Carey’s failure should be a warning for Temple

“Why don’t the guys like me, Anthony?” “Well, coach, you are pretty aloof, you don’t care about special teams and I’m not a running quarterback and you are trying to get me killed in this RPO. Other than that, they like you just fine.”

Somewhere, a few hundred miles apart, a couple of men are scratching their heads and asking a single question over and over again.

“What went wrong?”

One guy, Pat Kraft, lives in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Rod Carey’s tenure at Temple would make a great 30-for-30 someday.

The other, Rod Carey, was last seen packing boxes onto a pickup truck in Haddonfield, N.J.

The answer to the question should dictate how Temple hires its next head coach and it’s a pretty simple one: The game as currently constituted has passed coaches like Carey by and he probably will have trouble getting another one simply because of his personality.

When Kraft hired fellow Indiana University alum, Carey, it looked good on paper because Carey had a 52-30 record as a head coach on the FBS level with presumably lesser talent than Temple.

Geoff Collins holding an impromptu outdoor practice in the snow 2/17/17, making football fun 365 days at Temple. Owls need to find someone who gets along with the players like Collins did with the gameday coaching ability of a Wayne Hardin or a Gabe Infante.

Then the transfer portal stepped in and ruined it for all old-school coaches like Carey.

The transfer portal, which really hit the Temple program at the end of the 2019 season, robbed Temple of the AAC defensive player of the year, Quincy Roche, and that opened up the floodgates for everyone else to leave the program.

Carey was an old school “my-way-or-the-highway” guy who was quoted back then as saying “if you enter the portal, you are off the team.”

He wasn’t known as the type of guy who got close to his players or whose players were comfortable confiding in him so they viewed that pronouncement as a threat and took him up on it.

In that way, he was different than his predecessor, Geoff Collins, who was close to his players and they to him. Collins has failed at Georgia Tech because he has been exposed as a subpar recruiter who took from Temple a mostly FCS-level staff but there can be no doubt that the Temple players responded better to his “type” than Carey’s. Say what you will about Collins but he cared about special teams and special teams were a three-year problem at Temple after he left.

I’d really doubt we’d have the mass bleeding in the transfer portal if Collins remained here and that’s half the battle.

The coaching on the field is the other half.

Carey also tried to force feed his NIU run-pass-option system onto players Matt Rhule mostly recruited to play another system. Had Carey tailored his schemes to the talent of his players and not the other way around, the Owls could have avoided the 63-21, 45-21 and 55-13 losses they suffered in Carey’s first season.

That was a huge red flag to the fans and the players saw it, too.

What does that mean for the next hire?

Temple has to pick someone with the personality of Collins, the gameday coaching ability of Wayne Hardin and the flexibility of someone like Rhule, who proved that he was open to change after his second season. (It was then he dumped Marcus Satterfield and the spread and went to a more NFL type offense with Glenn Thomas.)

Hard to do, but not impossible.

There is that guy out there and plenty of other G5 schools have him in Luke Fickell, Jamey Cantwell and Hugh Freeze, who possess all of those qualities. It’s naive to think that only those three and a few others have the complete package.

Finding him is difficult and, if it takes much more time than the hasty search conducted by Kraft after being burned by Manny Diaz, it will be worth the wait.

Friday: Guardrails in Place

Ultimately, firing Carey was a business decision

Hat tip to our friends at Fire Rod Carey for this graphic.

In the end, Temple’s firing of Rod Carey was a business decision.

Do you let the contract run its course and pay the money owed to Carey or do you cut the losses and move forward?

Temple chose to move forward. For that, every single Temple Owl owes a debt of gratitude to athletic director Arthur Johnson and President Jason Wingard today.

Al Golden in an interview Aug. 15, 2021

(Not to mention those two owe Carey a $6 million debt.)

The bottom line Johnson and Wingard faced after Saturday was that do you play the next three years in an empty 70,000-seat stadium, watch an entire roster walk out the door and lose with Carey or generate enthusiasm, stop the roster bleeding and win with the next guy?

Johnson and Wingard correctly chose the latter option.

There will be plenty of good candidates and one great candidate to replace Carey and the question today is if the great candidate isn’t interested, plenty of people better than Rod Carey will.

The best Temple running back of the Carey Error checks in with his choice for the job.

Looking at the business end of it, hiring Al Golden is a no-brainer.

