Thanks for a nice season, everybody

“And that’s the way I used to play linebacker.”
“But, coach, I’m a QB.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot.”

Goodnight and good luck.
I think that was Edward R. Murrow’s line, but I was too young to remember him.
Let’s face it.
The season is over, thanks to the BCS schools who derailed the teams-with-worse-records-can’t-be-chosen-over-better-records rule at the end of last season. That means eight-win teams with small fan bases are in jeopardy of getting shut out this year.
Last year, no eight-win team could have been taken over nine-win Temple (excluding bowl tie-ins). This year, any six-win team can be taken over eight-win Temple.
The BCS schools pushing that rule change through is another example that big-time college football is corrupt to the core. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer.
If you think anybody is going to bend over backwards to invite an eight-win Temple team to a bowl, your thinking process is all wrong.
The only bowl that would want us, The Military Bowl, is spoken for with two tie-in participants eligible.

Geez, I hope Al Golden decides to stay at Temple but my gut tells me he’s gone

Why would the Military Bowl want us?
That was the former Eagle Bank Bowl and we helped them out big-time by putting 20K fannies in the seats last year vs. UCLA.
Can we even put 1K fannies at any other bowl?
It’s all about the Benjamins in college football, in case you forgot.
It was a nice season, not a great season, not even a good season.
Because you can’t return 21 starters at 16 positions and not improve from 9-3 to 10-2 or better.
And you certainly can’t go from 9-3 to 8-4.

Bruce Arians, the only logical choice as next Temple coach.

 It’s a nice season, not a good one, and it represents a regression from a year ago.
So there is blame to be assessed (in this order):
1) Matt Rhule. Sorry, Matt, you do not deserve to be back as offensive coordinator. You are a defensive guy, a career linebacker and a career linebacker coach. There are way too many weapons (Rod Streater, a 318-pound average offensive line, Michael Campbell, Bernard Pierce, Matt Brown, Delano Green, Erod, AJax, etc.) for this team to struggle putting points on the board. There already is an accomplished offensive coordinator on the staff. His name is Rob Spence and he turned scoreboards into  adding machines at places like Clemson and Syracuse. He deserves at least a chance to move up and show what a lifelong offensive mind can do.

Why do we consistently make slow, white quarterbacks look like Fran Tarkenton? Because we don’t blitz anywhere near enough to sack these guys 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, like we should

2) Mark D’Onofrio. Why do we consistently make slow, white quarterbacks look like Fran Tarkenton? Because we don’t blitz anywhere near enough to sack these guys 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, like we should. We should punch these guys in the mouth (figuratively, of course) early and often and make them uncomfortable back there.
I’ve been a big Mark D’Onofrio supporter to take over Al Golden’s job once Al Golden leaves.
No more.
I’ll take a 57-year-old Bruce Arians, a guy who is not afraid to blitz, over Mark D’Onofrio any day of the week. I’ve never seen a more passive defensive coordinator when it comes to attacking the other guy’s quarterback.
Fifty-seven is not old anymore.
I never thought it was.
When I was 21 and working at the Doylestown Intelligencer, I wrote a column that Temple should hire John Chaney as its new basketball coach.
I got called into the office of the Managing Editor, Jim McFadden.
“Mike, don’t you think 50 is a little old for a new basketball coach?” he said.
“Fifty’s not old,” I said.
My boss smiled.
“You get a raise,” McFadden said.
He was 50, too.
The point is if you can do the job, it doesn’t matter how old you are.
Bruce can do the job.
Bruce can recruit. He knows Temple. He loves Temple.  He will put other quarterbacks on their asses and make them give the ball to us early and often.
He’s a Super Bowl winner.
An NFL pension is no longer an issue with him, like it was last time. He’s making $600,000 and his boss is Mike Tomlin. At Temple, he would be making $1.2 million with no boss.
This move makes sense for both Bruce and Temple,
If there ever was a time for Bruce Arians at Temple, it is now.
Do I think Al Golden is leaving?
Geez, my heart says he stays but my head says he’s gone.
If my heart was right tonight, we would have won, 23-3, instead of lost, 23-3.
So I think my head is right this time, too.
The tug might be too strong this year.
Yes, he’s as good as gone. Benjamins also figure into the Al Golden saga. We don’t have them. Other schools do.
I salute him.
What a terrific job he’s done here and I can’t thank him enough.
If he failed this year at all, it was sticking with his Penn State boy, Rhule, for way too long.
Golden proved that you can win at Temple, just like Arians did some 20 years ago.
When Al leaves, let’s keep this momentum and move forward with the only other guy who’s proven he can win here. I don’t want to go back to the days that existed between those two regimes. Hiring Jerry Berndt, Ron Dickerson and Bobby Wallace was a crap shoot. I don’t want any more crappy crap shoot hirings.
I want a sure thing next time and Bruce Arians is the only sure thing out there right now. He’s the round peg that fits nicely into Temple’s round hole.


13 thoughts on “Thanks for a nice season, everybody

  1. So much for the East Coast Offense. Golden is a good coach and will probably leave this year, BUT, he probably could use a little more seasoning. If you look at Kill and Solich their teams seem to get better through the year. They are usually playing their best ball in November. Temple seems to fizzle. That might not be fair or true, but it just feels that way to me. UConn and Army seem to be the high points for the year. There are way too many factors to oversimplify the Owls year and Golden's coaching like that – but it just SEEMS like that to me. Go Cats – Go MAC East. The East is better overall – but NIU is good. Should be fun to watch. Just a note – if they both win their next game, as they should, NIU will have a 9 game winning streak, and OU will have a 8 game streak when they play. Not too bad. At the end of the year the MAC should have one 10 win team, one nine win team, and three eight win teams. Not too bad.

