Recent development: The Temple Curse

Ifeanyi Maijeh is warming the bench at Rutgers two years after being a first-team AAC performer at Temple.

For those Temple players who saw the performance of Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Khris Banks on Saturday and think grass is greener on the other side of the street, they might want to think again.

For every IGM and Banks, there are about five Quincy Roches or Ifeanyi Maijehs.

Call it The Temple Curse. Call it whatever you want but, since Matt Rhule left, it also applies to coaches who succeeded him.

First, we will stick with the players.

Linwood Crump will have to wait 1 more year to play for Daz.

Roche left Temple to go to Miami was considered “a 3-4 round” draft pick had he gone straight to the NFL from 10th and Diamond.

He left for Miami to ostensibly increase his draft standing but he really made it worse. Roche was drafted in the sixth round (not fourth) and to add insult to injury had to split his time on the field in his final year with two other defensive ends in Manny Diaz’s rotation.

He was cut by the Steelers and is now on their practice squad.

Had Roche remained at Temple and claimed a second consecutive AAC Defensive Player of the Year Award, chances are better than even that Roche would have been drafted no lower than four and a team with that kind of investment would have to think twice before cutting him.

Maijeh is a similar story. He was a first-team All-AAC defensive tackle in 2019 but used the portal to make his way to Rutgers where he has three whole tackles this season, all assists and no solo ones. His career definitely is on a downward trend and has been for some time. After that first season at Temple when he had 52 tackles and 6.5 sacks, he was putrid last year with only 15 tackles and no sacks.

Kenny Yeboah left Temple to go to Ole Miss but that didn’t help him in the draft, either. He wasn’t drafted and had to go to the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He was cut by the Jets and, like Roche, a practice squad player.

Anthony Russo left Temple to play in the Big 10 but it doesn’t look good for him, either, as Payton Thorne has been stellar. Russo got injured in meaningless mop-up time against Youngstown State and left the game in a walking boot. Had Russo remained at Temple he might have backed up D’Wan Mathis but more than certainly would have been ahead of true freshman Justin Lynch in the depth chart.

If that was Russo behind center on Saturday, do you think the Owls score “only” three points? I don’t. He put up a total of 58 as the starting QB against both Navy and Memphis last year and was playing a defense that allowed 28 points the week before to a far less talented UMass team.

Vandy running back Ra’Mahn Davis, who didn’t do squat in a 23-3 loss to East Tennessee (not regular Tennessee or even Middle Tennessee), was a victim of the Temple Curse as he is injured and for the season. He went the extra step of quitting in the middle of last season.

Cornerback Linwood Crump Jr. left the team to become almost a certain starter at Colorado State but he got injured in preseason and will not play this fall.

Somebody up there or down here or sideways doesn’t like players who leave Temple. So far so good for IGM and Banks but, if I’m them, my radar is up for cutback blocks or targeting next week.

Meanwhile, both Diaz and Geoff Collins are under fire at Miami and Georgia Tech and they might be dismissed before Rod Carey is because those schools routinely eat bad contracts and Temple does not.

Ironically, one of the stated reasons for this portal rule is if coaches could leave for another school without sitting out a year, players should be able to as well.

A simple solution for that (probably not holding up legally) would be for both coaches and players to have to sit out a year.

Now, it’s a free-for-all and MOST people are finding out that the grass is not greener on the other side of 10th Street.

Maybe that will stop the hemorrhaging of players in the future but it certainly doesn’t help Temple now.

Friday: The Wagner, err, Game

17 thoughts on “Recent development: The Temple Curse

  1. Add Al Golden to this list. Did not succeed in Miami. Has he succeeded in the NFL ?

    • Likewise, look what happened to Addazio at Boston College.

      • Pretty much limited the list to what happened post-Rhule because that’s the era of the transfer portal but, yes, the general point about Daz and Al is right. Golden only succeeded in one place and that’s Temple and that’s the only place I really care about. Daz, when BC hired him, would have had a job at Temple for three more years so I was ecstatic when they took him off our hands.

  2. Did you ever consider the kids just don’t want to play for Rod Carey???? He sucks as a coach and is not a good fit for Temple Football!!!!

    • I think Khris Banks’ family was making comments on social media this past offseason about the staff favoring people with NIU connections. A number of TI fans kept chirping about ‘tampering’ but in my opinion you don’t lose over a dozen 2-deep players to different schools in about a year’s time due to ‘tampering’.

      Joe P.

    • I agree he sucks but he won’t be here forever. He’s not Joe Paterno and the kids might be better off waiting him out until Temple gets someone decent at the end of this season.

  3. Based on this: ,” one of the stated reasons for this portal rule is if coaches could leave for another school without sitting out a year, players should be able to as well “- then only players from those teams should be allowed to enter the portal. Everyone else sits a year.

    • That would have been a sensible “King Solomon” solution of splitting the baby. The problem is that the P5 controls the NCAA and wanted to use the G5 as its farm system and it appears that’s exactly what is happening.

  4. Bottom half talent, second tier coaching equals poor on the field performance.

    https://n.rivals.com/team_rankings/2022/aac/football

    Temple Conference Recruiting Rankings:
    2017 – 10th
    2018 – 6th
    2019 – 10th
    2020 – 6th
    2021 – 10th
    2022 – 10th

    Compare to Cincy, USF, and Memphis. Collectively those schools have out-recruited TUFB by a wide margin the past five years and counting. The FACTS prove Carey can’t recruit with the best teams in the conference, undisputable. And, he can’t coach…., Vince Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out here?”

    The facts are plain as day, what is the BOT waiting for?

    • The Bot is waiting for what they have always waited for – for the current lousy coaches contract to come to an end. BTW Mike, you once again implied Carey will be gone at the end of this season. Someone donating the buy out monies? Or is this just wishful thinking?

  5. RaMahn Davis, former Temple running back now at SEC Vanderbilt, played very well but hurt his foot with a season ending injury. But at least he was doing well unlike the other former TU players mentioned.

  6. I totally agree that 2 horrible seasons in a row cannot (?) be tolerated but the cannot should read SHOULD not be tolerated. We’ll see what happens but TU’s history says otherwise and the cheapskates will tolerate him ruining the program till his contract ends. Certainly hope you’re right tho Mike.

  7. Our new AD starts next month…., we shall see what the new AD recommends

    • They hired an AD?????

      • Last I heard it was down to four, three men and a woman, none with any significant understanding of Temple football (although I assume Billy King has a cursory knowledge of Temple hoops). Disappointing. I was hoping for someone like Mark Ingram, who turned the football program into a CUSA powerhouse at UAB by backing Bill Clark (who was hired before him) and enabled expanded football facilities there. Ingram has a good knowledge of Temple being Associate AD here before.

  8. Ingram makes too much sense (experience at TU, worked at another “city” school competing against big boys (Bama and Auburn), engineered an on-campus facility, found a good coach who was loyal, then stayed out of the coach’s way). He’s a natural fit, and would offer his experience from another region to go with his eastern time.

    I hope his reminiscences of his time on N Broad are good so he’ll consider coming back as the boss.

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