TU Football: Optimism seems misplaced

A discussion involving two ex-Temple coaches

Message boards are a good place to take the temperature of a fan base.

Sorting out the Wild Wild West part of it (the insults and incivility), though, you occasionally come across a gem of a post and I found a reasonable one written by long-time Temple fan MH55 recently on OwlsDaily.com:

“Meanwhile, shouldn’t everyone by now know our blueprint ? Regionally embedded staff intimately familiar with this area. The last three hires do not fit this mold and sadly, something is drastically wrong at EO. There seems to be a complete disconnect. The transfer portal and soliciting the MAC and FCS isn’t going to get it done. Reading the optimism is annoying and irritating. There is no reason for it.

“This team will start 2021 as 14 pt dogs to Rutgers. If we played them in 2019 we would have been 3 TD favorites. That’s where we are, realistically.”

_ Temple Fan MH55

It perfectly encapsulates where I am with the program right now.

A dose of realism

A lot was done between the December signing date and now to bring in some talent to refurbish the program but, in reality, a lot more needed to be done. This team needed a SMU-like 2019 infusion of talent (15 Power 5 starters) and got less than half of that.

There are now indications that Temple is done in more ways than one.

The Owls have new a linebacker from New Jersey who committed to Temple as a walk-on because he said he talked to a member of the staff who told him “they didn’t have any more scholarships left.”

If true, that’s not good.

Just when I thought the bleeding of talent leaving the E-O stopped, another single-digit guy, cornerback Christian Braswell, left on the first day of spring classes. There may be more to come. What was hemorrhaging in the fall has become a steady drip drip and who knows when it will be over? The addition of a Georgia transfer and a couple from North Carolina and one from Purdue, among others, seems to have sparked some optimism among the fanbase but, in reality, MH55’s post provided some needed pushback. Rod Carey’s recruiting, if it is indeed over, has fallen short of the mark and will probably fall well short of the talent level of Temple’s top rivals in the AAC.

At least this year.

The answer is going back to the blueprint that got the talent here and kept it here. MH55 is not the only Temple fan to realize what that blueprint is. We’ve been writing about it in this space for over 15 years now. Get great recruiters with a knowledge of and contacts with high school coaches up and down the East Coast and great coaches using a unique system. Navy wins because the Mids run the triple option and recruit nationally. Temple won in the Golden Rhule Era because it built great defenses, special teams and shortened the game by emphasizing the run and passed off play-action.

Al Golden and Matt Rhule realized that, even if it took Rhule two years of figuring it out once he came back to Temple.

That’s the blueprint. Rhule isn’t available but Golden might be. If Golden isn’t, surely there is someone who fits the blueprint of a great recruiter of THIS AREA and someone who realizes that the way to win here has been established and is willing to bring it back. Maybe Gabe Infante, who has the added experience of being a legendary head coach. Maybe Fran Brown, who doesn’t, but there certainly are people out there ready to follow the blueprint.

Peter J. Liacouras said that universities with FBS football must invest to succeed and sometimes that investment means eating the final couple of years of a guaranteed $10 million contract.

What happened between December and now on the recruiting front represented incremental change when wholesale change was needed and the university hierarchy must get ready for what, by all indications, will be some unpleasant results by the end of the fall.

That’s if they care about the Temple University national image anymore.

Friday: A New Single-Digit Concept

Monday: The Bruce Arians Playbook


21 thoughts on “TU Football: Optimism seems misplaced

  1. Duce ……………

    • Duce has no recruiting experience and does not have a relationship with area coaches although his pro experience may make up for it. Golden has been out of the area for ten years. His contacts and experience in recruiting the area likely have gone stale. Nothing stays the same. Infante might be a good choice for coach. he knows the area and his teams were well-disciplined and executed as well as any team could.

      • Hiring a Temple coach is really like walking on a tightrope. We tried the up-and-coming assistant route (too much instability), the proven head coach route (wrong area of the country). I think everyone can agree that, under the recent rules, only two Temple head coaches have really succeeded and provided a modicum of stability (Golden and Rhule). Both had local recruiting connections. Both had a strong sense of the importance of defense and special teams (which this current staff does not). That’s the formula. It’s not rocket science. Find a guy like that. I’m all for giving Carey one more year but I don’t see even 6-6 with this talent. 4-5 wins tops and that should get him fired if the university has any standard of winning.

  2. Unless there is knowledge that Temple might fire Carey it’s pointless to talk about replacements at this time. As I said before, let’s see what happens next season and then, anyway, there will be only 2 more years on his contract – still 4 mil the school won’t want to spend (even tho they’ve spent lots on other hair brained ideas like the OCS and other misplaced facilities because of poor planning). BTW, Infante gets my vote.

    • That’s been my position since day 1. My only concern about Carey are the portal transfers out. If he’s lost the team, TU is toast. By the way, in response to Mike’s last post someone said that three AAC teams are in negotiation with P-5 conferences. The fact that our Athletic department and BOT don’t appear to be doing the same says all anyone needs to know about the people running the school and athletics. Can anyone say mediocrity?

