2020: A hard year to be a college football fan


Barbara Walters used to say: “This is 2020.”

The signature line to the ABC news show could be used halfway through the new decade today with one caveat: “This is 2020. The end of college football as we know it.”

The second sentence is important today specifically to Temple football fans because of the happenings of the last month or so and how it impacts the year ahead. Not only did Temple football fans get kicked in the stomach by a 55-13 loss to North Carolina (a game that they were only a 6-point underdog), they then got punched in the head a few days later when AAC Defensive Player of the Year Quincy Roche announced he was leaving not for the NFL but for another school. Hard to believe Harry (Donahue) that Roche figured he’d have a better chance to be drafted higher if he went to another school after Temple had two recent defensive linemen (Mo Wilkerson and Haason Reddick) drafted in the first round.

Then, just a few days ago, capable backup quarterback Toddy “Touchdown” Centeio also announced that he was also going to another school. First-string quarterback Anthony Russo has referred to Centeio as his “broski” but maybe Centeio’s departure will force head coach Rod Carey to abandon this ill-fitting read-option offense for one more suited to Russo’s talents. I doubt it. Losing Centeio was not a plus.

Kicked in the stomach, punched in the face and then kneed to the groin is pretty much how it feels.

The worst was Roche, a Temple alumnus. Can’t imagine him showing up at the tailgates in a few years here. Maybe he will show up at those of the next team. It’s kind of a wash considering I thought he’d go to the NFL, but this is a worst-case scenario I could not even imagine on the day when the Owls played UNC.


This is pretty much how college football has changed in the last decade. Before 2010, a Temple fan could pretty much pick their favorite players (actually mine were all 85 guys suiting up on game days) and follow them through four years at Temple. Senior Day was always a sad occasion but it was offset by the fact that a new group was coming in every year.

Now we’re not even sure of a decent Senior Day anymore. Roche never had his year, nor did center Matt Hennessy. Centeio invested so much in the program he deserved one as well. A lot of it is understandable. Many of these kids had to go through three coaching staffs and their thought process has to be if it is a business for the coaches, it can be a business for the players.

Still, as fans, it’s really not fair and that doesn’t apply to just Temple. Almost all of the other “Group of Five” schools are adversely affected by the transfer portal and it doesn’t figure to get any better any time soon. Group of Five schools that recruited and developed players now face the prospect of developing them for Power Five schools. If Quincy Roche and Todd Centeio can leave Temple for other schools, will, say, Kenny Gainwell leave Memphis for LSU or some similar school?

Doesn’t seem to be fair to the fans, who either can’t or have no desire to cheer for anyone else. It would be a good story for 20/20.

Or 60 Minutes.

Monday: Red Flags


14 thoughts on “2020: A hard year to be a college football fan

  1. Miami wants Roche.
    Who knows where Centeio will go.
    Imagine opening the season facing our own best player from a year ago.
    What does espn have to say on that storyline?

  2. after considering these portal outbound xfers , and unless we get quality xfers inbound I have concluded, since coaches are simply ‘ whores ‘ any more, why be angry with the actual assets, the student players.
    As Mike asks : 2020, ‘ a whole new world ?’
    This is a sad but good way to see if Carey can recruit, so far not lookin’ good.
    Who wants to join into the TU team as a Senior this year ?

  3. I post comments only occasionally. When I do, they tend to be a little lengthy. (Also sitting around with little to do after a hip replacement last week.). So bear with me.

    Okay, the backup QB is now in the portal. Disappointing, yes, but so what? He’s the backup for goodness sake. There are two other backup QB’s that were 3 star recruits on the roster (Beattie and Stewart). I realize those ratings don’t guarantee anything when it comes to how they play at a high college level. But 3 stars is an above average rating for TU recruits. I have to think we’re going to be okay here. But I’d love to hear some opinions on these two kids from anyone with some insights on their prospects.