  2. So you think another school would want AG? He has not won the MAC. He had a terrible end of season, back to back bad losses, I don't know, his pedigree has slipped in my eyes…

  3. Yes, I think another school will want AG. He's on the top five of every internet list. There will be at least five attractive jobs open.Let's hope none of those are attractive to Al. Golden must make a change at offensive coordinator, though, if he's to retain any credibility in this town. Rhule can go back to LB coach. He did a fine job there.

  4. Mike, do you really think (if AG leaves) Bruce Arians would leave the Pittsburgh Steelers to come back and take the job as HC at Temple. I know, from reading your blog, that you are a big BA fan (as was I during his tenure at Temple), but just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense that he would return… could be wrong…

  5. I think its 50/50 this year. Those last two games are going to stick in the minds of AD's. I bet he gets, and takes, some interviews this on weather or not he gets a job to pull him away? Nobody knowsBTW Minnesota is probably out, the list I saw up here the other day has just three (I don't remember everybody on it).

  6. My daughter gave Temple the biggest compliment the other night:She said to me, "Dad you're into this game like it was the Eagles."Tough way for the season to end. Mike I trust your passion and insight about this team. Who do they realistically get if Golden is gone? (Thought he'd be first in line if Paterno left…Joe Pa is gonna have to be carried off the field!)It would be cool if Arians wanted to return. Golden has laid a solid foundation. If not Arians, then who?Also…thanks again Mike for keeping us informed about Temple football. I look forward to your off-season posts as recruiting and Spring practice get going.Lastly, unfortunately you're right: major college sports is all about the $$$. Although Temple has stumbled at the end here, I believe they deserve a reward for a good season.

  7. Well, it didn't finish out quite the way I'd have hoped, but still, I think some good things came out of this season. We know we have some kind of QB that can do QB stuff. We know we have a solid backup RB. And like you said, we know Temple can post winning seasons. I hope AG stays. I'm sure he's gonna get offers, and good ones. But I like to tell myself he has a Paterno complex and is about legacy-building as much as the money. I think he wants that job, more than anything else, and what he's done here is one of the best, fastest ways in.Anyway, a quick thanks for your work this semester. First blog I've followed completely from season start. Hopefully its not finished; even if it is a really terrible bowl.

  8. I know Bruce Arians would come.TEMPLE OFFERED BRUCE THE JOB LAST TIME, BUT HE DECLINED. Only then did BB turn to AG.The last thing Bruce said walking out the door to BB was, "Bill, I'm tempted but I have one year left for my NFL pension."The NFL pension was the only sticking point … the ONLY sticking point.He's got it now.He makes $600K a year as a coordinator under Mike Tomlin (who, ironically, makes the same amout of money, $1.2 million that Al makes at Temple). Of course Tomlin adds on the Steelers' TV show money that Al can't get at Temple for a combined income of 1.8, but you get my drift.BA would be spending the last 10 years of his career pretty much doing what he wanted to do the first 10 … putting Temple on the national map.The irony is dripping.This needs to get done.Temple's done its best work under older guys (Harry Litwack, Wayne Hardin, John Chaney, Fran Dunphy). Senior citizens tend to be the best and most loyal workers and that's especially true with coaches at Temple.

  9. "This needs to get done."Mike, this only "gets done" IF? AG leaves, right? AG stays for next year, and a non-issue – correct?

  10. non-issue, yes. however, I have not gone through one year with AG here that he hasn't allowed his name to surface for this job or that job. Just one year I would have liked for AG to make this clear in November that he's not using Temple as a stepping stone. Until AG says, "I'm not entertaining any job offers. I'm staying at Temple. There's work to be done here" it's an issue to me.

  11. Andrea Adelson on ESPN now predicts that Temple will play Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl…One…Who is she? Two…The way you have talked here since the loss to Miami, it seems that Golden has shut down the team or ended team practice this season…True? Third…Would they accept such an offer? I think they would get a real depressing butt-kicking if faced up with Utah out west…LC O'Ryan, a Temple fan living in Utah

  12. She covers the non AQs (automatic qualifiers for ESPN).Golden has not shut the team down. They are practicing and all the players say they will be playing in a bowl on their Facebook pages.As far as Utah goes, Temple without Pierce would get a butt-kicking from Utah, no doubt.Temple, with Pierce, would give anybody a game, including Utah.Scores to consider:Utah 27, Pitt 24 (OT)UConn 30, Pitt 28Temple (really Pierce/Robinson) 30, UConn 16Last year:Temple (err, Pierce) 27, Navy 24Navy 35, Missouri 14Temple (err, Pierce, first half) 21, UCLA 10UCLA 21, (Pierce-less) Temple 0 (second half)Respect for Pierce opens up the entire Temple offense and keeps the Temple defense off the field.

  13. Rob Spence was run out on a rail from Clemson. His predilection for "bubble screens" and "playing the percentages" almost made CJ Spiller disappear. The man is not innovative and can't coach/adjust in-game. Stay away from giving him any real responsibility.

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