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.”


“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?


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


Three Identical Strangers: TU, NIU, Miami


Hopefully, Rod Carey keeps the Cherry helmets this fall

Nothing I see on TV usually blows my mind.

Like everything, there are always exceptions to the rule and the recent CNN documentary “Three Identical Strangers” falls into that category. Without getting deep into it, it was about three young men separated at birth on July 12, 1961, intentionally by an adoption agency as a case study for the effects of nurturing versus naturing.

The college football version of that show is far less intense and intrusive but the study elements are close this fall. The case studies will be separated not by 100 miles or less but by about 500 miles West and 1,000 miles south of Philadelphia.

Proven coaching or talent. Young, unproven coaching or talent.

The question in the fall of 2019 will be: Given the somewhat equal talent in three separate settings does a proven head coach produce a more desirable result (winning) than a hot assistant?

My theory is that Temple football dodged two big bullets over the last decade, separated by one letter.

Daz and Diaz.

Had Steve Addazio stayed at Temple, the Owls probably would have tapped out at the seven-win mark, a number that has concerned the powers-that-be at Boston College so much that they worked in an eight-win minimum into his contract extension this season.

Manny Diaz would have been a college football version of one-and-done but never got to that point. Temple did not need to hire another head coach for one year only to see him leave because, at some point, the instability has to take a toll on recruiting.

“You don’t want to go there,” the bad guys will begin to tell recruits, “they change coaches every year.”

That begs the question: Why can’t Temple have both excellence and stability?

Rod Carey, who by any account, gave Northern Illinois that for the last six years, shows a lot of signs of being the real deal. If the Owls dodged a bullet with Daz and Diaz, they may have the benefit of getting a lot of ammunition from Carey for their weapons.

The lab experiment for this theory will take place in three places: Philadelphia, DeKalb, and Miami.

Only one of the schools hired a proven winner as a head coach. The others took a flyer on unproven assistants as Baltimore Ravens’ running back coach Thomas Hammock was hired by NIU and Diaz went back to Miami.

Interestingly enough, all three schools return 14 starters from the 2018 squads. If the Owls are able to record the most wins of the three schools, the data won’t be complete on this experiment but will certainly point to a brighter future in Philadelphia than those other towns.

From a talent standpoint versus their respective leagues, there is not much to chose from the three experimental samples.

By December, someone should be able to write a pretty good case study.

Tuesday: Dear Rod Letter

Thursday: Who’s Coming and Going?

Saturday: Signing Day No. 2

Tuesday (2/12): Plugging Holes


BC-TU Preview: 5 Truths About The Game


The old saying is that respect is earned, not given, and there is no better opportunity for the Temple football Owls to earn it by winning in Boston (technically, Chestnut Hill) Massachusetts in a high noon Saturday showdown.

Win, and the Owls finish the Power 5 part of their schedule a 2-0 record against pretty good teams. Lose, and the national commentators will point to the Maryland win as a fluke. Win, and the Owls are largely forgiven nationally (if not locally) for that brutal opening-game loss.



Addazio Effect Doesn’t Exist

Much will be made about the “Steve Addazio Effect” in this one but, in truth (there’s that word again), it does not exist. The single oldest player on this Temple squad, Frankie “Juice” Nutile, was recruited by Matt Rhule during his first year. “I really liked the pro-set offense that coach Rhule runs,” Nutile said on the day he was recruited. “I’m not going to lie, I’m not a read-option guy. I really like the direction coach Rhule has the program in and I think we’re going to be really good.” I’m sure the current players have heard of Daz, but none of them have a beef with him.  If this game occurred the year after Daz left for Boston College, you would have been able to see the fire come out of the Temple players’ helmets. These guys do not know Daz. That said, the 1,000 or so Temple fans who make the trip will be ecstatic to beat a guy who they were excited to see leave. There was much consternation at 10th and Diamond when Al Golden and Matt Rhule left. There was not a single Temple fan who was unhappy to see Addazio leave. If Geoff Collins beats him, he will be a hero in Philadelphia for a long, long time.


The Temple fan section is O (for Owls) tomorrow

BC does not respect Temple

At least 99.9 percent of the fans don’t. Many of the comments on the main BC message board site about the game go something like this:


Now that doesn’t mean the TEAM disrespects the Owls, but if that much of the fanbase does, it must filter down into the psyche of the team. A lot of the people are pointing to Villanova and Buffalo losses as a counter to the Owls beating Maryland, but none are factoring into the equation that a new quarterback starter probably had a lot to do with the positive results of the last two games.




