Maybe Geoff Collins has us fooled all along.
The problems we have seen with our beloved Temple Owls for three games he does not see.
Like Baghdad Bob above, there is nothing to see here and the Owls are in fine shape to upset preseason AAC favorite South Florida tonight (ESPN, 7:30) in Tampa.
At least that’s the vibe I’ve been getting after each Collins’ press conference. Last Saturday, on the “Temple Football Playbook” show, Collins looked positively giddy to be 2-1 and the kids are playing great and the two teams he barely beat are “really, really good” football teams. There’s plenty of juice in the building.
Never mind that one “really, really” good football team barely beat Lehigh and the other “really, really” good football team lost to Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion and Hawaii.
Tonight, Temple plays a “really, really, really, really good” football team in USF on the road.
The fact that the public sees Temple as a 20-point underdog does not seem to faze him one bit, nor did the prediction before the season that USF would finish first and the two-time defending AAC champions would finish third. “I love it,” Collins said at the time.
Those same two-time AAC East champions are now ranked seventh in the AAC power rankings based on a couple of subpar performances after an opening-day embarrassment when there was no sign of the “Temple TUFF” we had been used to for the past two years. Collins blamed it all on misfits, but Temple fans weren’t buying that explanation because essentially the same players who were supposedly caught in misfits were not particularly known for screwing up similarly under a different set of coaches.
Tonight’s game is a referendum on just how Temple should select its head coaches post-Collins Era. Should it go the way that, say, USF did and hire a guy with head coaching experience who has done it before as a HEAD coach in an urban setting (Louisville) or churn that coordinator pile once again and hope to come up with a flavor like Al Golden or Matt Rhule, knowing full well it could be sour-tasting like Steve Addazio?
Temple AD Pat Kraft thinks he made a brilliant selection with Collins. Only time will tell.
One thing about coordinators is that not every great one was meant to be a head coach. It’s a different job being a head coach and you never really know a good one until you see him in action on game day.
Maybe Collins was just playing Possum and we will now see Temple TUFF, a running game, a defense that can stop the run and crossing patterns underneath and an offense that is innovative and not predictable.
One thing is certain: Temple fans will be watching tonight with a lot of anxiety mixed with a only little bit of hope.
It’s up to Collins to Keep Hope Alive by proving that Kraft’s confidence in him was well-placed.
Tomorrow: Game Analysis