Drayton hiring: Maybe logic doesn’t apply

Stan Drayton will always be a Texas guy hired by another Texas guy until he starts hiring TEMPLE guys.

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.

No doubt in my mind Ed Foley would come back to fix Temple’s putrid special teams if Stan Drayton makes a phone call to Matt Rhule. That would put a lot of anxious Temple fans’ minds at ease.

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.

Show me.

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


5 thoughts on “Drayton hiring: Maybe logic doesn’t apply

  1. Truly worrisome is the nonchalant attitude with this year’s plan for talent acquisition.

    First, TU took the most time of any program to fill the HC vacancy at the expense of the early signing period. TUFB, operating behind the power curve, gave up on the 2022 recruiting class. Self-inflicted harm

    Second, TUFB lost 22 players to the portal over the last two seasons. Think about that for a moment…, 22 players in two years. TU lost six this year with nobody coming in from the portal (0-6 for the 2022 season).

    TUFB, now devoid of staff and operating behind the rest of college football, lost the opportunity to acquire top talent from the portal.

    TUFB has the least talented roster in the AAC. The roster is undersized and slow. The team who could least afford to lose the 2022 annual talent battle did just that…, self-inflicted harm.

    The AAC is the best the G5 offers. TUFB sits squarely at the bottom, the future is devoid of starlight. At this rate it will take Drayton three years to build a conference competitive staff. Remember, Cincy, Houston, UCF will play in the AAC next year.

    UMass and Lafayette are the only two games TUFB will start as the favorite next year. We all need to calibrate our expectations based on the sad reality we are witnessing.

    • “TUFB has the least talented roster in the AAC. The roster is undersized and slow.” … no lies detected, KJ. You also could have added weak as Carey had the worst strength coach in Temple football history. TU had some legendary strength coaches, Linc Gottshalk, Tony Decker, David Feeley. Shocked how a lousy AAC team, South Florida, was able to push around Temple. I wrote after that game Wingard needed to step in and fire Carey now and not wait until a new AD or the end of the season. That would have bought us time. Meanwhile, Feeley is out at Miami and available for Temple. Does Drayton even know him? Fran Brown would have. Golden would have.

  2. It’ll be hard to attract players to North Philly all things considered. I honestly don’t want to go near the place. Most of us graduated in four years for a reason.

    • I loved it but I didn’t go west of 16th street or east of 12th at midnight or beyond. You’ve got to be smart to go to what my Sports in America professor Norm Kanor called “Harvard on the Delaware.” Walked many times from the Temple News office to Peabody Hall at 4 a.m. after putting to bed the daily edition but did so with about 10 well-armed, well-trained Temple cops saying “Hi, Mike!” to me. They might have not taken a bullet for me but I’m confident that they would have spent 100 bullets in my defense. The whole police dynamic has changed in about 40 years.

  3. MSU played the Peach Bowl without Doak Walker Award winner Kenneth Walker III (second-most rushing yards among FBS players this year). Coach Tucker failed to get Walker to “buy into his system” instead of “opting out” and cashing in during the next NFL draft. MSU won because Pitt’s starting second-string quarterback, and its starting running back, were both injured in the first quarter. The Panthers’ third-string QB was pressed into duty for his first action since September on the shortest notice possible.

    That being said, you do raise valid points questioning Drayton’s early, head-scratching hires.

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