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.
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