TU-UCF: Too Many Ifs and Buts

If Temple rolls the pocket and throws off play action, it will win. If it keeps asking P.J. to throw into tight windows, it will lose. Simple as that.

If Temple rolls the pocket and throws off play action, it will win. If it keeps asking P.J. to throw into tight windows, it will lose. Simple as that.

In one of my several side jobs, I write prediction stories for Rantsports.com on college football.

This week, I got a call from my editor asking for a prediction story for the UCF-Temple game.

“Can’t do it,” I said. “Too many ifs and buts.”

I took the Rutgers-Nebraska, Marshall-FAU and Penn State-Ohio State assignments instead.

CBS Sports Network is on Channel 854 Comcast.

CBS Sports Network is on Channel 854 Comcast.

If I had a better feel for Temple’s approach to the game, this would be an easy assignment. For example, the first play of the Houston game, I thought would be a perfect time for the reverse Jalen Fitzpatrick pass to Robbie, err, Keith Kirkwood. Hit Houston before it had a chance to get settled. Houston doesn’t know Temple’s top wide receiver was a Big 33 quarterback. There’s no law limiting trick plays to one a game, let alone one a year. Heck, Bruce Arians can tell you they work multiple times in a game. Two trick  plays—flea-flickers from Matty Baker to Mike Palys—both resulted in touchdowns for the Owls in a 45-28 win over Boston College in the 1988 season. They do work if you have the gonads to call them. Arians had the gonads.

To me, this is a game Temple can either a) win by blowout; b) win close; c) lose by blowout d) lose close.

That pretty much covers all the bases and why I would stay away from this game if I was a betting man.

  1. Win by blowout: Temple beat a Uconn team, 36-10, that Tulane could only beat 12-3 (7-3 for much of the game). Tulane hung with UCF most of the way in a 20-13 loss.
  2. Lose by blowout: Temple looked pretty clueless on offense in a 31-10 loss to Houston. UCF beat Houston, 17-12.
  3. Win close: If Temple can hang with Penn State Nov. 15 (and I think this year’s version of the Owls can), it can steal a win at the end of the game with UCF on a field goal just like Penn State did. How delicious would it be if freshman kicker Austin Jones, from Orlando, kicks the game-winning field goal in a stadium where he’s kicked many times? I’ll take it, though I’d prefer scenario No. 1.
  4. Lose close: With P.J. Walker being asked to throw into so many tight windows, that is the most likely path to not getting the most out of this talented kid’s ability. Hopefully, the Temple coaches will finally devise a system where he’s throwing most of his passes out of play-action and others on the roll, forcing LBs and safeties to honor the threat of the run and opening those passing windows. I really think the Temple coaches believe in “the process” and the only process I’ve seen so far is a lot of passes that call for P.J. to thread the needle. Not a good process.

Related:

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2014/10/23/predicting-the-final-score-of-florida-atlantic-vs-marshall/

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2014/10/23/predicting-the-final-score-of-rutgers-vs-nebraska/

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2014/10/21/predicting-the-final-score-of-ohio-state-vs-penn-state/

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75 thoughts on “TU-UCF: Too Many Ifs and Buts

  1. Temple WILL BEAT UCF if they don’t turn the ball over, make all their FGAs, and have less than 35 yards in penalties.

    UCF is not Alabama, Florida St, etc, etc

  2. We’ll know tomorrow whether the season has turned into “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”

    • yeah, i see a slide toward 4-6 with a loss here.

      • At that point Mike, this season is suddenly showing a program not moving in the right direction. If we end up finishing up only managing to beat Tulane in our remaing games, at best you can say there was very slight improvement over last year in that Temple managed to be the best of the worst of the AAC. Hopefully that won’t be the case and we head into the ECU game 5-2. John, don’t feel like saying that again this year and I’m starting to fear that could become the motto of the Rhule regime. Today’s game is huge not only for this season but going forward as well.

  3. The only reason we won’t be able to beat UCF is if we continue to force feed “the process” (P.J. alone in the pistol, no run established first, no two backs) onto ill-fitting personnel. We’ve stubbornly done it for Tulsa and Houston. If anything, this group of coaches is stubborn and I don’t expect them to change. We have the personnel to beat a Blake Bortles-less UCF. Hope the coaches have wised up. Tulsa is just not that good and we barely beat them and got smoked by Houston using “the process.” You have one of the greatest blocking fullbacks in all of FBS. Use him for that purpose. He’s not going to be at Temple (football) forever.

