Where did we hear this tune before?


Listening to the post-game show at Boston College, I thought I could hear a familiar tune playing in the background when Temple head coach Geoff Collins was speaking.

“Really good game, really proud of how hard our guys fought,” Collins said. “That was a very physical game, and our guys were up to it.”


Didn’t Temple LOSE by 10 points and not WIN by 10 points?

Collins has shown plenty in the way of schtick (money downs, swag, catchy nicknames, etc.) but very little in the way of substance (8-8 record) a not-so-sweet 16 games into his head coaching career.


The quote sounded familiar so I reached back into the archives of some roughly 10-point losses in losing seasons (if you haven’t checked, 2-3 so far is a losing season) and came up with these gems from guys who had more schtick than substance:

Oct. 17, 2004 (Philadelphia Inquirer): The Owls lost at Rutgers, 16-6, on the way to a 2-9 season. This is what Bobby Wallace said after that game. “We may have lost, but I didn’t see any quit in this team. I’m proud of them.”

Oct. 21, 1995: Owls lost, 32-22, at East Carolina. Ron Dickerson, their then coach, said this in Mike Kern’s Monday, Oct. 23 wrap in the Philadelphia Daily News: “I’m proud of the way our guys fought. We’ve got some things to clean up and we’re going to do it.” That was the seventh game of the season. Owls finished 1-10 that year.


Sept. 2, 1989: Owls lost, 31-24, at Western Michigan (I was there). In my Doylestown Intelligencer story, I quoted then head coach Jerry Berndt: “That was a very physical game and my guys matched their toughness. We’re going to win a lot of games this year.” Owls went on to lose every other game until the season finale at home against Rutgers.

The point is that Collins might not be as bad as that Unholy Trinity of Temple head coaches, but he’s heavy on the schtick and way too light on the substance so far. Eight and eight is the very definition of mediocre. Those three guys had plenty of schticks and zero substance but Collins has a future and he better be satisfied with only winning going forward.

You want substance? How about instead of holding up “money down” signs this Saturday on third down just get off the field instead? Temple ranks an abysmal 118 out of 127 FBS teams in third-down defense making a mockery of the whole money down joke. Just drop it. The Temple way before Collins got here was just doing it, not talking about doing it. Let’s get back to that.

Being proud of the way the guys fight doesn’t do much for your legacy. Win and win a  lot more games than you lose. Everything else is just an excuse.

As Chris “Mad Dog” Russo used to say to co-partner Mike Francesa on the greatest sports talk show ever: “WIN THE GAME, MIKEY!!!!. WIN. THE. GAME!!!”

He’s got to up his game to avoid their same fate. I would have preferred to hear a pissed-off Larry Bowa version of Collins after a loss than a Gabe Kapler “everything is hunky dory” version that we heard on Saturday.


Being “really proud” of “the way the guys fought” gets you nothing but 1-10, 1-10 and 2-9.

There better be plenty of some industrial strength cleaning up going on at the $17 million Edberg-Olson Complex and not just talking about it. Talking about cleaning things up five games in gets you more talking about cleaning things up eight games in and, before you know it, the season is over. How come this stuff wasn’t cleaned up by Sept. 1?

One of the most alarming things about the five-game season so far is the apparent regression of the rushing defense.

Last year, the Owls seemed to get a handle on the rushing game, holding the opponents without a 100-yard rusher in five of the last six games, including the bowl game. The only outlier was the UCF game but UCF was an outlier for just about everyone last year. In the other games, opponents found yards hard to come by especially up the middle. Since Temple was returning the entire middle of its starting defense—tackles Michael Dodge, Dan Archibong and Freddy Booth-Lloyd—the thought was that the interior would be impenetrable.

The fact that it has not been with essentially the same players has been disconcerting. It’s one thing to allow one 100-yard rusher, like they did against Villanova, Buffalo, and even Maryland. It’s quite another to allow two guys to get through that wall.

Against BC,  Dillon finished with 28 carries for 161 yards and Glines totaled 23 carries for 120 yards.

This has to get fixed but, five games in, you have to wonder if there are enough band-aids in the Edberg-Olson Complex to stop this bleeding. Five games in is almost half the season.

The Temple offensive problems have been well-documented here (search for the name “Patenaude” in the upper right-hand corner box), but the defense is not without blame. This is a defense that ignited hopes for the future by holding high-powered Florida International—a significantly better team than Villanova—to just three points in the bowl game.

