, fun, fun until her Daddy took the T-Bird Away.”
We don’t think that’s on Jeremiah Atoki’s play list today at Temple football practice, but it sums up a lot of what has been going on with Temple football the last two years and something we had not seen for the prior 100 or so years:
- No depth charts
- Plenty of swag
- Endless search for Mayhem
- Only scholarship D.J. in college football
- Position flexibility
A lot those topics are all about injecting fun into college football for the other 104 scholarship athletes on the roster. If you do those things and lose, it’s called shtick. If you do those things and win championships, it’s called innovation.
As a cub reporter for the Temple News, I had a sit down with then Temple football coach Wayne Hardin in his cramped McGonigle Hall office and asked him what was the most “fun” thing about being Temple football coach.
I’ll never forget his answer.
“To me, the only thing that’s fun is winning,” he said.
On his last day as a head coach, he mentioned to me he was quitting at the end of a mediocre 1982 season. Standing in a small room after the last game, I asked why.
“Mediocrity is not my cup of tea,” he said.
That was at what I thought was a pretty young and vital age of 55.
To me, a 7-6 record
is the very definition
of mediocre, bowl win
is going to have to do
better this year for it
to be a successful season.
To me, Temple TUFF is
back-to-back 10-win seasons,
not finishing around the
middle of a 126-team FBS pack
Nobody won more and lost less as a Temple football coach, so I consider Hardin, not Geoff Collins, the expert here. I wish coach was alive today so I could ask him about the bullet points above, but he’s not and I don’t think he would look too kindly on the changes.
It wouldn’t have as much to do with being an old foogie as it would be a difference of philosophy on how to get to the end result.
To me, a 7-6 record is the very definition of mediocre, bowl win notwithstanding. Temple is going to have to do better this year for it to be a successful season. To me, Temple TUFF is back-to-back 10-win seasons, not finishing around the middle of a 126-team FBS pack.
Position flexibility is a great thing if you have a pass rusher like Romond Deloatch who also plays wide receiver. I did not see any of the pass-rushing attributes in Keith Kirkwood that I saw in Deloatch, so taking reps from Deloatch on the other side of the ball for the minimum snaps he gave the team as a DE last year was, in my mind, counterproductive.
Now we have the team’s best linebacker, Shaun Bradley, taking reps at a position where the Owls are deep—running back—and you have to question the process.
The Owls did not use Nick Sharga as a fullback last year nearly as much as they did in that championship season two years ago and, in retrospect, they probably should have used him at a position of need, linebacker, if the offensive staff felt he wasn’t going to get reps. Sharga was an impact player on defense at Army, and a forgotten man the rest of the season.
Whatever Collins decides to do is OK with me, as long as the bottom line is achieved—a championship.
If it doesn’t happen this season, his daddy (Pat Kraft) should take the T-Bird away and replace it with a whip. As coach Hardin says, the only fun in football is winning and that should be the eternal measuring stick.
Until proven otherwise, anything else is shtick.
Sunday: Done Deal Part II
Tuesday: The Rest of The Story
Thursday: New Uniforms?
Saturday: Spring Phenoms