Temple football: No promises, and now we know why

The only hope for Temple football rests in these two guys acting no later than Monday.

If Rod Carey seemed a little evasive about making predictions from the end of last season until now, we pretty much all know why.

Coaches usually don’t say how many wins they are shooting for but when asked from the spring until the start of this season what he was looking for, Carey simply said this:

“I don’t want to put a number on it. We want to be a team that plays hard and our fans can be proud of …”

WITN’s forecast for East Carolina …

Playing hard?


Lots of winless Temple teams played hard, but Owl fans were looking to turn around a 1-6 season, and playing hard alone was not going to get it done.

What we’ve seen so far in eight games is even a failure to deliver on that minimalistic promise.

Too many guys worked too hard to throw away the progress made for the decade before this disaster.

Hell, the 2-10 team of Matt Rhule’s first year played a lot harder than Carey’s current 3-5 squad. Like this year, Rhule beat a favored Memphis team but it was 41-21 on the road and not 34-31 at home. Rhule also beat Army at home, lost on the final play at Rutgers, 20-14 (not by 61-14) and did not have a single loss as embarrassing as Carey’s last three–52-3 to Cincinnati, 34-14 to USF and 49-7 to UCF.

Rhule’s home performance against UCF–a much better version of UCF than this current one–saw the Owls lose a heartbreaker, 39-36, on one of the greatest end zone catches ever seen at Lincoln Financial Field (pro or college).

Rhule then, like Carey now, had a young quarterback but the difference was Rhule’s quarterback showed improvement every week and Carey’s quarterback has not.

Not once did Owl fans run down behind the bench and chant “FIRE RHULE!” like they did “FIRE CAR-EY!!” last week (although one loud guy was often heard yelling FIRE PHIL SNOW! in the back row of Section 121 and even he stopped doing that by Year Three).

The players supported Rhule then. They did not support Carey last Saturday when the chanting happened. In fact, they seemed to encourage it with their smiles and nods to the fans. That old adage about losing the locker room? Hell, Carey has lost the bench.

Even in Rhule’s 2-10 season, the players behind the coaches interlocked their arms and swayed from side to side cheering their teammates on the field. That was the Temple tradition under Al Golden and restarted by Rhule.

Then, there was hope for the future and that hope turned out to be realized the next three seasons (six, 10 and 10 wins).

Now there is none. Even if the Owls pull out a miracle and manage a win, that should only buy Carey one more week. He often says his injured players are “week-to-week” but now he should be “week-to-week” as well. The players’ confidence seems to be shot.

That’s the vibe the Owls take on the plane ride to East Carolina today for a 3 p.m. game tomorrow (ESPN+).

This game has 35-7 written all over it and it would be a shock if the game was more competitive than, say, the 29-14 score ECU beat USF by last week.

When this thing comes to a merciful close in a month, Carey will say “COVID, COVID, blah, blah, blah” and say the kids played hard but just made too many mistakes. He will remind you that he never promised anything but playing hard and he will lie and tell you they did that.

You will know the real reason why Carey lowered expectations is that he didn’t bring in the required number of great transfer portal players needed to turn a 1-6 season around and too many good players from even that team left.

You knew it then. Deep down he did, too.

Now we know why he never promised anything of substance. There have to be consequences for losing and waiting until the end of the season will make a bad situation much worse. Before the transfer portal, it was perfectly acceptable to wait until the end of the season to evaluate coaches. The transfer portal has changed everything. Schools like Texas Tech, TCU, and even Akron are realizing the urgency of acting in mid-season. Temple must get with the times.

Dr. Wingard and Mr. Johnson, you are on a clock that starts around 6 p.m. Saturday. Owl Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Picks This Week: AIR FORCE -2 at Army; MARSHALL -1 at FAU, SAN JOSE ST. -10.5 at Nevada and WAKE FOREST +2.5 at UNC.

Last week: Went 2-2 bringing our record against the spread to 20-16-1 for the season.

Sunday: Game Analysis

Tuesday: Counterpoint


18 thoughts on “Temple football: No promises, and now we know why

  1. Mike, I feel sure that the AD and President will not allow another season with Rod Carey. But I really hoped they would make the change and give Gabe the leadership role. It sure would help stability in the team and recruiting. Also, demonstrating to the recruiting landscape that the Carey term is in fact over.

  2. Unfortunately, your statements are too accurate. Things MUST change.

    • This is the only sports team I really care about. I follow the Phillies, Eagles and Sixers and want them to win but this is the only team that NEEDS to win so these Saturdays have been deeply disappointing the last couple of years. Continue on this path and the next couple will be real ugly. Quicksand ahead unless we take the dry path sooner than later.

  3. If the plug is pulled before the season ends, will the assistants he brought in from NIU leave with him? Not that they’re doing much good now, but not having any in place for the rest of the games may be a problem (to some degree).

    An AD is supposed to have a paper with a list of names on it at his fingertips for when he needs a new football coach. Wonder if the new AD is carrying one with him? Please, not Charlie Strong. Listen to Dr. Conwell and look in the back yard.

  4. CBS sports report that I didn’t bother to link says that DT Nick Bags is going to USF.

    This clown Carey isn’t even losing players to Power Five schools, he’s having them abandon ship to play almost anywhere else.

    They gotta get rid of this guy before there’s no one left on the roster.

  5. If for some reason Navy and Ken Niumatalolo decide to part ways Temple should hire him immediately. He does more with less, he knows the area, he can run some unique offensive sets and he actually knows that special teams is a part of football. I don’t know if he would take a year off, but it would be worth a call if he does leave Navy.

    • Kenny is not only my favorite coach in the AAC he’s my favorite PERSON. Very complimentary toward Temple when the Owls were coached by Golden and Rhule. Keeps his mouth shut when they are coached by bozos. Incredibly classy individual but I really think Navy realizes that and will do everything to keep him.

  6. Do I see Temple as 15 point underdog to ECU for today? This is just like the bad old days, it seems. 15 points Underdog ? wow.
    ” Have no fear “UnderDog ” is here ! “, Not quite the same thing is it.
    Beyond even the state of not-acceptable.

    • Gotta get Carey out of here Monday so we can beat UCONN to the punch and get Golden in here Tuesday.

      • Schiano took the Rutgers job only after RU agreed to his demands regarding facility/program/resource improvements.

        Any potential TUFB HC should make the same type of demands to include an OCS. Why would we want anyone who doesn’t? Anything less and we’ll wind up w/another guy like Carey.

        Gabe is not the guy. He’ll be another ‘just happy to be here, thankful for the opportunity’ who will be hard pressed to attract a high caliber coaching staff.

      • Gabe might not be the “permanent” guy but he’s certainly the “interim” guy. Like you, KJ, I prefer the “sure” thing … Golden but the urgency is getting Carey the “f*ck” outta here right now, not next Tuesday.

      • Why don’t we consider hiring Ed Foley? After all, he must be a great coach if the Moron fired him the first day at Temple.

      • Great guy, better special teams, coach, terrible head coach in bowl game. Peter Principle. Rather have Gabe now, get Golden before UCONN gets his signature. Temple is a MUCH better job than UCONN (not only pays 2x as much but has a league).

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