One, he already proved he could do the job at the exact same place with even heavier lifting than will be required now.

Two, he would bring instant credibility with the fans and sell gobs of season tickets. (Don’t know what gobs are but if you accept Temple’s number of approximately 10,000 season tickets sold for 2021, he could easily double that with a name recognition factor.)

In the firing Rod Carey movie, the role of Arthur Johnson will be played by Denzel Washington.

Three, he comes with a binder full of recruiting contacts up and down the East Coast and would be welcome by all high school coaches into any building he wants to visit in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. (Carey was disliked by most Pa. and Jersey high school coaches.)

Four, he would bring an NFL pedigree with him having coached in the NFL since his departure from Miami. Every Temple player at least has dreams of playing in the NFL and he can show them what they need to do to get there.

Five, he probably has a burning desire to get the bad taste of Miami out of his mouth and Temple would provide him with the opportunity to do it. (And, really, how bad was a 33-25 record at Miami despite crippling sanctions?)

In a business where winning comes first and the bottom line comes next, there’s no one who fulfills those requirements for Temple more than Al Golden.

If the front end of today’s decision was based on business, the back end should be as well.

Friday: The other candidates

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.

3-9.

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

Our long national nightmare is almost over

Even though Mathis announced he was coming back, do expect Rod Carey to be a prick and not play him.

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.

“It will be a cold day in hell before Temple fires a head football coach” is what we’ve heard for years. Well, losing 42-7 to a subpar Navy team at home is hell and it will be cold enough that even Lazygote remembers the gloves on the way out the door.

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.”

No more.

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.

The complete Saturday college football television schedule

My guess is that there was some type of phone call involved in this decision.

Scenario One:

“Hello, is this Dwan Mathis’ dorm room?”

“Yeah, I’m Dwan.”

“I can’t promise you anything except that we will play hard and be a team you can be proud of.” Two promises made, two promises broken.

“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.”

“Who?”

“Can’t say, but it won’t be Carey.”

“I’m back.”

“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?”

Dwan: “Huh?”
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 needs a winning coach who the Owls will love the way Liberty loves Hugh Freeze.

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

5 Potential Candidates for Temple HC job

Preston Brown could be the one who puts Temple football on the national map.
Al Golden

Another Monday goes past, another opportunity for a Rod Carey firing press conference goes by with a swing and a miss from the Temple administration.

It looks like Temple fans are stuck with this guy for another week.

Meanwhile, a lucky 13 other universities have already fired their head coach with an eye on the all-important Dec. 15 early (and really only these days) signing date.

Hopefully, new athletic director Arthur Johnson and new Temple President Dr. Jason Wingard are making their early Christmas lists for head coaches and checking them twice. Or they could be twiddling their thumbs which would be a disaster on the order of what we’ve seen on the field the last five weeks.

A number of names have surfaced in social media circles, some appealing, some not. We’re going to eliminate all of those names who don’t have head coaching experience anywhere and come up with the five most appealing names so far.

5. Tom Herman, offensive analyst Chicago Bears

Plusses: Knows the AAC, knows current Temple AD Arthur Johnson, beat Temple in the 2015 AAC title game so at least is aware the school exists.

Minus: Very little knowledge of Temple’s recruiting footprint and doesn’t fit the profile of past successful Temple coaches.

Rating: Probably a lot better than Carey (who isn’t?), but his ceiling at Temple is right around 6-6.

Verdict: Hard pass

Gabe Infante

4. Dan Mullen, ex-Florida head coach.

Plusses: From the Philadelphia area, knows the Temple recruiting footprint, a great gameday coach in all but this season.

Minus: Probably won’t have the energy needed to be a Temple head coach so his ceiling is probably around 7-5.

Verdict: At least worth a look.

3. Preston Brown, current director of Player Personnel, Temple football

Pluses: Has been a championship head coach, knows not only the Temple football recruiting footprint but every current Temple recruiting target. Would be able to stop the transfer portal bleeding that Temple has experienced under Carey. Record as a head coach 41-23. Rebuilt Woodrow Wilson High from an 0-12 season to two-straight South Jersey Group 3 titles.

Minus: None

Verdict: A potential home run hire who might do for Temple football what John Chaney did for Temple basketball. Ceiling: Double-digit winning seasons.

