The college football schedule has Navy at Temple listed right there at noon is and it is available on any television set whose owner wants to pay for it (ESPNU) Saturday.
Just one game.
Just the seventh of seven nightmares that a rapidly dwindling Temple fanbase will be forced to watch, either on TV or in person.
A program that averaged eight wins a year for the decade prior to Rod Carey’s arrival has slipped into oblivion for the last two. It was a program that played with a swag and a well-earned reputation for “TEMPLE TUFF.”
Fortunately, it will be over soon and picking the right guy to restore the tradition will be of paramount importance.
It ain’t Carey and the Temple administration has finally come to that expensive conclusion.
There are clues everywhere and a big one came earlier this week when Dwan Mathis returned to the team after announcing he was transferring.
My guess is that there was some type of phone call involved in this decision.
“Hello, is this Dwan Mathis’ dorm room?”
“Yeah, I’m Dwan.”
“Good. Dwan, I’m Arthur Johnson, the new athletic director at Temple.”
“Yes, Mr. Johnson, I’ve heard of you.”
“Thanks. I just wanted to call you and tell you to not go anywhere. We’re going to have a great coach pretty soon and you are going to love playing for him.”
“Can’t say, but it won’t be Carey.”
“Thanks, man, I will talk to you later.”
“Thanks for calling, Mr. Johnson.”
Scenario No. 2:
Dad: “Dwan, this is dad.”
Dwan: “Hi, dad.”
Dad: “Son, did you know you can’t transfer to another FBS school without sitting out a year?”
Dad: “It’s there in the fine print. It’s either FCS for you next year or sit out a full year.”
Dwan: “How do I play FBS football next year?”
Dad: “Stay at Temple.”
Dwan: “I’m back.”
Temple fans have to hope Scenario No. 1 is closest to the truth because, in my mind (and I’ve lived through both), the last six games have been the most embarrassing to watch as a Temple fan ever.
Yes, that includes The Jerry Berndt Error, The Ron Dickerson Error and The Bobby Wallace Error because then unlike now you saw teams trying and beating Big 10 teams (Berndt), and future ACC teams Pitt (Dickerson) and Virginia Tech (Wallace).
Another clue is that Johnson will have an “informal” meeting with the parents at K36 Saturday morning. Having been graciously invited to many parents’ tailgates over the last three years and listening to them, I’m guessing nobody is going to be defending this coach. In fact, if I’ve learned anything, it’s why the kids are leaving.
Johnson will get a similar earful.
These last six weeks under Rod Carey have been a complete collapse after guys like Al Golden and Matt Rhule supposedly restored a solid foundation. We could see it coming from a mile away (at least a few months) when we posted that the Owls would not be favored in any game not named Wagner or Akron.
It’s not going to get any better under this head coach.
Unfortunately, all of the smoke signals say that even though Mathis is back, Carey will be playing his midwestern boy Justin Lynch.
Good because that will be the final nail in the coffin of Rod Carey. Nothing against Lynch, who I think will be a capable quarterback in a couple of years, but it’s more indicative of Carey’s relationship or lack of same with Mathis (and most other Temple players) than anything else. He’d rather lose than play a more talented player if he feels that Temple player screwed him in some way.
Really, the only hope Temple ever had to beat Navy (slim and none) was for Mathis to duplicate his three-touchdown, 300-yard game against Memphis–the last time that Temple looked like a legitimate FBS team.
Shockingly, the Middies are “only” 12.5-point favorites.
We think this game has 42-7 written all over it.
Temple will do what Temple always does–come out in a three-man defensive front–and Navy will do what Navy always does–use the fullback to gouge the center of the field, setting up the quarterback and the pitch man for big gains.
Look for Navy to get about 40 minutes of possession to Temple’s 20 and for Carey to be shown the exit sometime Sunday or Monday.
For Temple fans, that means they get their team back on Tuesday after Carey nuked it on the way out the door.
It’s not perfect, but it’s waking up from a nightmare some thought might never end.
Picks this week: PENN STATE -1.5 at Michigan State, ARMY +4 at Liberty, and PURDUE -15 at Indiana.
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.
Sunday: Game Analysis