    Now, losing Roche hurts. As does, kids declaring early for the NFL. But the transfer portal is part of a new reality in college football. And leaving early affects the P5 and the G5 teams. So that’s a push.

    Will a P5 school poach a good G5 player occasionally? Yes. But I continue to think the portal can have potentially more upside than downside for a G5 program that aggressively works it. For a few reasons:

    1. SMU is an example of it working. And working well.
    2. We’re still in the early stages of the transfer portal. There will be some high profile G5 transfers that flop at their new school. I’m not wishing anyone bad luck. Let’s see how it works for the kids that go from G5 to P5 in a year or two.
    3. Conversely, there will be many more examples of “under appreciated” players that successfully transferred out of a P5 program (be it to another P5 or a G5 program) than there will be of G5 kids that successfully transferred up (i.e. to P5).

    All of which remarkably brings me back to Al Golden. He was my choice when Diaz left. And one of the recent articles to this blog posed the question about his possible return. Long shot of that happening I thought, until he was fired at Detroit combined with Fran Brown’s departure. Golden could find TU type kids and sell them on coming here. I thought (hoped) there was a chance of hiring him as Asst HC and/or DC combined with some high level recruiting duties. Included with that would be Golden resurrecting his summer player camps and coaches clinics. (None of which is likely to happen with AG apparently taking a job with the Bengals).

    In my mind, TU’s future success in this new player will hinge more on a HC’s recruiting AND “portal management” skills than X and O’s. If the HC can’t do it, he better have someone who can.

    Coach Carey, if you’re reading this, give AG a call. His hiring at Cincinnati was announced just yesterday. Maybe it’s not too late.

    • With regard to Golden once you’ve seen Paree so to speak there’s little chance of his returning to TU and if he does come back and again has some success, he will again be out the door with a “better” job. I do not believe that Golden would sign a contract with a huge buyout as Carey did because Carey got a huge promotion and his prospects for a better job aren’t all that good whereas Golden already has parlayed the TU job into life changing money. He would again be looking for that if he took the TU job. Golden was not a great game day head coach, a fault that followed him to Miami. Until I see an improvement in that area I am not as enamored of him as some of TU supporters.

      • JB: Thanks for the response. The idea about Carey calling AG was more of a tongue-in-cheek suggestion than anything. What I was really getting at was facing the new reality of the transfer portal and taking an aggressive and opportunistic attitude towards it, like SMU. Carey should expect to lose, say, 2 contributing players a year to the portal. But he should be working to add 3 or 4 players a year via the portal. I admit this is easier said than done. And I also have little understanding of the rules about what is permitted in the way of recruiting of players at other schools. But, in MHO, a CFB coach can’t be passive in this portal area, especially at a high level G5 program. I’m guessing an AG or MR would’ve been opportunistic (if still at TU) with the portal the way they were so connected to this recruiting area via their camps and clinics. So that a local kid that goes P5 out of HS, puts TU at the top of his list when he looks to transfer. They’d know which kids were portal prospects from the time those kids committed to the P5 school.

        Anyway, does anyone have an opinion on who is the best back-up QB prospect?

      • I would say Trad Beatty. He got into the game at the end of UCF. That says what the coaching staff is thinking. Can that change? Yes but at least it’s an indication that Trad has a head start.

  4. Yeboah is gone to Ole Miss.
    Beautiful school and great campus, but….

  5. In this current scheme on offense, the TE’s job is to block. catching passes is an afterthought. Yeboah wanted more catches and the OC wanted a hand in the dirt TE. The OC won.

    You get a conference player of the year once every 5-7 years. Losing Roche is the biggest non-graduating single season loss in the history of TUFB. Carey’s watch is ticking.

    It would be nice if Carey were able to replace Roche with a conference rookie of the year type player. The 2020 roster is talent challenged.

    Indiana takes Kraft is my biggest wish for 2020. New AD comes in 2021 and Carey is gone in 2022.

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