Difference between USF and Temple: Commitment

The proposed new stadium at USF was unveiled to the press last month .

All you have to do to figure out the difference between USF and Temple football is look at the national perception.

USF head coach Jeff Scott was hired a full year and a month AFTER Rod Carey yet Scott is listed as No. 1 on the coaches hot seat site and Carey is nowhere to be found.

The perception there, at least from those who run that site is this: Scott’s seat is warm as hell because USF won’t tolerate a poor season coming off a one-win fall and Temple will.

There’s a lot to that because it’s true.

USF has fired two coaches since Al Golden performed CPR on Temple football and Temple has fired zero coaches. Sure, one of the reasons was that it was successful enough not to need that option, but The Rod Carey Error will provide the first real test to Temple’s commitment for fielding a winning team.

If the team loses to USF, it will be magnified.

Proposed site of new USF stadium. Neighbors live across the street and to the right.

USF displayed its commitment to football last month when the President announced plans to build a new stadium on campus while Temple, having already approved the funding for its own stadium three years ago, allowed no more than 20 or so neighbors to shut down the project.

Temple appears to have thrown up its hands and given up without even trying alternative methods like moving the site from 15th Street or marketing the new stadium the ” North Philly Tribute Center” and telling the community the stadium will be for them 359 days and the university for just six. Temple already has a large area for athletics at Broad and Master and has met no community opposition there. Maybe moving that to 15th and Norris and putting a stadium closer to Center City could satisfy all involved.

South Florida, like Temple, also has on-campus neighbors who objected to getting a stadium done. USF believes the stadium is the greater good and, once built, the community will realize it as well. Unlike USF, Temple allowed a few loud voices to table the project. USF’s interim president said “we’re going to get this done.” Temple’s new president, Dr. Jason Wingard, deflected a similar question when he said the school was committed to its deal with Lincoln Financial Field.

USF plays in a pro stadium, too, but realizes even a crowd of 20 or 30K rattling around a 70K-seat stadium looks horrible. It looks closer to 10 people than 70,000 and, if the perception is your product is not successful, that’s even more important than whether it actually is. USF has come to that conclusion. At one time Temple did, too. That ship has apparently sailed.

The latest evidence of national perception came on Sunday night when the books set USF as a 3.5-point favorite. That despite the fact that USF entered its game on Saturday with only one touchdown pass on the season and Temple, coming into its game at Cincinnati, had the No. 1 pass defense in the country. (A misleading stat because Temple plays a three-man front and often drops eight into coverage, allowing opposing running games to gouge the Owls on the ground.)

What can be done to turn around that perception?

The only thing that solves anything in big-time college sports: Winning. If Temple isn’t favored to beat the only team it defeated in a one-win season last year, just when will it happen?

Not this year. At least not unless Temple rips off a winning streak starting now.

Temple has to beat USF to begin to change minds, then come back and complete the Florida sweep against UCF at Lincoln Financial Field. It should not be that hard.

The fact that few nationally believe it will happen is in and of itself a big problem for Temple.

Friday: USF Preview

22 thoughts on “Difference between USF and Temple: Commitment

  1. Yep, perception is everything! What a difference when compared to just five or six short years ago. But hope springs eternal! Just look at UCF: 0 – 12 in 2015 under George O’Leary (12 seasons as HC) and interim Danny Barratt.
    In comes Scott Frost as HC: 6 – 7 in 2016 and13 – 0 in 2017 (won AAC championship and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl). Now there’s a major program turn around! And they have gone 28 – 8 under Josh Heupel 2018 – 2020. All of that gets them an invite to the P5 Big 12 Conference. Temple could easily have been there under different circumstances (think., the coaching carouse, COVID and the player transfer portal). A good start in turning things around on N. Broad IMHO would be to say goodbye to Rod Carey and move Gabe Infante into the HC position.

  2. After his first season, my thoughts on Carey were: decent, honest, and honorable man but over his head and out of his comfort zone. Lack of knowledge and appreciation for Northeast/Mid-Atlantic high school football culture will cement his demise (my comments at the time documented on this platform). All came true.

    My thoughts on the new President and AD: decent, smart, engaging, and honorable men. Extremely naive…, and mis-trust in the BOT will cement their demise.

    The Pa Governor appoints too many trustees to the BOT who have zero clout in the community they were appointed to serve in, No Philly.

    The BOT enticed the new uni pres with promises they won’t/can’t keep. Bottomline: TUFB will remain in dark red ink, playing in a stadium they can’t afford to keep playing in..,

    Best decision if we maintain BOT leadership status quo, drop TUFB and focus on BB.

    • If no one has ever won at Temple, I’d agree with you but the template for winning football at Temple has already been established. Rather than give up on the product, I’d replace the template. Hire a players coach who is wired into local recruiting. Carey isn’t either one.

    • Change is good. North and South Philly are wrong directions. Go West young man. Suburbanize. No city wage taxes, high-income market, less crime, politically stable, etc.

  3. Looks like Coach O will be available next year. I think he’s done at a top 10 program level, but he did have success at LSU. After each press conference he ends with “Go Tigers”, think it would be funny hearing that gravely voice saying “Go Owls”. Any thoughts???