A lot can change in one game, even if that one game is separated by nine months.

Zero and one has led to two and three and two and three is not Temple football by any stretch of the imagination. Temple fans have gotten used to winning with 27 wins over last three years going into this season and no amount of “really proud of how our guys fought” and “a very physical game, our guys were up to it” comments are going to placate them now.

The name of that tune is a song from a long, long time ago when they suffered through 20-straight losing seasons before Al Golden came to town.

What was the name of it?

Maybe something like Send in the Clowns.

Thursday: Five Questions You’ll Never Hear Pravda Ask

Saturday: ECU Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis

Tuesday: 5 Unsung Coaches in FBS

19 thoughts on “Where did we hear this tune before?

  1. I’m concerned about the lack of touches for the backup RBs on this team. There is a huge drop off between Armstead ( 102 rushes for 535 yards ) and Nitro ( 16 rushes for 44 yards ) & Gardner ( 17 rushes for 37 yards) . If Armstead goes down with an injury, whose the next man up . BC seemed to have an answer to that question on Saturday , We no longer have David Hood as a back up RB .
    Two key points to remember.
    Collins has Armstead playing some defense . Real dumb idea. Since Armstead was injured for most of last year ,

  2. Great stuff Mike and exactly what pisses everyone off…..the fact that so much work was done to get the program out of the hole those guys put it in…….we’ve seen this shit and we know of what we speak. Ive played for that shyster Berndt and what I heard from the guys after me was that Dickerson was the worst of that 3 headed monster. A true shit show!

    *you brought up a sore one for me Mike….the Western Michigan game where Joel Smeenge beat one of our big fellas up front and tore Matty Bakers shoulder to shreds. Matty could eat pain for breakfast and seeing him in the locker room we knew he wasnt coming back that season.

  3. I wonder if he reads this. I wonder if he knows the only way to win at temple is to be the toughest team on the field. No gimmicks no fake money just dawgs on every play. It’s not hard and Temple is the perfect place to take on that persona as a team.

    • I know Patenaude does because he said in one press conference “the thing blogs don’t understand” … there is only one blog and we understand everything. I know Matt Rhule reads it because he called me on the day he was hired: “Mike, the only way I followed Temple football the year I was with the Giants was by reading your blog.” It took us two years of hammering home to him the idea of running an elite tailback behind a good blocking fullback before he decided we had a point and adopted that strategy for 20 wins in two years. I hope to God Collins listens because I know Patenaude is too stubborn to …

      • Coaches read your blog to catch my wit. “So two quarterbacks, a sportswriter, and offensive coordinator walk into a bar. Bartender says, ‘what is this some kind of joke?'”

  4. Been saying this since Collins got here. You dont have to listen to any press conferences with him. He says the same shit over and over. Thats how you know he doesnt get it. This is Philadelphia…not some hayseed bumblefuck town. We see right through the BS and so long as he keeps spewing it, he wont have a large backing because hes not being real or authentic. Its all lip service. And I cant stand the Facebook group that plays into with the “you’re not a real fan if you criticize”, “you must blindly follow and believe that this staff will do the right thing”, “this team is young and it takes 3-4 years to implement a system and recruiting classes”. Who said it was ok for Collins to implement anything? The system was there on a silver platter…just dont disrupt it. They could go 9-3 this year and I still wont believe in Collins, Patenfraud or Thacker. Temple is a major university and we have a bunch of hacks that are learning on the job at our and the kids expense. Its bush league. I swear Rhule recommended him for job security in case Baylor didnt work out. Geoff was gonna screw up and we’d all be clamoring for Matt to come back. Collins blocked me on Twitter for calling him out on all this. Less time reading my tweets and more time finding ways to win. Thank you.

