Brides.com defines a honeymoon period as “lasting between six months and two years” but, in the college football world, honeymoons and Temple football coaches are complicated.
Bobby Wallace had a short honeymoon, Al Golden a longer one and, after a rocky initial year, Matt Rhule said yes to the run game and everyone here loved him. Geoff Collins was a sweet-talker and, while Steve Addazio had his moments, he never really clicked here.
The last guy was a fish out of water.
New Temple head coach Stan Drayton is enjoying a honeymoon period with Philadelphia fans now simply because he has revitalized an atmosphere around here that had been pretty drab under the old guy.
Not only that, he replenished a roster with some impressive Power 5 talent at positions that needed significant upgrades. His recruiting of current high school players, including the top running back in Florida (Joquez Smith), is unparalleled in recent Temple football history.
So how long does this honeymoon period last?
Judging from the outcome of Drayton’s last honeymoon, it could be open-ended.
Many of us got to meet the current Mrs. Drayton (Monique) at the Cherry and White Tailgates and we could not have been more impressed. She not only joined in on the line dancing but, like her husband, reveled in the party atmosphere. She not only participated in the line dancing, but she was also the best dancer in the line. Stan watched on with pride and it is readily apparent that this couple is very much in love.
So if their honeymoon period never ended, why should ours?
This is a bottom-line business and the bottom line at Temple is you need to have more wins than losses but everything the new coach has done since Day One indicates he realizes that as much as anyone.
Stan seems to have locked down the football side and, in Quincy Patterson, I really feel he is a game-changer at quarterback. This guy could go from a starter at Virginia Tech who played the entire game and beat North Carolina in overtime to the best quarterback in the current American Athletic Conference.
The Owls have highly recruited running backs coming in from Texas A&M and Illinois to bolster that end of the offense and, in receiver Adonicis Sanders, more than replaced Jadan Blue in a transfer portal “trade.”
Certainly, a win at Duke buys him more honeymoon time but beating Duke, while important, is not a requirement. Six wins in a 12-win schedule is. I’ve heard an argument that four wins would be an improvement but, considering the personnel and coaching staff upgrade, four wins would not be impressive considering that the worst staff here since Bobby Wallace was able to win three.
So much damage was done last year, though, that to expect more than six is unrealistic.
Six would be just fine but we know Drayton, his staff and players won’t settle for even that so we’re betting this honeymoon period goes beyond the Brides.com definition.
Friday: The New G5 Landscape
Monday: 5 Surprising First-Team All-AAC Players