College football is a bottom-line business.
We won’t know for another nine or so months whether or not head coach Stan Drayton is doing a good job at Temple unless the number on the left (wins) is higher than the one on the right (losses).
For now, though, we have some clues.
The first transfer portal window is still active but, so far, the misguided decision of Darian Varner to leave Temple and the best defensive line coach he ever had (Antonine Smith) looks like it might come back to bite him and could be the only signifcant portal loss for the Owls.
Otherwise, Temple has kept its two best players (quarterback E.J. Warner on offense and Layton Jordan on defense) and that’s a reflection of those two guys buying into the vision of Drayton. His preaching that they are thisclose to winning a championship is reaching a choir.
First things first.
To win, you’ve got to keep the good guys and add other good guys and Drayton is the polar opposite of former head coach Rod Carey in that regard.
Even in these days of crazy transfer portal happenings, Temple has kept most of the good guys.
The general long-term plan for Temple has to be getting in a Power 5 conference but the specific plan now is to copy the model of success established by other G5 teams.
Keeping their players.
According to transfer portal expert Mike Farrell, the two teams that kept the most players a year ago were Troy and UAB.
Temple is at the top of that list this year after being at the bottom a year ago.
Troy went from 5-7 last year to winning a G5 title this year. UAB also had a successful season.
Can Temple success in one area improve the bottom line?
That remains to be seen but the Owls did add explosive playmakers on the outside, depth on both the offensive and defensive lines, and speed in the secondary. The Owls even added an experienced kickoff returner and a deep kickoff specialist.
All things they needed.
Keeping the team together is one thing.
To me, they need a big-time 1,000-yard rusher and they don’t have one now. Thinking they can turn a true freshman, Joquez Smith, into one is way too much of a risk.
They definitely need a Paul Palmer, a guy who was overlooked because he was 5-9, 165 pounds out of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md. and, in Penn State portal guy Keyvone Lee, that guy is available. Paul is in his 50s right now and out of eligibility, but Lee could fit the bill.
Surely, Drayton knows.
Whether or not he sees Lee as a final piece to a puzzle almost finished could be the difference between 6-6 and 8-4 next season.
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