Found it curious that Temple head coach Rod Carey was quoted to the effect:
“We had to fight COVID and COVID won.”
Guess what, Rod?
Temple wasn’t the only program that had to fight COVID. Let’s eliminate all of the other schools in just Temple’s conference and find five guys in supposedly lesser conferences who faced the same challenges that Carey did but did not make excuses. Let’s also eliminate the Power 5, which has the advantage of better players. Doing Carey a favor, let’s even eliminate BYU.
We found at least five guys (trust me, there are more) who did a much better job under similar (or worse) circumstances than Carey:
Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
No. 18 Coastal, despite losing the same number of league games as Temple to COVID (one) is now 9-0, 7-0 with a win over Power 5 Kansas. Coastal beat league power Appalachian State by 11 last week in a showdown and does not back away from anyone, signing a contract to host BYU today. It is a 10.5-point underdog but would not be surprised to see the Chanticleers come away with a win. They have already clinched the Sun Belt regular-season title and will play Louisiana Lafayette in the league title game.
Doc Holliday, Marshall
Quietly, in the G5, no one consistently does a better job year after year than Holliday. He was the same guy who gave Temple DC Chuck Heater a shot after Matt Rhule picked Phil Snow for the same job. The Thundering Herd are now 7-0 overall, 4-0 in the league. With games left against Charlotte, Rice and FIU, they could run the table and be 10-0.
Lance Leipold, Buffalo
One of those prominently mention to replace Manny Diaz at Temple, Leipold–who beat Rod Carey’s 8-5 Owls last year–is now 4-0 after scoring 70 points on another unbeaten MAC team, Kent State, last week. Looks like the Owls picked the wrong MAC head coach. The Bulls started almost a full month later than Temple. Leipold has a Heisman Trophy candidate running back in Jaret Patterson, who is much more likely to leave Buffalo for the NFL than he is any P5 school. That’s an indication that Leipold’s bond with his players is stronger than Carey’s.
Brett Brennan, San Jose State
Brennan didn’t say “woe is me” after California canceled all home games in the San Francisco metro area. He just moved his game today to Hawaii. He has the Spartans, one of the toughest jobs in all of G5 football, at 4-0 overall, 4-0 league. SJS beat Air Force, 16-7, which beat Navy (40-7), which beat Temple, 31-29.
Willie Taggart, FAU
Taggart has the FAU Owls at 5-1 overall, 4-1 league despite having had three games postponed by COVID. Taggart, who was one of those G5 guys who failed at P5 programs (Oregon and FSU), is proving that he can do a great job at any G5 school this second time around after doing a great job at South Florida. His only loss was a 20-9 loss to Holliday.
While Carey is making excuses, these guys are doing their jobs at a high level with no high profile players leaving their programs. Hopefully, the Temple administration is taking names and preparing to kick some ass.
Honorable mention: Nevada (under Jay Norvell) is 5-1, No. 25 Louisiana Lafayette (under Bill Napier) is now 9-1, University of Texas (San Antonio, under Jeff Traylor) is 7-1, 5-2.
Picks today: We’re 7-4 against the spread for the season. Love that 10.5 points Coastal is getting against visiting BYU. Still think BYU wins this game on the order of 30-24 but those double digits are too hard to pass up. Also going with FAU getting the 2.5 at Georgia Southern.
Monday: Losing the Room