2. Gabe Infante, current running backs coach, Temple football

Plusses: A 91-23 record as head coach at St. Joseph’s Prep after a successful stint as a head coach in New Jersey, knows both sides of the river, has won four large school PIAA state championships in Pennsylvania, two-time National High School Coach of Year, players love him. Ceiling: Multiple AAC titles.

Minus: None.

Verdict: If the next guy says no, he’s your guy.

  1. Al Golden, linebackers coach, Cincinnati Bengals

Plusses: Knows Edberg-Olson Hall inside and out, loved by all the support staff and alumni and fans, has the “secret sauce” to win at Temple, would create instant excitement and credibility with the fan base that no other candidate would. He’s already in the school’s Hall of Fame and probably would have the kind of successful second stint at Temple head coach that Bill Snyder did at Kansas State. Would include Infante and Brown on the new staff and one could be named head coach in waiting.

Minus: Might not have the same burning desire to rebuild Temple the second time and is probably not as good a game day coach as the above four. Ceiling is 8-9 wins a year, but his floor is 6 wins and, since the floor has collapsed the last two years, Temple might want to shore that up before looking at ceiling repairs.

Verdict: Like Bill Bradshaw wrote on that yellow legal pad in 2005, “this is our guy.” Temple would have to woo him like a five-star recruit and hopefully Johnson has that salesman trait in him.

Friday: Season Mercifully Comes to an end

Sunday: Game Analysis

Rod Carey’s Final Countdown

If the Diamond Marching band wants a prolonged standing ovation, it will put a photo of Rod Carey where the “M” above is here during their halftime performance on Saturday. (Don’t worry, he won’t see it.)

There are plenty of things Temple, a school with 26,217 full-time undergrads, does better than Tulsa, a school with 3,171 undergrads.

The scripted plays this crack coaching staff work on all week to start the game have certainly had an impact.

Football, unfortunately, is not one of them as was documented in the Owls’ 44-10 loss on Saturday.

In that area, Tulsa joins a growing club that includes Rutgers, BC, USF, UCF, Cincy, ECU, and Houston.

One of the areas Temple has Tulsa beat, though, is the band because, from the 11:37 mark until the end of the game, the only song in the Tulsa band’s playbook was “The Final Countdown” by the band Europe.

The playlist of the Diamond Marching Band is much more diverse.

How appropriate, though.

For anyone who watched this latest abomination, there couldn’t have been a more fitting song. For the fans who remained around in the fourth quarter to watch and followed by performing some errands after the game was over (raising my hand here), they couldn’t get that damn 1986 song out of their heads.

Rod Carey has entered his final countdown as Temple University’s head football coach and the only thing we don’t know is how long that countdown will be.

If the Diamond Marching Band wants to go viral it will blow up this photo and put it in a symbolic trash can on Saturday all the while playing “The Final Countdown” by Europe.

It could be a day, two days, three days, a week or a couple of months.

Rest assured that he’s gone, though, because a school that invested $17 million ($7 million to build with a $10 million addition in 2010) in a football facility cannot stomach that investment being thrown away by the one incompetent coaching staff the school has hired since the building opened. A school that before this current season signed a 10-year extension at $1 million per year to remain at Lincoln Financial Field can’t afford for that stadium to be empty next year or the year after like it will be on Saturday.

So whatever the school has to spend to get rid of this guy it will and it should.

Thanks for the follow, Mr. Johnson. Now please do something.

The only debate is how soon and we certainly are on the side of not soon enough because we’ve already lost enough good players to the transfer portal and Temple cannot afford to lose one more player.

In fact, Temple needs a charismatic guy right now who can attract players from the portal, rather than repel them like the current guy we have now.

Simple math should dictate the school with 26,217 undergrads deserves a better football team than the one with 3,171. It’s past time for the administration to crunch the numbers and come to the same conclusion.

Tuesday: Hopefully coverage of Monday’s press conference firing Rod Carey

Temple-Tulsa: Can the Owls make history?

On the surface, the Temple at Tulsa football game is just another game between two losing teams playing out the string in disappointing seasons.

Upon closer inspection, though, history is at stake because it will probably provide the first answer to this question ever:

Can a dumpster fire win a college football game?

A comparison between Russo 2020 and Mathis 2021
Despite playing four more games, Mathis had three fewer TD passes than Russo.

Because, based not only on the developments of this week but of the last two seasons, that’s just what Temple football has become under Rod Carey.

It has nothing to do with the wonderful kids still committed to playing for Temple nor the current administration or the fans.

