There is no doubt that a significant portion of the Temple football fan base believes Temple made the right call by hiring Stan Drayton as a head coach but what he has done the first couple of weeks certainly has defied conventional wisdom.
First, he recruited a defensive lineman (no names, please, he’s just a kid) who had exactly one sack in his last full season as a high school player.
Then, he supposedly hired a co-defensive coordinator from Villanova without (officially, at least) hiring the other co-defensive coordinator.
That struck me as odd because the “other” rumored guy is someone who hemorrhaged points as a DC at various stops on the FBS level and might (err, probably doesn’t) even know or is sympatico with the philosophy of the Villanova guy. They might not butt heads once they get in the same room but what if they don’t get along?
That’s a headache Drayton doesn’t need.
You are allowed to question whether this guy knows what he’s doing, at least on the CEO level.
Put it this way: Drayton was a position coach all of his life and had limited responsibility. Now, he’s overseeing the entire operation and is a little like a guy fumbling around for the light to a room he first entered.
Excuse me for having the feeling that, say, Al Golden would have had this CEO part of the job locked down. If he liked the Villanova defensive guy, he would have named him sole DC and handed off the keys to that third of the team to him. He would have put the other third of the team, specials, on autopilot by adding old buddy and Temple lifer Ed Foley before tackling the final third.
Instead of a DL guy who had only one sack, Golden might have been able to recruit a Pennsylvania Big 33 sackmeister MVP like Adrian Robinson. Oh wait. He already did and Arob made a huge impact at Temple (rest in peace). Somewhere in that Al Golden binder of Mid-Atlantic recruits, I have to believe he already had the second coming of AR in mind and that kid might have produced double-digit sacks in a good high school league.
Golden would have known all the nooks and crannies of every room at the E-O without having to turn on a single light.
For now, at least in this space, Drayton will remain a Texas guy hired by a Texas guy until he starts hiring Temple guys and that hasn’t happened. Even Miami’s Manny Diaz hired four Temple guys right off the bat.
Maybe, though, that approach is wrong. Only time will tell.
Watching the Pitt-Michigan State game last night, I was able to give Drayton (and by extension President Jason Wingard and new athletic director Arthur Johnson) the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe the game has evolved (err, devolved) to the point that logic no longer matters.
Follow me here: Michigan State ONLY beat Pitt in the Peach Bowl because former Temple commit Kenny Pickett opted out. The teams that win league championships and bring home great bowl game trophies in the future might be coached by guys who get the PLAYERS to buy into his system and not the logic CEO guys. Drayton could overcome a lot of these early miscues by proving to be the player’s guy Rod Carey wasn’t. Because MSU coach Mel Tucker got his players to buy in and Pat Narducci didn’t get all of his players to do the same, the MSU fans came home happy and the Pitt fans were crying.
It’s a short straw, but it’s the only one I’ve got so far.
Fortunately, most of my fellow Temple fans are buying into the hire. For this shaky initial start, my body is in Pennsylvania but my mind has moved to Missouri.
Unfortunately, those results won’t be in for another 11 months.
Winning the great majority of football games, getting AAC championships, AND not going 6-6, not chasing greatness, is the only barometer that really matters. You have to demand greatness and be great, not just chase it.
Just win. It’s that simple and that hard.
Monday: The AAC
Friday: The Quick Fix