QB Dilemma: The Easiest Decision in the History of Sports

Probably a non-issue–or what should be a non-issue–is the fact that, according to head coach Geoff Collins, “Frankie Nutile is getting close to 100 percent.” Err, why the rush? The easiest decision in the history of sports is to start a guy who is 2-0 with wins over Maryland and Tulsa over a guy who is 0-2 with losses to a MAC team and Villanova.

No-brainer means if you start anyone other than Anthony Russo you have no brains. If the Owls start Frankie Juice, they might win but they open themselves up to all kinds of unnecessary criticism if they don’t.

Maryland is Better than BC

No doubt, Maryland is a SIGNIFICANTLY better team than Boston College. My Vegas guy says if those two teams played tomorrow, the Terrapins would probably be a touchdown favorite.  Sagarin has Maryland ranked ahead of both Oregon and Boston College. That does not mean because Temple beat Maryland that it will beat Boston College but the Owls have no reason (zero) to be intimidated by the Eagles. On a physical level, the Owls pushed Maryland around and dominated. There is no reason to believe they cannot do the same on Saturday–especially if they utilize the same offensive game plan. Thing is, do you trust this staff to do that?



It comes down to Dogbe, Archibong and FBL

If the Owls defensive line stuffs Heisman candidate A.J. Dillon, they can dictate the game. Everyone at Temple knows Daz loves to establish the run and make explosive plays in the downfield play-action passing game. Michael Dogbe, Dan Archibong and Freddy Booth-Lloyd are proven run-stoppers and, if they are up to the challenge, Daz passes on third down and opens himself up to the kind of Mayhem that can be caused by edge rushers like Quincy Roche and starting tailback Ryquell Armstead. They have not been great against the run this year, though, but they need to at least be at the level of play they established in five of the last six games a year ago. If they are, third down could result in fumbles and interception opportunities for the Owls.

Sunday: Game Analysis


Temple Football Forever Picks This Week

Game Favorite Prediction/Reasoning
Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan EMU by 3.5 Eastern Michigan won at Purdue and lost in overtime at San Diego State, which might be the best G5 team out there.

Eastern Michigan, 24-10

Virginia at NC State NC State by 7 Virginia beat a pretty good Ohio team badly two weeks ago. NC State is good, but not seven points better.

NC State, 20-17

Texas State at TCU TCU by 11 Texas State lost to Rutgers. TCU, 44-7
Purdue at Nebraska Purdue by 3 Much was made of Purdue’s 0-3 start but all were close games to good teams and the Boilermakers beat BC last week. Nebraska lost at home to Troy.

Purdue, 24-7

Louisiana Tech at North Texas North Texas by 7.5 North Texas went to Arkansas and won, 44-17. This is a legitimate squad.

North Texas, 31-10.

Florida Atlantic at Middle Tennessee FAU by 4 Lane Kiffin is highly motivated to position himself for another P5 head job. He’s got some talent.

FAU, 31-22

Last week: 5-1 overall, 4-2 Against The Spread

Season Record: 8-4

Against The Spread:7-5

The Irony of Temple-BC

Interesting that Daz takes credit for a practice facility that was largely built 10 years before he got here (16-minute timestamp).

Irony is one of the most misused words in the English language, but Saturday’s noon showdown in Chestnut Hill, Mass. between Temple and Boston College is dripping in this definition of it:

“a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.”

In this case, the irony is not that the Owls will be facing a guy in Steve Addazio, who not only left Temple (after pledging eternal loyalty) for two years. That’s a coincidence, not ironic.

It will be simply this:


You want facts? Patenaude’s offense for Temple (out of 127 teams): Passing=89th; Rushing=105; Team=112; Obviously, what he is doing is not working


Boston College is running the same offense Temple should be running now, while Temple is fumbling and stumbling through the same offense Matt Rhule struggled with in his first two years before abandoning it for one that personified the core principles of Temple TUFF established by Wayne Hardin and Bruce Arians and followed through by Al Golden.

By “deliberately contrary to what one would expect” we’re talking about the offense Daz ran here his second year, which broken down into basics was: run, run, throw (sack), punt. During his first year at Temple, Scot Loeffler was in charge of the offense and it was based on the concepts that the Owls always won by: Establish the run behind two tight ends and a fullback, force the safeties and linebackers up to the line of scrimmage where they would be susceptible to play-action passes. Loeffler went onto Virginia Tech after his first year here and Daz went back to the habits he formed at Florida. Now that Loeffler is in charge, Daz has made him “head coach of the offense” and that’s why the BC offense is succeeding where Temple’s is failing.

