Russo: Collins’ First Litmus Test As CEO


By 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, we will find out if Geoff Collins is either the Miller Huggins of Temple football or the Gabe Kapler.

Patenaude has a documented
history of making mistakes
in sticking with quarterbacks
too long. He went with his boy,
Logan Marchi, for seven games
and that cost the Owls embarrassing
losses to teams like UConn

The big question Collins has to answer is if he will take charge and name Anthony Russo the starting quarterback.

The evidence would suggest he should. Frank Nutile, the starter at the beginning of the season, threw interceptions all over the place in losses to FCS Villanova and MAC Buffalo. He did not look confident nor show the kind of arm he did in five of his last six games last year. Maybe Nutile was injured all along. Maybe he just had a sore arm.

Whatever, Anthony Russo, his replacement, looked confident and sharp and managed a convincing win over a Big 10 school that beat probable Big 12 winner Texas.

No-brainer, right?



“Psst: Geoff. It’s me. Miller. Miller Huggins. Trust me: Start Russo”


Only if you let someone with no brains make the wrong decision. After the game, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said “Frankie should be OK for Tulsa” and that statement leads me to believe that this OC is leaning toward putting Nutile back into the saddle. Patenaude has a documented history of making mistakes in sticking with quarterbacks too long. He went with his boy, Logan Marchi, for seven games and that cost the Owls embarrassing losses to teams like UConn. Only the “luck” of an injury to Marchi reversed Temple’s season.

My guess is if Dave Patenaude was managing the New York Yankees back in 1925, Lou Gehrig would have never seen the field.

Huggins, then the Yanks’ baseball manager, passed his first litmus test as a manager.  If the Hugger were still alive, he would able to pass on some valuable Cliff Notes to Collins for his upcoming litmus test.  On June 2, 1925, Huggins told Gehrig that “(Wally) Pipp wasn’t doing too well” and Huggins thought a few days of rest would do him good.  Lou Gehrig took over the rest was history. Gehrig went on to play 2,632-straight games—the longest consecutive streak in baseball or any other sport until Cal Ripken Jr. came along.

Knowing Gabe Kapler, who probably will not make the Hall of Fame, this is what he would have said: “I have full confidence in Wally and, even though Lou did well, Wally is not going to lose his job because of an injury.” It’s probably the same deal with Patenaude and this is where Collins has to put his foot down.

… it’s not even a tie.
Russo was significantly
more impressive in his
game—against a foe that
would destroy both Buffalo
and Villanova—than Nutile
was in his two

In baseball, one of the axioms is “the tie goes to the runner” and, in college football, the tie in performance goes to the younger quarterback over the redshirt senior. Crazy enough,  but, in the case of Russo and Nutile, it’s not even a tie. Russo was significantly more impressive in his game—against a foe that would destroy both Buffalo and Villanova—than Nutile was in his two.

In college football, if it’s even close, the decision goes with the younger player.

In this case, as in Gehrig’s, the better one. Now is the time for Collins’ first litmus test as CEO of the Temple football operation.

In less than 48 hours, we will find out whether Geoff Collins is closer to Miller Huggins than he is to Gabe Kapler. We can only pray he is the real boss and doesn’t cede this authority to an incompetent subordinate.

If he does, he is a weak leader who won’t last long at Temple. Or anywhere else for that matter.

Thursday: Tulsa Preview



23 thoughts on “Russo: Collins’ First Litmus Test As CEO

  1. As I said the other day when I referred to Pipp, I know what I would do- Russo has to start. Hurt feelings have a place in peewee ball, not D-1 colleges. Ask Nick Saban and the kid on the bench who was 26-2 or thereabouts as the starter. Nutile isn’t a quarter as good as that kid and his recent outings were horrible. Have doubts about whether Collins can bench Nutile with Patenfraud in his ear.

  2. The 32 year-old Wally Pipp batted .230 in 1925, so putting 22-year-old Gehrig into the lineup was a smart bet.

    TU’s D finally showed up in Maryland: sacks, TFL, pressure on the QB, DBs draped over WRs. The TUO improved the running game and didn’t drop passes, so Russo played well with a lot more support.