      • Cincy, UCF, and Memphis. Cincy and UCF have recent success, strong fan bases, and P5 type OCSs. Both of their BOT & ADs are actively engaged much to the dismay of Aresco. Fedex is pushing real hard for Memphis.

        For some reason the Big 12 appears to be boycotting Houston. And, the SEC will stand pat.

      • The other Texas schools have told the Big 12 they don’t want Houston. I don’t know why. To me, the more geographical your conference can get, the better in many ways (travel, Olympic sports, rivalries, etc.). Wish The East had Penn State, Pitt, WVA, Temple, Rutgers, Cuse, BC and Maryland.

  3. KJ. These conferences have long memories and hold grudges. The shunning of Houston could have its roots in the dissolving of the Southwest Conference, which Houston was a member of. starting in 1976. It also could stem from the effort of several rich alums who tried to buy their way into the Big Twelve a couple of years ago. I know for a fact that a big reason TU never got an invitation to join the Big East as a full time member, other than Nova’s dissent, was Katz’s effort to oust Gavitt and then Mike Tranghese because they were against TU’s acceptance into the league. i heard that their positions stemmed form the fact that TU was one of the first teams asked to join the conference but turned it down because TU was hoping for an all sports conference that also included Pitt and PSU, which couldn’t agree about anything.

  4. Prior coaches had no portal. Imagine Wilkerson and Pierce rushing to Miami, or McManus booting in Boston? Tyler Matakevich to Syracuse (THE Orangeman). College football is no longer a business, it’s e-commerce. Local yokels or tech savvy coaches? Temple must tweet to compete and be immortal in the portal to attract the attention of today’s athletes.

  5. Saw this morning that Henry Burris was named as the Bears ‘offensive quality control coordinator’. I have no idea what that really means, but assume that it is a promotion for Henry.


    • Surprising because he is a TV legend in Canada on the order of Michael Strahan in the states. Would be surprised he would give that up for a coaching job in the NFL.

  6. Just how good is Roche? we’ll know very soon, playing in the senior bowl coached by MR and Phil Snow.

    Will the Panthers find a spot for him?

  7. Nothing happens football-wise until a new AD is hired. Dumphy won’t make any decisions.

  8. https://www.inquirer.com/eagles/eagles-coach-nick-sirianni-todd-haley-chiefs-chargers-colts-20210126.html

    Interesting article about the Eagles new coach. This part jumped out at me, sound familiar? ………………………………………

    Sirianni had to start over in quality control, but he was promoted in a year and would spend two seasons each overseeing quarterbacks and then receivers.

    “The messages I gave Nick through those years was [that] this isn’t about a system, terminology, all those things,” Haley said. “It’s about, what do your players do the best? I think that’s what Nick has really done and made me proud and impressed me.

    “You get a lot of coaches these days [that say], ‘This is what we do.’ They force a square peg into a round hole.”

    • In that case, if Sirianni was here last year, he would have used a fullback (Tavon Ruley?) to block for Ra’Mahn Davis, established the run, taken the RPO out of Russo’s hands, and had him using play-action fakes to find Blue and Mack wide open all over the place. You would think a coach like Carey would have figured it out when he got here. Instead, he wanted to do the same damn thing he did at NIU with Jordan Lynch. Russo is no Jordan Lynch but he could have been a real good version of Matt Stafford and Carey robbed him of that chance here.

    • People in general are afraid to change what works for them in every field. If a person does change what so far has worked with something new and it fails, they’ll have regrets for a long time. Until this past season Carey’s offense worked for him and that”s why he’ will stick with it. Unlike Rhule, Carey has a covid excuse for the past season and likely won’t change out his offense. If next season is as dismal as this past one, he then may consider a change to save his job. Till then people are wasting their time even thinking about it even though from what I read the QB from Georgia is more a drop back QB than an RPO guy. Finally, not having a a permanent AD adds to the problem. A tough AD could persuade a coach to change things that aren’t working. TU doesn’t have one so there is no one to convince Carey that changes need to be made.

  9. This really hit home (TU Football) when I read the part …..

    “The messages I gave Nick through those years was [that] this isn’t about a system, terminology, all those things,” Haley said. “It’s about, what do your players do the best? I think that’s what Nick has really done and made me proud and impressed me.

    “You get a lot of coaches these days [that say], ‘This is what we do.’ They force a square peg into a round hole.”

    Such a simple approach that more coaches need to do, its the players, not the system. Unfortunately it’s an ego trip for some of these guys.

    • Ego or maybe they’re simply incapable of switching, locked into what has worked for them and what’s comfortable for them. Flexibility is not everyone’s forte.

  10. Carey should understand he can’t necessarily recruit the “type” players his system needs and start thinking like a HS coach who sometimes have to adjust styles every couple years as a new crop of players comes in. If he’s forgotten how to do that, he does have successful HS coach on staff to give refreshers to the other coaches.

    Just saying the obvious.

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