On the surface, the Temple at Tulsa football game is just another game between two losing teams playing out the string in disappointing seasons.
Upon closer inspection, though, history is at stake because it will probably provide the first answer to this question ever:
Can a dumpster fire win a college football game?
Because, based not only on the developments of this week but of the last two seasons, that’s just what Temple football has become under Rod Carey.
It has nothing to do with the wonderful kids still committed to playing for Temple nor the current administration or the fans.
It has everything to do with the CEO on the football side, Rod Carey, who has chosen to protect his NIU carpetbagging coaching cabal over advancing the program he is handsomely paid to protect.
Let’s review what has happened.
One of the top five quarterbacks in Temple history in terms of winning percentage chose to leave the program to be a backup at a Big 10 school rather than continue to play for coach Carey. A backup quarterback at an SEC school picked Temple but had his fill of Carey in less than one season and has chosen to sit out next year (2022) rather than play for Carey.
A running back from Florida who was expected to be a starter, Iverson Clement, provided evidence of coaching abuse from the current Temple strength coach. He also published text messages proving Carey lied about Iverson “leaving” the team and proved Clement’s claim that he was “kicked off” the team.
If Carey lied about that, and he did, what else has Carey lied about?
My guess is plenty.
I wish Lew Katz, the chairman of the BOT’s athletic committee, and George Moore, the school’s ex-chief university counsel, were still alive because they would probably be able to find cause to fire Carey right now. Those two men loved Temple and would have not allowed Carey to get even this far.
The team’s best running back from 2019, Ra’Mahn Davis, backed up Clement and said the same thing happened to him. The father of the team’s best linebacker from last year, Isaiah Graham-Mobley, said his son loved Temple and would have remained there had it not been for Carey. So we have the team’s two best quarterbacks from the last two years leaving, the best linebacker leaving, the best wide receiver (Jadan Blue) leaving, the best offensive lineman (Vince Picozzi) leaving, the best pass rushers of the past two years (Quincy Roche and Arnold Ebekitie) leaving, the team’s two best corners (Christian Braswell and Linwood Crump) leaving, among many, many others who, if there, no doubt would have helped the Owls pummel Tulsa.
Now it’s essentially a game with the 2019 and 2020 Temple backups being asked to beat the 2021 Tulsa starters thanks to the fact that Carey has the personality of a wet washrag in addition to being an enabler of a horrible culture.
That, plus the fact that this coaching staff has shown zero ingenuity in three years, no desire to block or return punts, no halfback passes, no double reverses, no shovel passes, etc., etc., etc. that might mix up an otherwise drab game plan.
Dumpster fire indeed.
Ironically, the person who should have left a long time ago, Carey, boarded a plane for Tulsa today and will be on the sidelines ostensibly trying to lead the Owls to a victory on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPN+).
Ostensibly means apparently or purportedly but not actually.
That’s the best word to describe Carey’s presence on the sidelines tomorrow.
Check that, as Harry Donahue might say.
There’s one better word.
Picks this week: Stuck in neutral (2-2) for three straight weeks so only used the few games that stuck out like a sore thumb. Jumped on RU getting 18 at Penn State (I have a feeling that game is going to be 10 or less), MINNESOTA giving 6.5 at Indiana, and LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE getting 5.5 at Liberty. (If I was really ambitious, would also pick Memphis getting the 9.5 at Houston, UAB getting 5.5 at UTSA and SDSU laying the 10.5 at UNLV but not as confident in those as the first three.)
Update: The strategy of picking only three games worked to break our 2-2 rut of the prior three weeks. RU let us down against Penn State but Louisiana-Lafayette not only covered at Liberty but won outright and Minnesota covered the meager 6.5 at Indiana to go 2-1 bringing our seasonal record to a more than respectable 26-21-1.
Update: Won last week on ODU and Rutgers and lost on Troy and UCF bringing our season ATS record to 24-20-1. The Troy and UCF losses cost us $2,678.97 (really, 10 bucks).
Sunday: Game Analysis
Tuesday: Hopefully coverage of the press conference to fire Rod Carey