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