In Boston, it is run the ball behind an elite tailback (A.J. Dillon) and use play action to make explosive downfield plays in the passing game. Know any other team that has an elite tailback with explosive downfield receivers? If it doesn’t piss you off that Ventell Bryant and Isaiah Wright aren’t getting any separation, it should. It is not the fault of the kids, either; same players got routinely wide open under Matt Rhule’s play-action-oriented scheme. Those guys can do so much damage in a pro set but Patenaude wants nothing to do with it. In any other job, that would be considered malfeasance.

We saw a glimpse of that offense for Temple in Maryland, when the Owls were disciplined enough to stay focused in an H-back blocking look for their own elite tailback, Ryquell Armstead, whose success in the run game set up some nice play-action looks in the passing game for unbeaten quarterback Anthony Russo. Success in the run game allowed Russo to fake an out beautifully to Bryant (who sold it with a great leap) and that drew two Maryland defensive backs to Bryant, allowing tight end Kenny Yeboah to run free.

Yeboah and Chris Myarick not only blocked well but caught key passes to keep the sticks moving. Temple really had not used its tight ends effectively in the Dave Patenaude Error until that afternoon.


If it doesn’t piss you off that Ventell Bryant and Isaiah Wright aren’t getting any separation, it should. It is not the fault of the kids, either; same receivers got routinely wide open under Matt Rhule’s play-action-oriented scheme


Last week, against Tulsa, the Owls lapsed into the same unfocused look they showed in losses to Buffalo and Villanova. It was not a good look.

This is the same kind of crisis Rhule had after his second year at the helm. His talent dictated run/play action but his offensive coordinator at the time, Marcus Satterfield, was stubborn about running the spread look. Rhule had the cojones to demote Satterfield to wide receiver coach and hire a guy from the Atlanta Falcons, Glenn Thomas, who implemented a more pro-style look that coincided with the Temple TUFF brand.

So far, it looks like Temple head coach Geoff Collins is satisfied with handing the keys of his offense over to a drunk driver rather than someone with vision and sharp reflexes. Maybe that will change. Maybe it will be Saturday. We saw this movie before, though. All last year and three of the four games this year.

It’s like Waiting for Godot.

The essence of great coaching is to get the most out of the talent you have, not the talent you want. Establish the run behind a great tailback in Ryquell Armstead following a great blocking fullback in Rob Ritrovato and immensely talented receivers like Bryant,  Wright and Branden Mack can get the kind of separation they need to cause serious damage.

Boston College runs the exact same offense Temple should be running with its personnel. That’s irony. The Temple challenge on this Saturday will rest in being smart enough to fight BC’s fire with some of the same fire of its own.

Friday: BC Preview

New Uniforms?


These uniforms are probably the best ones featuring the Temple ‘][‘ on the helmet

In the grand scheme of things, uniforms rate somewhat behind coaching, talent, practice facilities, stadiums and fan bases in terms of importance.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t important at all because they are.

During one of the great Temple wins recently—an overtime win at UConn in 2012 that made the Owls 2-0 in a one-time BCS league—it was with great pride that I noted that the Owls did it wearing what I thought was their best uniform combination:

Cherry pants, white stripes, white jerseys, cherry helmets.slight

They played well and looked good.

It is against that backdrop that I cringed when I heard Temple was getting new uniforms by the end of this month.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

At Temple, it ain’t broke but fixing it could break it.

All over the NCAA, I see teams with awful-looking so-called “modern” uniforms—Maryland comes in the 2011 Temple game comes to mind here—getting their asses kicked by more traditional uniforms.

Temple’s uniforms have remained pretty much the same through the years.

When Al Golden got here, he eliminated the Temple ][ on the helmets for a very good reason because he felt the “football brand” at Temple when he played at Penn State represented toughness and that brand was having TEMPLE spelled out across the helmets.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 31 Temple at Navy

That brand was created by Wayne Hardin in 1970.

“We want people to know who were are,” Hardin said. “We’re Temple. We’re spelling it on the helmets so they won’t forget who we are. There are plenty of schools that have T’s on the helmet but not many that spell the name.”

That brand continued until Jerry Berndt brought the T back because Penn, the Philadelphia team he formerly coached, had a P on it.

To me,  that wasn’t a very good reason.

Golden brought TEMPLE back on the helmet and that lasted until a bald-headed guy who shall remain nameless brought the T back. I’m OK with the ‘][‘ because it is the school brand but not OK with an entirely new look because it is supposed to be attractive to recruits.