    • The Mizz, couldn’t agree more with your assessment of a certain segment on the Facebook group. Last year it was “this is a young team”, “it’s a rebuilding year”, blah, blah, blah, rebuilding from what I don’t know. Really get tire of the “we’re not Alabama and can’t just re-tool”. Hey news flash to those folks, we’re not playing in the SEC either. Since I don’t pay for a subscription I can only imagine how much of that nonsense is being spouted over on Pravda. When you look in the AAC lone, somebody forgot to tell Scott Frost, Mike Norvell, etc it takes 3-4 years and you can’t expect to be successful until you recruit your own players. Funny how Heupel at UCF seems to be doing just fine running basically the same system as Frost, guess he didn’t get the word either!!!
      That’s why I come to this site for some reality and a sanity check.
      I don’t think Collins is as bad as the triumvirate Mike describes but I am also starting to think that a .500 team may be his ceiling. Aside from coaching jury is still out on his prowess as a recruiter. As for Patenfraude, the same Facebook folks you reference don’t ever seem to look up any information on these coaches prior to joining Temple. Outside of 2016 when Coastal Carolina used 4 qbs due to injuries, the qb has been one of the primary ball carriers in the offense he ran there. Between 2012 and 2015, Coastal Carolina qbs aeraged 130+ carries a season and close to 700 yards rushing. I don’t see either Nutile or Russo being that type of runner and if Paenfraude were a good coach he should have recognized that and adjusted his scheme to better fit the talent available. I just see him continuing to try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

  5. What’s on record, when was the last time Collins said anything positive, in public, about his OC?

    When was the last time Kraft said anything positive about Collins?

    Actions usually follow words..,

  6. Mighty Matt Rhule was 8-16 years 1 & 2. Golden was 5-19. Neither coach won a bowl game.

    • God, I hope you are not one of those Collins’ apologists on the Temple fan facebook page. False premises about in your three sentences that can be easily debunked. 1) Matt Rhule was 8-16 in years one and two (true, but he had nowhere near the talent Collins has now); 2) Golden was 5-19 (are you crazy? the school was decimated by JUCOS and the rumors that it was going to drop football; Collins had none of that). 3) Neither coach won a bowl game (err, the only reason why Collins won a bowl game is because Rhule tee up Collins with 10-win talent that he turned into a six-win team. Had Collins drew FAU in Boca instead of FIU in Tampa Collins would have been hammered. So sick of these people who say give Collins time. He turned a 10-win regular-season team into a six-win regular-season team and this year is turning a nine-win team into … maybe … maybe a 5-win team.

    • Your point about Matt Rhule has some validity. He later admitted that during his second year he realized he was running an offense that was ill suited to his players. He said he thought that he could not change the whole offense in the middle of the season, but the next year came out with the Temple Tuff offense that took the team successful seasons. Coach Collins came in and scrapped the successful schemes of Coach Rhule.

  7. Collins was given a fair amount of talent to work with and several players should be really good. TU FB of 12 -15 years ago had little talent and the greatest contribution Golden made was to rebuild the talent. Since Golden we always a some talent to work with.
    I disagree with Dave’s post, and suggest he review and reconsider his point.

    I think the main reason for our problems is Our Coachs are TOO cleaver by half.

  8. Have to agree with Apollo and oh_well and disagree with Dave, Collins was coming into much better situation talent wise that Rhule and you can’t even compare his first 2 years to Golden’s. Does sound like the young team, needs to put in his system, takes 3-4 years crowd over TUFB facebook page. oh-well like you point about the coaches being TOO clever…:-)

  9. I was stating facts (coaches records) with many different factors. I’m not an apologist, but I’m not a pessimist. I agree there is much room for improvement especially on offense. Too many dropped balls and questionable calls. That’s what is interesting about TUFB. Plenty of problems to find and fix. That’s what Rhule (eternal optimist) did.

    Not sure we should compare Collins to the three stooges (Berndt, Ellerson, and Wallace). Comparing Collins to Rhule is probably fair.

    • Fair enough about comparing Collins to those 3 in his second year. At this point I would say he reminds me more of Addazio at this point in his tenure.

  10. Can I sum it up? I think most of us would like to see how Collins fairs with a different OC. Period. If we passed out ballots at Saturday’s game, I think the majority would vote Patenaude out, but be willing to give Collins another year with a new OC on board.

  11. ….and it pains me to listen to CC speak in any interview, news conf, etc. I literally got dizzy listening to him gush and talk in circles about all three QBs. Nutile hasn’t played in weeks, and won’t play again this week, but he’s still singing his praises about how awesome he is. Enough already. Is he the cheerleaders Head Coach as well?

    • I think mike would agree with this temple hires coaches with no head coaching experience and learn on the job I’m sure there are guys out there that were head coaches that could do a lot better job than the bums we have now The team plays like the coach soft stop hiring guys that want to move on to a bigger pay day

  12. I admittedly had a bad feeling the minute that interception happened against BC when Temple was driving confidently. Such a loss drains the spirit in a big way. The key against EC is going to be how psychologically ready they are for this game. I am not sure if there is a sports psychologist on staff but this is where it is needed.

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