It has everything to do with the CEO on the football side, Rod Carey, who has chosen to protect his NIU carpetbagging coaching cabal over advancing the program he is handsomely paid to protect.

Let’s review what has happened.

One of the top five quarterbacks in Temple history in terms of winning percentage chose to leave the program to be a backup at a Big 10 school rather than continue to play for coach Carey. A backup quarterback at an SEC school picked Temple but had his fill of Carey in less than one season and has chosen to sit out next year (2022) rather than play for Carey.

A running back from Florida who was expected to be a starter, Iverson Clement, provided evidence of coaching abuse from the current Temple strength coach. He also published text messages proving Carey lied about Iverson “leaving” the team and proved Clement’s claim that he was “kicked off” the team.

If Carey lied about that, and he did, what else has Carey lied about?

My guess is plenty.

I wish Lew Katz, the chairman of the BOT’s athletic committee, and George Moore, the school’s ex-chief university counsel, were still alive because they would probably be able to find cause to fire Carey right now. Those two men loved Temple and would have not allowed Carey to get even this far.

The team’s best running back from 2019, Ra’Mahn Davis, backed up Clement and said the same thing happened to him. The father of the team’s best linebacker from last year, Isaiah Graham-Mobley, said his son loved Temple and would have remained there had it not been for Carey. So we have the team’s two best quarterbacks from the last two years leaving, the best linebacker leaving, the best wide receiver (Jadan Blue) leaving, the best offensive lineman (Vince Picozzi) leaving, the best pass rushers of the past two years (Quincy Roche and Arnold Ebekitie) leaving, the team’s two best corners (Christian Braswell and Linwood Crump) leaving, among many, many others who, if there, no doubt would have helped the Owls pummel Tulsa.

Now it’s essentially a game with the 2019 and 2020 Temple backups being asked to beat the 2021 Tulsa starters thanks to the fact that Carey has the personality of a wet washrag in addition to being an enabler of a horrible culture.

That, plus the fact that this coaching staff has shown zero ingenuity in three years, no desire to block or return punts, no halfback passes, no double reverses, no shovel passes, etc., etc., etc. that might mix up an otherwise drab game plan.

Dumpster fire indeed.

Ironically, the person who should have left a long time ago, Carey, boarded a plane for Tulsa today and will be on the sidelines ostensibly trying to lead the Owls to a victory on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPN+).

Former TU running back Mike Mitchell echos everything I’ve heard from the 20 or so TU players on the team I have talked to so far.

Ostensibly means apparently or purportedly but not actually.

That’s the best word to describe Carey’s presence on the sidelines tomorrow.

Check that, as Harry Donahue might say.

There’s one better word.

Pyromaniac.

Picks this week: Stuck in neutral (2-2) for three straight weeks so only used the few games that stuck out like a sore thumb. Jumped on RU getting 18 at Penn State (I have a feeling that game is going to be 10 or less), MINNESOTA giving 6.5 at Indiana, and LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE getting 5.5 at Liberty. (If I was really ambitious, would also pick Memphis getting the 9.5 at Houston, UAB getting 5.5 at UTSA and SDSU laying the 10.5 at UNLV but not as confident in those as the first three.)

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.

Saturday’s complete college football TV schedule

Update: Won last week on ODU and Rutgers and lost on Troy and UCF bringing our season ATS record to 24-20-1. The Troy and UCF losses cost us $2,678.97 (really, 10 bucks).

Sunday: Game Analysis

Tuesday: Hopefully coverage of the press conference to fire Rod Carey

Somewhere, Rod Carey’s got to be talking to himself


It’s impossible to find a single photo of Rod Carey laughing and joking with Temple players like Matt Rhule does here.

The game has passed Rod Carey by and somewhere, deep down, the Temple University head coach for the next couple of games has to know it.

For the last few weeks, Carey has been on a loop at these post-game press conferences with statements like “our offense didn’t give us a chance to win” or “our defense played well enough to win” or “we’ve got to coach better.”

Deep down, even if he doesn’t say it, Carey knows what really happened. In the offseason, he harped on the “next man up” mantra but, in college football, you run out of next men up who are good enough to replace the previous men.

If he was honest with himself, he’d come to this conclusion:

“I’ve never been a player’s coach and, since the portal came, this is the worst time to be a hard ass.”