Something tells me the new uniforms are going to be closer to a Maryland-type monstrosity—the Under Armour CEO is a Maryland grad—than a more traditional Temple look.

Whatever it is, if the word TEMPLE comes back on the helmet, that would be an acceptable step forward and a fitting tribute to the Hardin Era.

Monday: Spring Phenoms Old and New

Wednesday: The Scrimmage

Friday: 5 Things To Look For At Cherry and White

2018 P5 Opponents: Maryland and Boston College


As Central Florida found out this season, nothing makes a statement for a Group of Five program than a win or two over Power 5 teams.

The first statement—a 38-10 win on the road over a Maryland team which beat Texas (which beat USC)—was impressive enough, but beating an Auburn team that beat the both Alabama and Georgia took it to another level.

Not enough to finish in the top four, but a statement on the way to an unbeaten season nonetheless.

Temple, in its own way, has a path to such a statement by wins against the aforementioned Maryland team and Steve Addazio’s Boston College squad.

Hard, but doable.


That’s what sets the 2018 season apart from the 2017.

The Owls play both Maryland and Boston College and, with those wins and a win over a Power 5 team in a bowl game, would restore a brand closer to what Matt Rhule left after a pair of 10-win seasons than the hit that took a slight hit with a 7-6 one in Geoff Collins’ first season.

If the Owls will be, as Collins has said, a “ridiculous” team next year, there is no reason to believe they can’t pull those two wins off. I assume Collins means ridiculously good because he talks the kids’ lingo.  Call me skeptical about the Owls replacing two great wide receivers, two good edge rushers and an 3/4s of a defensive secondary. Losing the “best fullback in the country” probably not will be as devastating as I thought it was going to be four months ago because the Owls’ brain trust did not use him over the last two months.

Maryland made it a lot harder by hiring former Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater. Taver Johnson, the Owls’ current coordinator, doesn’t have a resume approaching Heater’s—the last Temple DC to post consecutive shutouts and a guy who Urban Meyer called a “Miracle Worker” leading the defense of his 2010 Florida Gator national championship team.

Boston College, despite a solid season last year, could be a relatively easier nut to crack simply because of the matchups. BC lost to a Syracuse team that lost to Middle Tennessee State, so anything is possible. Any Temple fan will tell you that Addazio’s affinity for the run game borders on obsession and Temple, if anything, should have a good run-stopping defense next  year and be vulnerable to the pass. If Daz follows the pattern he set at Temple—run, run, sack, punt—the Owls should be in good shape. Still, Boston College won five of its last six games to earn a Pinstripe Bowl bid.

So there are signs that this is probably not the Daz we know and hate.

Either way, both Maryland and BC add some spice to a schedule that has been peppered with too many Stony Brooks and Villanovas over the last couple of years.

Scheduling P5 teams is one thing but, if you are going to schedule them, you might as well follow Central Florida’s lead and go ahead and beat them.

Wednesday: Commitment Issues

Friday: Housecleaning Questions

Mulligans and Aliens


Temple should have capitalized on having this to recruit a decent class this season.

A friend who is an amateur astronomer posted a photo of some far-off galaxy on Facebook and apologized for the quality of the photo due to atmospheric conditions.

A Virginia Tech model,
where you make a bowl
every year and reach
up and win a title
here and there, should
be a realistic
expectation for Temple
at the G5 level

My response was that someone from that galaxy probably posted a photo of the Milky Way with the same apology on, say, Cleon Facebook.

In other words, we’re not alone.

It’s a lesson Temple football fans would be wise to understand today, a couple of weeks after Signing Day. The prevalent feeling on the major Owl message board (Shawn Pastor’s OwlsDaily) is that we’re giving new head coach Geoff Collins a Mulligan on this class, but the next class better be good.

The lesson should have been don’t look back because the other beings in this football universe might be gaining on you.

That’s where the other guy comes in because new coach Charlie Strong did not need a Mulligan to haul in a significantly better class for USF and former Temple head coaches Al Golden, Steve Addazio and Matt Rhule did not need a Mulligan in their first transition classes. Despite working about a month, the classes that Golden, Addazio and Rhule brought in their first time were ranked significantly higher than Collins’ first class.

In between preparing for a medical procedure I should have done 10 years ago but had been putting off, I found a little bit of time to look at those classes.

