The guys who write the scripts in Hollywood could not have penned a better outline for at least one game this Temple season.
The Minister of Mayhem vs. Mr. Traditonal Buttoned Down coach.
As boring as the opener versus Bucknell should be (the April 13 practice that takes the place of the Cherry and White game this year will be more competitive), the storyline on 9/28/2019 should represent a season’s worth of drama.
The most interesting part of this script is that it was made possible long before the plot line was established as it was negotiated in September of 2017 by Temple athletic director Pat Kraft. Geoff Collins was just starting his first season at Temple and Rod Carey was in the fifth of is six at Northern Illinois.
Now the guy who is known for “swag” and “money downs” will be replaced by a more traditional coach and it will be a battle of old and new. Cell phones versus landline. Social media versus texting.
Make no mistake about one thing: The more motivated team should be on the home side of this one because the Owls would like nothing better to take down their ex-head coach. The Yellowjackets don’t even know who Rod Carey is. There should also be a sizable group of hometown Temple fans who will be similarly motivated.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution already made note of this fact (see graphic at the top of this post) recently and the accompanying story said this:
“Given the itinerant nature of the profession, it’s not unheard of for a coach to face a former employer. Coach Paul Johnson faced Georgia Southern, which he led to two Division I-AA (now FCS) national championships, in 2014 and 2015, but that was 13 years and two jobs after he had left Statesboro.
“But this a meeting of a different sort. Much of the Owls’ roster will be made up of players who were recruited to Temple by Collins.”
Kraft pulled a coup when he scheduled this game not because of the circumstances that developed, but because of the circumstances that existed. Home and homes between P5 and G5 teams are unusual enough. Home and homes that give the G5 the team the first date are impossible to find. (Usually, this is set up to allow the P5 team to dump the G5 team if something better comes along). Temple returns the favor in 2025, not 2020.
ESPN should give this storyline major play and no one should be surprised if the game (listed as TBA now) be moved off a noon slot to a more appealing 3:30 or night time slot. After all, the television markets involved are four (Philadelphia) and nine (Atlanta) nationally. This has the makings of a higher-than-usual audience for a late September non-conference game.
No one knows if the “money downs” signs will be on the other side of Lincoln Financial Field, but I would not be surprised.
All that matters will be actually turning those money downs into real-time stops and Temple could have the advantage in that regard.
It should be the most fun home date of this or the last several years.
Monday: Glass Houses