The quote is often attributed to Mark Twain but there is some debate over who said it first.
“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”
Therein lies the rub for Temple football this season.
We outlined what could go right in Monday’s post but a lot of that was wishful thinking.
This one cuts to a lot of concerns about the Owls in 2021 because what could go wrong is Rod Carey doing the exact same things this year that he did the past two.
My Rod Carey Ephinany came in the second half of a 2019 Military Bowl loss to North Carolina.
Several Owls were laughing and joking on the sidelines down 55-13, a score they eventually lost by that late December day.
I looked over to Carey and he just folded his arms and looked skyward.
Not to the players behind him yuking it up. Just skyward. None of his assistants did a damn thing.
I shook my head in disgust, picked up my program, and walked out of the stadium.
What would Al Golden have done?
What would have Matt Rhule?
You and i both know. They would have gone ballistic because what was happening behind them was much more important than what was happening in front of them at the time, at least in terms of the state of the program and that overused but appropriate word: culture.
There was no discipline from either Carey or his staff.
Plenty of departures from the program afterward from guys who were used to the pride and discipline.
There was no Temple TUFF on the field that day or Temple pride on the sidelines.
COVID, schmovid, it carried over to the 2020 season.
If Carey is going to survive at Temple, he needs to restore the tough level of play on the field and pride in wearing the Temple uniform on the sidelines and that involves locking down the little things like sideline demeanor.
The change is going to have to be manifested in CARING about the play of the special teams, which Golden correctly maintained was a third of the team just as important as the other two areas, offense and defense. Rhule felt the same way and, under Geoff Collins, the Owls were ranked in the top 10 in special teams. It helped that all three coaches had Ed Foley to put those units on auto pilot.
Don’t know if Carey felt this way at NIU but it always seemed to me that special teams were an annoyance to him and taking Foley off the field was proof.
Now he has to fix things that never needed fixing before at Temple and because he’s shown no inclination to fix them, that’s what could spiral the Owls downward toward a two-win season.
Can they change as a staff?
Maybe, but Twain earned a reputation of choosing his words wisely for a reason.
Monday: A Sucker Bet?
Friday: A history of openers