How UAB’s Bill Clark made football fun again

Depending upon the source, Temple’s administration is close to naming a “permanent” athletic director to replace the apparently disinterested Fran Dunphy.

Close could mean weeks or months. Knowing Temple as I do, it probably means longer than that but there is always hope.

One of those prominently mentioned is UAB’s Mark Ingram, who was one-time associate athletic director at Temple.

The Owls could do much worse.

Mark Ingram could probably fix what ails Temple

Ingram was a frequent visitor to Lot K and ingratiated himself with many Owl fans with his personality.

The theory is that Ingram is much more suited to name a new head football coach than Dunphy should things fall off the rails as expected in 2021.

If Ingram names a head coach, it would probably be someone like Bill Clark, the 2018 college football coach of the year.

Clark has made football fun again after UAB dropped the sport for a year. The Blazers came back in 2017 and have been in three-straight Conference USA title games, winning two, including the most recent one.

Behind twitter paywalls, Mark Ingram’s name is being mentioned prominently as Temple’s next permanent AD.

If there’s anything apparent about Temple football under Rod Carey, is that it has not been fun. Temple leads the nation in portal transfers and several ex-players–Freddy Booth-Lloyd to mention one–say they’ve talked to several current members of the team and “they are not feeling Carey.”

Which is urban slang for they don’t like him.

Clark made the UAB program an immediate winner by heavily relying on JUCO transfers and, with the program established as a winner right away, used that winning to attract three top CUSA recruiting classes. On top of that, UAB is the polar opposite of Temple in the portal, able to retain most of its players.

Ingram helped Clark revive the UAB program and, by all accounts, the two are very good friends. There is another program on life support that Ingram knows well and deserves to be revived. Carey is making a base salary of $2 million. Clark is making a base salary $555,000. One of them is underpaid and one is overpaid.

Would Clark come to Temple?

Who knows but hiring Ingram would be a very good carrot and the E-O would probably be a lot more fun place to do the work necessary to get Temple back on the stick.

Friday: What Joe Temple Fan Can Do

Monday: The Known and the Unknown

Everybody plays before Temple

As I write this, I’m watching the UAB Blazers taking on the Miami Hurricanes in a college football game and shaking my head in the process.

You remember the ‘Canes. That was supposed to be Temple’s opener five days ago. That game was scrapped as the ACC decided to postpone the opening of the season.

Rumors were a month ago that Temple and Pitt tentatively agreed to play a game this weekend but that was also tabled because of the City of Philadelphia’s practice restrictions on Temple.


Imagine all of the
Penn State players
and fans sitting
home watching TU-Pitt

 

That’s the same city that placed no such practice restrictions on the other Lincoln Financial Field tenant, the Eagles, who are playing this weekend. COVID-19 must be much worse in North Philadelphia than South Philly. There really has not been a satisfactory answer to the question why the Eagles get different treatment from the city than the Owls in the area of practice restrictions. Pittsburgh, a city in the same state, placed no such restrictions on the Panthers.

The last time the Owls opened in October did not turn out well.

UAB’s athletic director is Mark Ingram, who was rumored to be a leading candidate for the Temple job before Fran Dunphy was chosen as a stop-gap measure. It seems to me that Ingram, who is familiar with Temple having been here before, would have been able to navigate the dilemma facing the Owls and facilitated a temporary practice move to Ambler so the Owls could get ready for Pitt.

Dunphy probably doesn’t think outside the box like that.

That game would have been a terrific middle finger to a rival of both teams, Penn State. Imagine all of the Penn State players and fans sitting at home watching Temple and Pitt play. That would have been sweet. It would have been, in my mind, a terrific game, with former Temple commit Kenny Pickett battling Anthony Russo in nice quarterback battle.

Another missed opportunity by the Temple administration.

Now with the Navy game moved to October every single AAC team will have played before the Owls. The record will show that the first fumble of the season will have come not in the Navy game, but in the AD’s office at the Star Complex, 15th and Montgomery.

Whether the Owls will recover is a question yet to be answered but the last time they started a season in October it didn’t turn out well for the Cherry and White. They finished 0-8.

Let’s all pray similar circumstances lead to opposite results this season but from where I sit, watching UAB and Miami and wondering why Temple isn’t playing, does not give me the warm and fuzzies.

Monday: Checkers and Chess

An interview primer for TU’s next AD

zamani

This could be Temple after winning the Cotton Bowl under the next AD. (Photo courtesy of Zamani Feelings.)

Because Pat Kraft agreed to remain on at Temple until July 1 to ease the transition in the athletic department at Temple University, the Board of Trustees now has some time to get the right fit for its next sports steward.

Let’s hope it’s put to good use.

Screenshot 2020-06-03 at 9.36.12 PM

UAB athletic director Mark Ingram could be THE GUY for Temple.

Simply, the next AD has to be one to sell the BOT that the vision of Temple University is to join the other 64 great universities in the Power 5.

Playing Wagner, Lafayette, Rhode Island and Norfolk State in football is blurring that vision and not providing the right prescription for 2020 and beyond.

That’s why this interview process is the most important one. Asking the right questions and getting the right answers so here is how that process could go. THE GUY will be able to provide those answers.

BOT: I’ve heard you want the job. Sell us on why you are the guy.

THE GUY: Temple belongs in the top 65, not the bottom 65, and everything I’m going to do is designed to get us there. First, while I know Pat and like Pat, I’m was and always will be against playing the Stony Brooks and the Bucknells and I let him know that.

BOT: Why?

THE GUY: Let me give you an example. In 2016, we won the AAC and probably should have been in the Cotton Bowl but Western Michigan got that spot. If, say, instead of beating Stony Brook 38-0 at home that year, we win at Florida State, 35-14, we’d probably get that Cotton Bowl. Since we gave Penn State a better game on the road that year than Wisconsin did in the Big 10 title game at a neutral site, we probably had a decent chance at winning the Cotton Bowl. That’s one thing.

BOT: What’s the other?

THE GUY: The other is what happens in the future if we strike lightning in the bottle and go 12-0. If a couple of those 12 are Lafayette and Rhode Island, we have no shot at the college football playoff. The first thing I’m going to do is get out of those types of contracts, have one less home game and start picking up 2-for-1s with P5 schools. That’s going to benefit us in the long run. If we substitute two road P5 wins for those FCS wins, we become the first G5 team invited to the four-team playoff. Say, instead of beating Rhode Island, 59-0, and Lafayette, 55-12, we go to Indiana and beat Purdue, 30-19 and take down Washington State, 23-18, in Pullman, that’s the difference.

BOT: Why does that benefit us?

THE GUY: Our attendance goes up from a 28,000 average to nearly 50K and our TV ratings in the largest available market to the Power 5 also doubles. When the next round of expansion comes in 2023, we get invited and the rest of the G5 becomes marginalized and forced to have their own championship, a minor league of college football. Temple in my mind is not minor league nor should it be in yours. We have a small opening in that window and I’m going to pry open that window for us and get us all to the other side.

BOT: Gentlemen, as Bill Bradshaw wrote on that yellow legal pad some 15 years ago, this is our guy. Congratulations, Mark, you start on July 2.

Monday: The Kraft Post-Mortem

Saturday: Some Early Stat Predictions

Monday (6/15): A special addition

Saturday (6/20): A sad subtraction

Monday: (6/22): How other AAC approach schedules

Saturday (6/27): Drop Dead Date