Or:

“We lost 15 good players in the transfer portal and I just didn’t do a good enough job of replacing them. I guess I just rubbed those guys the wrong way but that’s just my personality.”

That’s the Gosh-honest truth, whether he wants to admit it or not.

Even Steve Addazio was popular with Temple players.

While Temple had a mass exodus of players leaving, plenty of other G5 schools had nobody leave. CUSA champion UAB had nobody leave for Power 5 schools. Sun Belt champion Coastal Carolina had nobody leave. AAC champion Cincinnati got more players in the transfer portal than it lost. Do you think Coastal quarterback Grayson McCall could have improved his draft status by transferring to a Power 5 school? Sure. But he was happy where he was and the way he was being used.

Not true for Anthony Russo, a pocket passer who this staff tried to remake into an RPO quarterback. It would be naive to think that players like Vince Picozzi, the team’s best offensive lineman last year, or Arnold Ebiketie, the team’s best pass rusher, felt they were being utilized to the best of their abilities as well. If they were, they might have stayed.

The difference not only was that those teams were championship caliber but had coaches who were popular enough with the players and fostered a culture where everybody–both the good players and the next men up–were all in. At Temple, only the next men up were all in and that was the downfall.

Think about it. There are plenty of photos of Temple players laughing and joking with Matt Rhule, Al Golden and Steve Addazio. I have not seen a single one of a group of Temple players laughing and joking with Carey. At Temple, under Golden, Rhule and Daz (and even Geoff Collins), football was both fun and business.

Under Carey, things are pretty grim and there are fewer grins.

Temple was the hardest-hit G5 school in the transfer portal by far and the reason is as plain as the nose on Rod Carey’s face. It has shown on the field.

In a place like Northern Illinois, there was no transfer portal, Carey could hold things together because those players had no options.

Now things have fallen apart and even Humpty Dumpty can’t put it back together again.

Do you think Temple has the same mass exodus of talent with, a popular players’ coach like Matt Rhule or Al Golden?

No.

That’s a lesson for the administration when they look at the type of personality they want to bring in to replace Carey at the end of the season.

For Carey, though, the days of his style of coaching might be over and, when he talks to himself at night, that’s probably a realization he’s come to as well.

Friday: Temple-Tulsa

Temple Administration: Silence is deafening

Painting the end zones in that beautiful Cherry and White-colored design with a diamond outline and TEMPLE spelled out costs Temple University $40,000 every time they do it.

That’s one of the reasons the game against Houston on Saturday, a 37-8 loss, showed those colors only the second time this season. Coincidentally, that’s also the same amount of money it costs the university to write out a check to Rod Carey to coach the football team each week and that includes off months like January and February.

It is committed money, meaning that the uni agreed to pay it long before this disaster of a season occurred.

By not firing Carey either last week or this week, the silence coming from the administration is increasingly clear.

“We. Don’t. Have. The. Money.”

It’s deafening, really, and it was a lot louder than any cheering you could have heard in an otherwise empty stadium.

What self-respecting university allows itself to be embarrassed week after week–five weeks straight now–on national television without acting?

Temple, that’s who.

Not Texas Tech, not Akron, not TCU, Georgia Southern, LSU, UConn, and USC who found money to stop the bleeding this season.

Temple.

That’s about as embarrassing as anything we’ve seen on the field so far in the last three months and that’s pretty damn embarrassing.

That doesn’t mean Temple won’t find the money at the end of the season but why wait if it’s inevitable anyway?

That old saying “you’ve got to spend money to make money” is especially true the way college football currently is constructed. Already, Jadan Blue looked at the fact that he was just five catches short of breaking the school career record and said, “thanks, but no thanks” because he didn’t want to spend another week with Rod Carey. To think that he is the only good player on the roster who has come to that conclusion is really naive. Right now, the kids need a signal that the university knows there’s a problem with the coaching and help is on the way so hold tight and don’t leave.

Temple’s administration should follow the lead of one of its all-time record-setters and say “thanks but no thanks” to just one more day of Rod Carey.

If it costs the Owls not painting the end zones next year or the year after that, it’s a price that should be paid. Move the money around to stop this madness now.

Otherwise, they will have dug themselves a hole so deep that it will take them five years to field a team worthy of that name in the end zone.

Tuesday: Talking to himself

In lieu of no press conference, we have this …

Temple employee caught both watching the clock and punching out early.

