The NCAA’s transfer portal always seemed to be a scheme cooked up by the Power 5 schools to further kneecap the Group of Five schools.
For Temple, at least, that’s what it turned out to be.
Owl fans are excited by the addition of Duece Mathis at quarterback but the reality is that they traded a guy with 44 regular-season touchdown passes and 31 interceptions in FBS real games for a guy who has more interceptions than touchdown passes in FBS real games. Interesting that Mathis originally committed to Michigan State, then flipped to Ohio State, then flipped to Georgia.
So in a roundabout way, Temple got Michigan State’s quarterback and Michigan State got Temple’s. One has lots of impressive FBS numbers. The other has impressive potential.
Potential, sure, but potential doesn’t win championships or bowl games.
Maybe being in a system that suits his style of play eventually makes Mathis one of the best three quarterbacks in Temple history in terms of numbers and winning percentage (like Anthony Russo was), but only time (three years) will tell.
There’s a flip side of the transfer portal and that’s the Pandora’s Box side of it. As Yahoo sports’ Pete Thamel points out in this excellent story, that side provides a cautionary tale for current players. Thamel quotes current South Florida head coach Jeff Scott saying that there could be as many as 1,000 players in this portal by this week alone who will not find scholarships at any school because those scholarships are almost gone.
The modern definition of Pandora’s Box is a process that generates many complicated problems as the result of unwise interference in something.
To me, that describes the transfer portal to an, err, Temple ‘][‘.
The NCAA had a good system going where players had to sit out a year before transferring to another school and it worked well for several decades. Then someone got the idea, hey, if coaches don’t have to sit out a year then players shouldn’t either.
How about coaches sitting out a year? (Yeah, I know schools could be sued for restraint of trade but, in a perfect world, coaches and players would have to sit out a year and fans of the schools could have some sense of continuity.) That would have allowed Matt Rhule and Geoff Collins to go out coaching bowl games for Temple.
That would have been fairer to Temple and all the other G5 schools who lose their head coaches to the P5. Now the P5 has essentially stolen more from the G5 in creating a farm system to they can steal the best G5 players as well. It’s not fair. It’s not a perfect world and this is far from a perfect system.
While it’s still here, and I don’t think it will be for long, Temple should take advantage of it. The Owls have as many as seven scholarships for this class open and they should be able to get two of the best defensive tackles available and at least a couple of great linebackers. With 1,000 players left scrambling for the few scholarships left, Temple would seem to be in a good place to benefit, say, like Sonny Dykes did a couple of years ago when he brought in 15 Power 5 transfers as starters and went 10-2. Either way, this hurts the players who jump thinking getting a landing spot will be easy.
Maybe 1,000 or more players left holding the bag will cause college football to rethink this poorly conceived idea.
Friday: What players are under the Christmas tree?