Whatever Rod Carey was cooking at SUNY-Maritime for the last 10 days or so won’t be really tasted until Sept. 2 when the Owls visit Rutgers.
There’s the nagging feeling, at least from this point of view, that the ingredients are just not there and, at the end of the day, this won’t be a satisfying meal for Temple football fans when all is said and done. If I had my druthers, Carey would go 12-0 and keep his job but too many good players walked out the back door and not enough walked through the front one to make up for it.
It’s looking a lot more sour than sweet.
If so, Dr. Jason Wingard couldn’t go wrong in rescuing Al Golden from the obscurity of an NFL position coach come the end of the season.
If anyone knows the secret sauce for success at Temple, it’s Golden.
Last week, Golden spoke with Dave Lapham in a Youtube interview and much of the talk turned to Temple. His degree in sports philosophy undoubtedly helped.
” The biggest question I get at speaking engagements is, “How did you turn around Temple? How did that happen?’ I think the biggest thing was we took secondary educational philosophies and reversed them.
“So, in secondary education, you use sports confidence or different extracurricular activities to build confidence that would carry over into academics. We just did the reverse. We just said we’re going to win as many things. … we’re going to be great in the community, we’re going to compete in the class room, we’re going to compete in the weight room, we’re going to compete in the off-season program. We’re going to do all these things and, ultimately, that would become our culture and we’re going to get this thing turned and that’s what happened. That was a great experience for me, personally, and for my family. We loved being in that area as both of our families were from that area.
“Again (Temple) was kind of a leap of faith. I felt like I was ready, No. 1 and No. 2, I just felt like. I think the number to be correct is that 40 percent of the nation’s population lives between Hartford and Richmond and West of Pittsburgh and then again I don’t know if that number is that way today but, back then, it was so densely populated and I just kept saying to myself we needed about 18 guys a year and, from that, we just kind of changed the paradigm.”
Golden even talked about how it took him four years to switch from sweats on game day to ties at Temple.
“When we first got to Temple, every day felt like training camp,” he said. “We were so far from … there was 120 teams in Division One football my first year. We were 120. Literally there were times those first 18, 24 months where my hair was falling out and I was wearing just a sweat suit or sweat shirt on game day and it just felt like training camp. I’ll never forget before the fourth season my mom was the one who kind of got after my butt a bit and was like, “Hey, the game day is different. You have to look different. You have to feel different.’ So, you know, that’s the year I went with the tie and the rest is history.
“We won nine games in a row and that was the most in 112 years of Temple football at that time and the first bowl game in 30 years and the third bowl game in over a century and that’s where it all started.”
(Golden could be excused for the exaggeration. The Owls won 14-straight games between 1973 and 1974, but having the second-longest winning streak in 120 years should be a point of pride.)
Golden also said it was easier to win at Temple than Miami.
“The Miami thing was harder because I was blindsided,” he said. “There was a huge investigation and we had to give up bowl games and there was probation. … we met great people and that was an unfortunate circumstance.”
Temple, though, was something he took a lot of pride in for good reason. If the wheels fall off at the end of this year, Wingard could pick a lot of guys to succeed Carey but there is only one guy out there who might take the job who has done it to a high level.
“I always felt like I was ready to take the Temple job because I had gone to Boston College with Tom O’Brien and we inherited that gambling scandal,” he said. “So that was hard. Same kind of scenario because we had to start from scratch again. I had the opportunity to do it myself at Temple with a bunch of great, great coaches and support.”
The secret sauce is already bottled and the patent belongs to one guy, even though Matt Rhule made a bundle with his copy of it. Plenty of candidates will want the job if Carey falters but there is only one guy realistically available who has proven to be able to do it.
Friday: Surprise of Camp