    • I think Nutile’s batting around .232, also. Why do I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that Nutile is going to go out there under center to start things on Thursday night? Same feeling I had watching that ball soar over Rodney Williams’ Jr.’s arm and into the hands of the Villanova receiver on 4th and 9.

  3. Hey Mike, You never mentioned what you thought of the new helmets they debuted at Maryland this weekend. I DID NOT like them.

  4. Went from being excited for Thursday’s game to now dreading it. I will be ‘shocked and appalled’ if they go back to their old lousy coaching ways. Boo!

  5. Not super related, but Texas is far from being the “probable” Big XII winner. Oklahoma runs that conference. Second in line is West Virginia.

    • After seeing both Texas and Oklahoma, I think Texas wins the conference. USC is legit and the ‘Horns hammered them, 37-13. I could be wrong, but that’s why they play the games. Of course, the counter-argument is Maryland but Texas is not Temple TUFF. 🙂

  6. it’s kind of simple, with one QB your team is 0-2; with the other QB your team is 1-0.

    is it me?

    No, Nutile anointed by CC, is the one. Every HC has the right to pick the QB he wants to lead the type of team he wants.

    Saban made his choice and Collins has made his.

    we must root for a Temple win

    • Rooting for a Temple, win, too but it would be a real shame if Nutile started and threw a pair of picks that kept Tulsa in the game. The booing on national TV would be a talking point not only on ESPN but on the highlight shows afterward. Crowd will be pulling for Russo and giving him a lot more rope than the guy who lost to a hated rival and a MAC squad. Do these carpetbaggers even consider that possibility when coming to their decision? They don’t know Philly.

  7. I love the new helmet by the way. The block T sux and confuses us with other schools. Never should have taken Temple of the helmet.

  8. Not sure I agree with your last line, “If he does, he is a weak leader who won’t last long at Temple. Or anywhere else for that matter.”

    I would HOPE Kraft isn’t like Patenaude/Collins and sticking with a losing formula. Sunk cost mentality can be jarring, no doubt. My fear is Collins could have 2-3 seasons in the gutter and Kraft/TUF wouldn’t fire the guy outright. Even if he eeks out a couple games positive each season I don’t trust that we have a wannabe marketing director instead of football coach.

    Russo is the clear choice, we all know that and I think even Dave and Geoff know it. Would be curious if they’d rather not “let down” a senior vs. winning games.

    • I think there is hope for Collins; no hope for Patenaude. My point with that last sentence is that Collins has to prove he’s the boss and make the decision a HC should make…naming the right starting qb…if so there is hope for him here. Rhule refused to let satterfield take him down. Collins has reached the same crossroads with Patenaude

  9. I genuinely think it’s more them ‘saving face’ vs. caring about letting down a senior. They just don’t want to admit when they’re wrong.

    Our only hope is that they claim Nutile’s injury hasn’t fully healed.

  10. (To clarify, I don’t think Nutile is a bad QB. He came through for us last year when we needed him. But I do think something has changed with him. And now he’s extra rattled. We need a QB in there with confidence, and he’s just not bringing it….)

  11. If you have any access to game footage, watch Nutile throw. He does not raise his arm as high as he did last season. That kills accuracy, speed and release time. He must have an injured shoulder.

    • I think u r right…he’s not telling anyone because he doesn’t want to let the team down. He’s a great kid. I happen to think Russo is the better qb. There is no shame for juice in that…he saved our season last year; for that we owe him a debt of gratitude

    • I said to the people that I was with after Nutile’s first couple of throws in the first game that he was not the same QB that ended the season. No arm speed, no quick release, and he was aiming instead of throwing. I really think he hurt his arm and kept it quiet.

  12. G Collins has THE experience in big time FB and Patened -fraud does not.
    I trust Collins recognizes his own future depends on wise choices for key coaching positions.

  13. Anyone know why Isaiah Wright has disappeared? Is he hurt? Heck, he didn’t even start against Maryland.

    Has Brandon Mack emerged as the better receiver?

    Get the ball in the hands of players who score…, i.e., Jahad Thomas who scored 36 TD in two years..,

    OBW, has Ryquell Armstead scored this year?

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