For TU fans, Love Should Be Better Second Time Around


A real ad paid for by Temple on the marquee in Times Square 4/26/18.

If you are a Temple fan who did not fall in love with Geoff Collins in his first year, there are indications that love is better the second time around.

OK, I’ll admit it.

I wasn’t crazy about his trust in an offensive coordinator who recruited a guy for Coastal Carolina and gave that guy about the longest rope to hang himself of any Temple quarterback in my 41-year history of following the Owls.

Seven games with six putrid and one acceptable performance was six games too much for my taste and it almost put the Owls out of bowl contention.

Forgetting that Nick Sharga was the best pure football player on the team—on both offense and defense–was another major strike against Collins.

That was then and this is now.

Mayhem might not have been coming a year ago, but there are at least inclinations that it could be here in five months.

Collins made a couple of impressive CEO moves in the offseason, promoting Andrew Thacker to DC to replace Taver Johnson was the first. We did not see the defensive Mayhem we had been promised until the 13th game of the season and Collins was not a happy camper. Presumably seeing the handwriting on the wall, Johnson went back to the Big 10 and accepted the same job he had a Purdue before taking the Temple DC job (defensive backs’ coach) at Ohio State. Collins also made Temple lifer Ed Foley the “assistant head coach in charge of offense” presumably as a check and balance on Patenaude.


Those aren’t the only signs Year Two Can be better than Year One.

All you have to do is look around the American Athletic Conference (which probably should have kept the Big East name, but that’s a story for another day).

Look at what all of the other second-year coaches did.

Navy’s brilliant Ken Niumatalolo went 8-5 with a loss in the Eagle Bank Bowl his first year and then went 10-4 with a win in the Texas Bowl his second year.

Memphis’ Mike Norvell went 8-5 his first year, then 10-3 the second.

SMU’s Chad Morris went 2-10, 5-7 and 7-6 before he accepted a Power 5 job with Arkansas.

UCF’s Scott Frost went 6-7 his first year and then 13-0 the second.

Those are significant improvements in numbers across the board.

The numbers suggest that the bottom line for Collins will produce much better than the seven wins he was able to post while feeling his way around in the first season. If it’s Rhule and Frost good, that’s an improvement of anywhere from 4-7 wins. Even if it’s Norvell good, that’s a nine-win season.

Just split the difference between, say, Rhule and Frost and every Temple fan—even the skeptical ones—will be sending Valentines Collins’ way come Feb. 14, 2019.

The only question where be where to send the card with the Whitman’s chocolates.

Monday: Facts Of Life In AAC


8 thoughts on “For TU fans, Love Should Be Better Second Time Around

  1. Any time you read a mutual fund prospectus or other investment disclosures, you are probably going to come across the oft-repeated phrase, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

    Same thing applies regarding AAC football coaching.

    • The trend appears to be upward for these coordinators who become first-time head coaches. There are exceptions to the rule like UConn’s Bob Diaco and even our own Daz who went 9-4 and 4-7 and thankfully got the hell out of here on the bad year, not the good one. I think Temple fans will like the result against Boston College this year as I think the Temple coaching and talent is a little better than BC’s. This is setting up as a real good year for Temple football. Collins said the team is going to be “ridiculously good” and I hope he is right and not blowing smoke up our butts like Daz did.

  2. Success is never across the board for Temple football. Collins should have won a couple more games last year but won a bowl game. Even with Rhule’s milestone seasons and certain game victories, he had 2 suck seasons and never won a bowl game. Daz has a very nice first season with a bowl win then collapses his second season. It’s always up and down for the Owls. Hopefully this coming season will be a lot of fun for Temple fans.

    • Press is only allowed to watch 10 minutes of each practice, but the former players are allowed to watch complete practices and, from what they say, the whole offensive philosophy has gone from Coastal Carolina spread concepts back to Temple TUFF fullback leading the way for tailback to set up the play-action passing game. If so, the learning curve has served them well. Hope it applies to the other two areas (defense, special teams), too.

  3. Bottom line is that if Collins has truly put Patenaude back in his spread box he is ahead of Rhule’s learning curve, Rhule took two seasons to realize what would make TU successful. I believe that running a pro set with a lot of play action is almost as disruptive to opponents’ defenses as is running a triple option. Teams don’t face it all that often and with the restrictions on hitting in practice, teams cannot prepare sufficiently enough to stop it. The USF game two seasons ago is an example of that because by the second half they were physically beaten up and could not stop the Owls.

  4. The handwriting is on the wall: either Temple moves to the ACC and plays in the Pinstripe Bowl, or Collins will be coaching the Jets in the next couple years.

  5. Well then Mike, seems as if Collins is learning fast. He collared Patenaude end of last season and now has a new OC, ostensibly anyway, and as you said the old Temple TUFF is hopefully back. Things is lookin’ good! And how about the NFL draft for our guys? Sharga has his chance. Probably would have been drafted if they’d used him last season.

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