Temple football: The waiting is the hardest part

Temple AD Arthur Johnson with my friends Joe Greenwood (left) and Sheldon Morris (right), two great players from the Bruce Arians’ Era who probably gave him an earful.

After Saturday night, The Unholy Trinity of Temple football head coaches had the exact same season in 2021.


In an era where 80 of the 130 FBS teams playing football make a bowl game, Steve Addazio, Geoff Collins and Rod Carey all finished in the bottom 50 and, really, in the bottom 10.

That’s not the only thing they had in common.

Daz benefitted from the talent Al Golden recruited to go 8-4 (he really should have been 11-1) in 2011 and both Collins and Carey benefitted from the talent Matt Rhule recruited.

All three turned out to be frauds but, until now, Temple never had the unpleasant task of firing any one of them. Boston College took Daz off Temple’s hands by hiring him after a 4-7 season based on his 2011 season with Al Golden’s recruits. Georgia Tech was fooled by Collins’ success with Rhule’s recruits. Carey’s only good season came with Rhule’s recruits. Temple has been lucky, really.

Every single other school fires coaches.

Now it’s Temple’s turn.

Dr. Jason Wingard needs to act not tomorrow but right now to get Temple its next great football coach.

Do they answer the call or cower in the corner?

Over the next 24 hours or so, we will find out if Temple is serious about excellence in football (or as a university as a whole) or just gives it lip service.

What was most shocking to me after Navy’s 38-14 win over Temple on Saturday was the fact that Carey was even allowed to be talking about the future.

Arthur Johnson, Temple’s new AD, should have put his arm around Carey before he walked to the podium and said, “Hey, Rod, we’re going to pay you but please don’t talk about the future. You won’t be here after Monday or Tuesday. Just talk about the game.”

Instead, Carey talked about a “plan in place” to improve for next season.

Hey, Rod, you had your chance for that plan and it was last season, not this one.

Everybody and his kid brother at the end of last season picked Temple for last place for 2021. In order to avoid that fate, this staff had as it charge improving the roster to the point that it would compete for six wins, not half that much.

In order to do that, Temple had to get players to replace the 15 good ones who left last season.

It got six.

The math never added up.

If Temple, a team that produces more NFL talent than anybody else in the G5, couldn’t use that as a selling point to compile an FBS-worthy transfer portal roster from just the P5 talent in it, the Owls certainly could have put together an FCS all-star team that would have given them a chance to compete.

What did we see instead?

Relying on the backups of a 1-6 season to make this one better.

Losses of 52-3, 49-7, 34-14, 37-8, 44-10, and 38-14 ensued and that adds up to a national embarrassment for a great university, its alumni, students and fans.

That’s the kind of math you get when you replace 15 good players with six lesser players.

Carey, with his five-year contract, probably thought he could have been lazy with recruiting in this offseason.

Temple’s administration must act and swiftly and swiftly means now, not a week from now or a month from now.

Until they do, they are proving to everyone they are not serious about sports. The wait should not have been this long and it better not be any longer or they will be playing before no more than 100 or 200 fans in 2022 in a 70,000-seat stadium.

A noon press conference on Monday should not be just recommended it should be mandatory.

After this dumpster fire of a season, waiting should not be the hardest part but, failing a swift post-game firing of Rod Carey, it is.

Tuesday: A firing press conference or a big announcement


20 thoughts on “Temple football: The waiting is the hardest part

  1. I often wonder if Dr. Jason Wingard and AD Arthur Johnson ever get wind of the discontent with our coaching situation as expressed here and in the Temple Owls Football Fans FB group. If so, and given the disastrous past season that they have personally witnessed, they just have no other choice than to show Coach Rod Carey the door! Our football program has become a national embarrassment!

  2. Parents (K36) and Bruce Arians alumni players (K34) gave him an earful on Saturday morning. Pretty hard to justify renting a $1 million stadium in 2022 for 1,000 fans. If they want to up that to 25,000 fans they hire Al Golden and get the juice going again. There was zero juice this year with Carey and if he is still around next year, there will be minus-zero juice.