    • Not a fan of anyone from “there” (meaning anywhere but the five-county area or someone who spent a lot of time in the five-county area) being successful “here.” Al Golden bottled the secret sauce for winning at Temple: Get a committed knowledgeable guy from “here” who is also wired into recruiting “here” … get between 18-25 great players from the Mid-Atlantic (46 percent of the nation’s population), mix, stir and taste the sauce. It tastes like winning. Golden was that guy. Rhule was that guy. Gabe fits the profile of those two guys. Hell, I’d ask Golden first. Gabe would both recruit his ass off and coach better than Carey if Al says no.

      • Big time college football landscape has changed dramatically since AG, and even MR. Two must haves..,

        Financially, and for future success, an OCS is non-negotiable. Continued play at the LINC will eventually force Temple to drop more sports.

        A dynamic HC who can recruit, develop student athletes, and out-coach the other sideline on Saturday.

        The only HC Temple will be able to attract without the promise of an OCS will be another guy like Carey.

        I would like to see a guy who says, “yea, I’ll only take this HC job if there is a firm date for the first shovel in the ground for an OCS.”

        The new pres and AD’s trust in the BOT is misplaced. The assumptions they made about the BOT are not valid. They are outstanding men, character, intellect, charisma, achievement, the whole nine yards.., AND naive.

    • Had job of Matt rhule’s first OC for exactly one day, saw 10th and diamond, turned around and got on a plane back to Nevada. True story. Wish rod had done the same.

      • Haha Mike….10th and Diamond sounds all nice and shiny but that dude was thinking, hell no, get me outta here….that’s exactly why we need people from the program or people with the knowledge of what they are getting into here. Needless to say….it’s not for everyone. Great story, did not know it.

      • Matt called me the night he was hired and he was raving about Phil Snow and Rolovich and said he was going to bring the pistol to Temple. Hmm. I thought the pistol was wrong for Temple but he did bring the spread for the first two years and me and John Belli pleaded with him to use the fullback and play-action for the entirety of those two years in this space. He finally did with Sharga for his last two years and that to me was the No. 1 reason Temple won double-digit games in consecutive seasons. Fullback and run-oriented game is the definition of Temple TUFF and helped Matt get a $7.4 million contract at Baylor.

  4. Approving the OCS funding and actually having the commitments for the money are two different things. But if the BOT did approve moving ahead why haven’t new plans to move it to a different site been underway? Not only that but closing off 15th St. and having an unwilling city councilman (not just 20 loud neighbors), I remember reading, were key problems standing in the way. I’m sick and tired of seeing schools like FAU, Liberty, Coastal Carolina, etc. with new programs becoming “instantly” successful but Temple continues to wallow around in mediocrity or less.
    And btw, who wants a guy that puts beliefs ahead of science (the COVID denier coach from WSU) coming to Temple anyway?
    Temple has been boneheaded about so many athletic decisions over the years it’s hard to see much progress getting made beyond the once in a while luck of getting a good coach that will move on shortly with some success – happens to us all the time and sometimes it’s inevitable a bad hire creeps in there (like now).

    • Rolovich didn’t set the world on fire at WSU and probably would have done even worse than Carey here. We need a Gabe/Golden type to clean this up. Someone needs to check Gabe’s lower lip for bleeding … he probably has to bite it a lot for all the things he wants to say.

    • Is it worth mentioning that the addition of Rice and FAU now gives the AAC THREE OWLS?? That has to be a bizarre precedent. I know the SEC has three Tigers, but Tigers is one of the most popular names around, there are multiple ones.

      Owls is different. These may be the only three in the entire NCAA and all grouped in one lousy conference.

    • Interesting article but……”Temple should leave the AAC” and go where? No other equivalent or better conference wants us and going independent is a dicy path to take. Dropping down to FCS would probably mean losing to Nova most of the time which brings up an interesting question. How can a small school like Nova continue having so much success in their athletic program? Great BB, top 10 in FCS football and beats us most of the time in “olympic” sports. Temple needs to take a look at how they do it.

      • Temple is doing the best it can under the circumstances. Kraft really set the program back with the Diaz/Carey fiasco and to a lesser extent Collins. He needed to bring in a big-time guy who could take Rhule’s 10 wins and stabilize it, not fall to 7 and 8 and then off the charts to 1 and 3. Not a doubt in my mind that if Temple won 10, 10, 10, 10 we’d be in the Big 12 by now. Thanks, Pat.

  5. Temple will fit in this new setup as well as WVU did in the Big XII – before Cincinnati joined it.

    • “I hate to say it,” a Group of Five official said, “but if you’re not in a Power Five conference, you’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

      • Agree. Another way of saying it is that you have a death sentence and you are waiting on death row but at least you are alive until the hangman comes. We blew it when the Big 12 decided to expand after the 2020 season and not the 2016 season. I’d argue that with our attendance and TV ratings then they’d come after us before Houston and Cincy but behind UCF. Now we’re an afterthought. Collins wasn’t the best choice but Carey sure was the worst one. Neither met the Rhule standard. Golden would have.

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