The Charlie Strong class was easy to find. The other classes were much harder to quantify against this one. (You really only know four years from now but you can compare them against how they were ranked at the time.)  According to, Strong’s USF transition class this season was ranked No. 95th with seven three stars. In roughly the same time frame to recruit, Collins had Temple was 127th with only three three-stars. In the same conference, both teams with a new head coach, a significant gap in results.

Strong did not have a championship trophy to carry around on a helicopter, either. It’s fair to compare the two classes. Because we have evidence to work with given roughly the same circumstances, Collins should have done better. You can talk all you want about how it is the “Temple Way” to recruit two stars and coach them up to four stars but if you get three stars, your mathematical chances of coaching them up to four- and five-stars improve. Temple should be OK next year, but the impact of this class won’t be felt until three or four years down the road and that is how a foundation is laid for sustainable success, not just one “up” season followed by a “down” season. At Temple, the goal should not be “up and down” seasons like so many other schools seem to have. A Virginia Tech model, where you make a bowl every year and reach up and win a title here and there, should be a realistic expectation for Temple at the G5 level.

An AAC trophy should have meant a better haul than the 2017 class Collins was able to bring to 10th and Diamond and long-term is where the impact will be felt. Without helicopters or AAC trophies, Temple coaches have done better with roughly a month to recruit.



While it might have been tough to expect Collins to do a whole lot with this class, the evidence is there in black and white that he should have done better. In college football, getting to the top is tough but staying there is tougher so capitalizing on a championship season when you can with recruiting should have been prioritized.

There are a lot of football teams in this universe and, if you slip up one year, they could be passing you in two or three. There are no Mulligans when you are not alone.

Saturday: Fun With Graphics

The Curse of Russell Conwell


Forget about the famous baseball curses cast on the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, which were only recently overcome.

There is one curse that is still alive in sports and that is the Curse of Russell Conwell.

Somewhere up there, Conwell has cast a curse on the last three coaches to leave his beloved Temple University and its football program.


Al Golden left for Miami and was greeted with sanctions that made it impossible to win there. Steve Addazio has taken his three-yards-and-a-cloud of dust offense to Boston College and went winless in the ACC two years ago. The jury is still out on Addazio, but it is leaning toward a unanimous conviction. Matt Rhule left Temple no more than two months ago and could hit with sanctions that would make the ones Golden received looked like a slap on the wrist.

Whatever happens going forward, you could win a lot of money in Vegas betting against any of the three having a long winning career as a college football head coach.

These are the facts that we know to this date and it is not a pretty picture. New Temple head coach Geoff Collins would be wise to stare at this portrait and get some deep meaning out of it.

All three of those coaches could have had a job at Temple for life—or at least a very long rope with to work with—but all three thought the grass was greener on the other side of the Chodoff Field fence.  In fact, there has been no grass on the other side of that fence, only dust. The only value in the move was monetary and money will not last forever.

Conwell, in some type of afterlife, must be working some serious Voodoo pins with Golden, Daz and Rhule bobble heads.

About the time Conwell founded Temple University, he was the best-known lecturer in the United States, playing to sellout crowds who wanted to hear his story of the man who traveled the world in search of riches only to find “Acres of Diamonds” in his own backyard.

Most of the Temple coaches who found substance in Conwell’s story went on to finish with better careers at Temple than they would have leaving on their own for far-off places. Harry Litwack went to a pair of Final Fours. Skip Wilson won over 1,000 baseball games without the benefit of warm-weather recruits. Under Wilson, the Owls went to a pair of College World Series. John Chaney made five Elite Eights. Wayne Hardin went 80-52-2 and made the College Football Hall of Fame. All made Temple their final stop on the coaching highway.

Those, by any standards, are success stories. Leave Temple or attempt to use this great institution as a stepping stone and the story will not have a happy ending. Compare and contrast those success stories to the ones facing the last three Temple football coaches who left on their own.

Maybe when Collins comes to that inevitable fork in the road, he will take a good look at the map and head down the road less (recently) traveled.  Russell Conwell may be watching from above.

Monday: Looking Ahead to Spring Ball

Wednesday: Press Conference Translations

The Wrong 6-6 ACC Team

This is the ceremony we stayed for despite being told to leave for the bus right after the game. Me and a fellow great Temple fan made alternate plans of Ubering it home if the bus left without us.

Obviously, the people who make the matchups on NCAA basketball Selection Sunday with an eye for storylines do not work on the NCAA football bowl side.

For years, the NCAA hoops people have been accused of pairing foes based on what would make a better story over legitimate seeding bracketing.