  3. As an alum and former Owl Club contributor, I could not agree more. I informed AD Johnson, that I ended my 30 years of Owl Club contributions as long as Rod Carey is “coach”. We will continue to donate to the University, but not the Owl Club. The embarrassment of this past season convinced me to not attend yesterday’s disaster. I will not attend another Temple football game, as long as Carey is on the sidelines.

    • I’m pretty sure they got the message from not only you but from just about everybody else. Let’s put it this way: I can’t imagine they got a single person who walked up to Johnson and said, “I really enjoy getting beaten 61-14, 49-7, 34-14, 38-14, 44-10, 52-3, etc., etc. so please bring Rod back next year so I can get flogged again.”

  4. There was plenty of embarrassment before Arians started and Golden finished the rejuvenation of the FB program – PLENTY! Personally I still can’t imagine anything worse than the Wallace era which was way too long and way too disastrous and added on to the lousy coaches before him. And none-the-less back then the school continued with bad choices for coaches in spite of continued incompetency – it’s just the Temple way. And as far as “luck” goes we were even lucky with Rhule, that he was able to turn things around – we lucked out that he unknowingly to us fans, was special. The coaches that followed him didn’t stay long enough to screw things up worse, another form of luck. But TU continued with it’s incompetency by giving Carey a contract he never should have been offered. And as you suggested Mike, does the school really care about having a successful sports program? They sure haven’t shown it in the past. Even the success of the past 10-12 years has been spotty with some crappy seasons interspersed with some tinged highs (never could finish staying in the top 25, for instance). Even the traditionally solid basketball program is now lower than the Dunphy years. We even dropped basic sports teams while hiring coaches like Carey and paying that 1 mil stadium rent to “attract?” better recruits – might as well be playing at Franklin Field for all the fans that manage to show up. I think we’re getting the level of what the administration cares about – it’s really always been this way. I believe TU can do a lot better but it needs to want to and act accordingly.

  5. this morning seeing lots of NCAA Football coaching ‘re-adjustments’ , so to say. I saw the name of OC Patenaude from Geo Tech being let go. Gee what a surprise that was, I recall the same admiration for him here at TU a few years ago. Looks like G Collins is willing to blame about 5 assistant coaches from his Ga Tech mess, all to save his butt for a year or two ?
    Then I saw the future here, Carey will offer up his asst coaches and fire them here at TU to save his butt a year or two.
    That’s my bet…..

  6. Matt Fortune from THE ATHLETIC just reported — ROD CAREY IS GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah — Temple parts ways with Rod Carey after 3 seasons: Source

  7. Given the reports coming out this morning about Carey being let go, my question is outside of Infante and Preston Brown given their local connections are there any other position coaches that could be considered worth keeping on?

  8. Carey done! Now……to the next chapter. Go Owls!

  9. Thad Ward, interim HC? Is he one of Carey’s guys? At least the new administration did what needed to be done – any details on how it went down? National search with fingers crossed!

  10. Thad Ward placeholder. Thankfully we can move forward. Mike, I didn’t like Carey from the UNC bowl game loss, it’s not personal but sometimes you get vibes that “this guy is not going to be successful at this level”. I hate to say it, but I get that vibe from Aaron Mckie. Great person, not going to work here. Rick Pitino is no saint, but he is a damn good coach. Two names that i hope get fired are Ken Ken Niumatalolo and David Shaw. I’d hire either for TU. Do I think either would come here, don’t think so, but its worth a shot.
    Either way, C E SPEED is back.

    • The bowl game is the day I mentally departed with Rod Carey and detailed it in a piece written here the next day. Until that point, I had never seen Temple players laughing and joking on the sidelines down 55-13 in any prior game.

  11. I love Ken but Navy is paying him more and Temple is not a triple-option school (nor probably should be as we want to continue to advance our reputation as the No. 1 G5 school for producing NFL talent).

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