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