In lieu of no press conference coverage, a couple of housekeeping things will be covered in today’s post.

We really thought there was a 50/50 shot of Temple firing Rod Carey in a Monday noon press conference so not having one to write about is both disappointing and discouraging. Temple is moving at a snail’s pace on this important issue and, while disheartening, not surprising given Temple’s history.

This school doesn’t know how to fire a coach it seems.

So a couple of other topics to discuss.

One of the drawbacks of putting yourself out in a public space like this one is that people can accuse you of everything under the sun and have zero evidence to prove it.

Let’s just take a couple of things we were accused of last week.

One, that I called for Temple to drop down to the Patriot League in my last post.

(No, that was Fizzy.)

Two, I championed Rod Carey as head coach BEFORE he got the Temple job.

(No, I wanted Chris Creighton, Neal Brown and Lance Leipold.)

Of course, none of these people ever doing the accusing have the receipts.

We do.

This was the first paragraph that appeared last week:

  “EDITOR’S NOTE:     The following is Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub’s take on the current Temple football situation. (Aside: I could not disagree more with almost all of this but will hold off on my reasoning until after other posters react.) Since Fizzy is a loyal Owl and former player, I will defend his right to say this. ” _ Temple Football Forever, Nov. 1, 2021

“I could not disagree more with almost all of this … “

In what world is that an endorsement from me for Temple to drop to the Patriot League?

First, Temple should not go to the Patriot League nor should it play games at Franklin Field. That’s returning to the bad old days. When you’ve had fans who have seen Heaven, they won’t pick Hell as an alternative. Temple in the Patriot League or playing at Franklin Field wouldn’t draw flies nor could Temple attract good coaches or players for that slop.

“He tweeted out Doug Pederson would be a home run hire” was a criticism of this. Err, outside-the-box doesn’t mean home run. For the record, Al Golden=HR; Gabe Infante=Stand up triple; Gary Patterson=double high off the wall; Pederson=line drive single to right; Rod Carey=strikeout.

The problem with Temple is not the players. When Temple has a great coach (Wayne Hardin, Al Golden, Matt Rhule), it does extremely well with some very good teams. One of those teams will be honored at Saturday’s Houston game (noon, ESPN+), the 2009 Eagle Bank Bowl squad. Rhule had consecutive 10-win seasons. Even with mediocre coaches like Steve Addazio and Geoff Collins, Temple was able to win bowl games. Low key, Bruce Arians may have done the most remarkable job of all of them–two six-win seasons against two Top 10 schedules. To put that in perspective, Temple has not played a schedule any tougher than No. 74 since Golden arrived on campus 16 years ago. The 2016 Matt Rhule championship team played against the No. 87-toughest schedule in the country. Arians had no facilities compared to the teams he had to face.

So instead of getting a new league, it would seem to me the solution would be getting a great coach and returning to the Temple TUFF mentality of Golden and Rhule. There’s no way you can convince me that Al Golden would want the UCONN job over the Temple job, so not moving fast to get rid of Carey is really costing Temple the opportunity of plugging Golden back in here–if that’s what they want to do. Why not give yourself that option?

Second, this is the only thing I said about Carey BEFORE he got the Temple job (and here is the complete link to that story):

Another named mentioned on Sunday, Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey, would be nowhere near as attractive as Leipold. Kraft played offensive line at Indiana. Carey played center at the same school. No doubt in my mind they know each other and that might have something to do with it. Geez, wish Pat played with Leipold because Carey is 0-6 in bowl games.” _ Temple Football Forever, Jan. 7, 2019

Of course, none of these people will ever correct the record so we have to do that here.

AFTER he got the job, I supported him only because I wanted him to win. The first time I realized it wouldn’t work out was the 55-13 loss to North Carolina in the Military Bowl and we wrote this that day. That came in the same year Temple lost to UCF, 63-21, and SMU, 45-21. That was stunning because in the decade previous Temple did not have a single year with three blowouts like that.

It has spiraled out of control since then, and while all the signals we are receiving say the administration has heard and gets it, the proof is doing something about it and yesterday may have been too late.

Waiting even one more day is postponing a needed housekeeping job on a messy front porch. Not only are the neighbors noticing, but so is the entire college football world.

Friday: Houston Temple Right and Wrong

Sunday: Game Analysis

Tuesday: Talking to Himself

(A firing press conference would change this schedule, of course)