“I absolutely think that’s the case,” Temple head basketball coach Fran Dunphy said after the Owls were slotted down a couple of notches from what they should have been (2010 season) in order to play No. 12-seeded Cornell, coached by his old assistant, Steve Donahue.

That wasn’t the only instance on the basketball side, all you have to do is look at this year when Shaka Smart’s Texas team was paired against his old team, VCU, and Sean Miller’s Arizona team was placed in the same bracket as Dayton, coached by his younger brother.

Boy, they could have used that formula on the football side this year because they got the wrong 6-6 ACC team to face Temple in the Military Bowl in Wake Forest. They swung and missed on this one.


It was a no-brainer to invite Boston College and old Temple coach Steve Addazio to the Military Bowl party. First of all, there is no love lost among the current Temple players for Addazio. Haason Reddick was not even allowed to take reps in practice under the Addazio regime. He will now be a first-round NFL draft pick or at worst a second-round selection.

The sight of that bald head on the other side of the Temple sideline probably would be enough to motivate even more Temple fans to go because there is also no love lost for a guy who was full of baloney the two years he was here. Addazio said Temple was his “dream job” and talked about how he wanted to stay in Philadelphia forever because he was an Italian guy who loved the South Philly macaroni. He never saw his third year and did the Owls a favor by leaving and taking his three-yards-and-a-cloud of dust offense with him. As soon as he got to the podium in Boston, he talked about BC being his dream job. A Delaware County Daily Times’ writer then came up with this clever line: “A football coach calling Boston College his dream job is a little like a chef calling  Boston Market his dream job.”

Instead of being sent to Annapolis on Dec. 27, Boston College was banished to Detroit to face Maryland the day earlier.

That’s too bad because the more compelling storyline is with a BC-Temple game and not a Temple-Wake Forest one. The ratings would have been off the charts because two large TV markets (Philadelphia and Boston) would be involved and not just Philadelphia and the small Raleigh-Durham market. Plus, there is a history between BC and Temple that dates even before the Big East. There is no history between Wake and Temple, other than one game played in 1930 that probably no one remembers. There also is a history between Wake and former ACC partner Maryland, so that’s a trade that benefits all four ball clubs.

It’s probably too late to send Wake Forest to Detroit to face Maryland, but it is a nice thought. While we’re at it, here is another one: Football should adopt the basketball version of the “eye test” because, if that were used, Temple’s wins over Navy and USF plus the championship of the sixth-best conference would have vaulted the Owls into the Cotton Bowl over a Western Michigan team that has no such credentials.

As far as Selection Sundays go, in at least a couple of important areas, football has a lot to learn from basketball.

Thursday: Elephant Hunting

Saturday: It Could Have Been Worse

Monday: The Clawson Cutoff


Going North To Go South


If doing this a lot does not cause burnout, nothing does.

Sometime in the first year of Al Golden’s tenure at Temple University, I stopped at the SAC to purchase some Temple gear and, much to my surprise, I saw the coach jog by me in the general direction of leaving the green zone, near 12th and Montgomery.

It occurred to me then that if there was ever a time for a coach to “burn out” that was it. Golden had to deal with a 20-game losing streak, a nationally low APR, and had to weed out so many of Bobby Wallace’s mistakes that it was a wonder he would field a team.


This may have been the greatest day in Temple football history.

He didn’t, and somehow found as much strength to rebuild Temple that he showed courage in jogging toward 12th Street and who knows how far East. The 20-game losing streak would end the next week, and a bowl game came not all that much longer after that.

Now, we have learned from this story that Golden was “burned out” from the combination of coaching at Temple and dealing with unrealistic expectations at Miami. If Golden went 33-25 at Temple, like he did at Miami, there would be a statue of him in front of the E-0. Instead, for being a winning coach, he got fired. Now he is the tight ends’ coach with the Detroit Lions.

Golden went North to go South, which means that he will end up at a better place as a head coach and should be able to recharge his batteries. It’s ironic that both Golden and Steve Addazio saw fit to leave Temple and ran into tougher times elsewhere. Temple caught a huge break when Daz left on his own, because Temple does not fire coaches. Sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Acres of Diamonds means something here.

No one knows when or if Matt Rhule will get burned out at Temple, but he does have the advantage of not having to deal with those same APR troubles as Golden did. He seems to like Philadelphia, and has enough perspective to know that coaching his kid’s baseball team will somehow keep those batteries on constant recharge for Temple.

Knowing what happened to the two coaches who left before him might keep him grounded for awhile. At least it has got to be part of any thought process, as Golden used to say, going forward.