    • Mike, here’s what see of “the process” so far and for me what will indicate if it’s showing progress or if we are at the start of “Ron Dickerson, the sequel” are Houston, UCF, Memphis and Cincinnati. The successes so far both this season and Rhule’s total tenure are:
      1. Seems to be recruiting good classes
      2. Even though they turned out to be a bad team, beating a Vanderbilt team where we were the underdog
      3. Beating teams we should beat if the program is moving forward, UConn, DE State and Tulsa
      4. Improved defense

      Now the negatives:
      1. Unable to best a second team we came in as underdogs against who have shown they are an average team at best. Still seem unable to raise their game against teams that are evenly matched
      2. Still running the same 2 pages of the spread offense play book that Satterfield seems only to have. If you take away the defensive and special teams scores in order to get a “true” scoring average for the offense it is averaging about 25 ppg, same or close to last year. Total offense is not much better than last year either. Granted only halfway through the season but the trend right now is not showing an offense any more productive than last season.
      3. Getting smoked by a Houston team that we lost to by 8 points last year. So if Houston has improved that much over Temple in a year, I don’t think Rhule has 3,4 or 5 years to get this program on track. The reason I included Houstion, UCF, Memphis and Cincinnati are if we end up losing to UCF and Cincinnati by big margins, hopefully the Houston is the start of a trend there, then how is this team improving over last year. If we lose to Memphis, again they were able to get 20 + points better in 1 year, how does that show an improving team. Basically just they will have switched places from UConn from last season. Another wash for me. As for Tulane, if we lose there gets tough to say we are even beating who we should.
      So maybe someone can enlighten us as to how wonderful “the process” is. The good thing there is still the opportunity to do that on the field overs the next 6 games.

  4. Mike, even tho your comments are repetitious, they are also valid. I think Temple has a chance in ALL their remaining games but not if they play like they did against Houston. All your concerns plus making far too many mistakes is the perfect storm for losing. If the coaches clean up just one of those categories – mistakes or the process – they probably can win at least 2 more, but not if both continue. Lets just hope they can steal 2 more anyway.

  5. Really don’t want to watch anymore.

  6. I ‘m watching Daz ball.

    • You can say that again. If Temple gets blown out this game, I’m sorry this team at best has not improved over last year and depending on the rest of the season maybe even regressed. I hope I’m eating a big plate of crow by the time this game is overs but please Rhule Cult tell me about the process and how this team will be coming on like gangbusters in 2015.

  7. Well i hope everyone’s feeling great about screwing the MAC over after they were generous enough to accept a pile of trash into their home.Im sure the conference move had zero to do with maintaining a competitive program and everything to do with making a quick buck off tv rights.The problem is…who’s going to watch this crap for long? I could stomach all of 10 minutes before giving up and I feel that was a better effort than this team could make today.No running game? Oh thats right,theres no running back on the team.PJ Walker’s 49 yards was tied for last weeks top rusher and I’d be surprised if that wasnt TU’s best effort on the ground all season.No wonder we can’t convert 3rd downs…if we can even get to them before this oddly overrated qb throws a pick.I say oddly because it’s odd anyone even cares to rate a Temple qb at all anymore. We should have stayed in the MAC,in which we couldnt even make a champsionship game, where we were competitive and people cared.I find I watch less and less every season.Highly doubt thats going to change,espescially with a coach who got his job because he was the least likely to bail out of this crapfest after 2 or 3 seasons.

  8. Another two minute drive. And Snow has gone back to giving the opposing QB all day to throw on third down.

  9. How can anything be open short when you never throw long. Gotta loosen up the defense.

  10. Now I’ve seen it all. Why not run the same play you scored the touchdown on in the first half? Mind boggling. These guys are amateurs.

    • With that last series of plays on the goal line this staff, at least on offense is clueless. Was Kirkwood hurt or something tonight I don’t recall seeing him. Oh just made a good catch. This season is starting to look like Daz’s second when we moved back to the BE, totally out classed by all but the bottom of the conference. Hopefully we can beat Tulane and at be the best of the worst. I think we are going to be fighting Tulane, UConn, Tulsa and SMU for the bottom quarter of the conference for several years. I think if we’re lucky Rhule may be a 6 win team by the time Franklin Field is our new home field

  11. only Temple can have a 4-1 season start and finish the season at 4-8. so sad😰, but I’ll still be at the Linc next week with the other less than 12,000 die hard fans.

    we are paying Rhule over $1,000,000 per year for this? heck, I could do no worse for $100,000 per year…, unfu#*en believable

  12. The Matt Ruhle apologists can say nothing after this debacle. No two back sets, motion, counters, cutbacks slants, or long passes. If you want to run the ball, open up the splits on the line and use motion, or counters or cutbacks. There is simply no rhyme or reason to this offense. And if I see another quick out to Christopher I’m going to puke. The idea behind that is that the receiver will make a move and beat one of the defenders,. Christopher, at best, is a possession receiver devoid of moves. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. By that definition, these coaches are insane.

    • Oh I’m sure we’ll hear “the youngest team”, “it’s not the Xs and Os it’s the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s” blah, blah. I just want one member of the Cult of Rhule to lay out the case why they feel he is a good coach. I’ll give him recruiting and he seems to relate well to the players but too many times when you see sideline shots he looks clueless. As you said continues to run the same plays and sets, even if they continue to fail. If you really listen to the premise of the Rhuleites he needs to out recruit every other team in the conference because as they always seem to say, “it all having the players” Don;t see that happening in this conference. I mean we have to hope that UConn, Tulsa, Tulane and SMU continue to stay in the same shape they are today. Oh well at least we have UMass and Charlotte on the OOC schedule next year should be in both those games.

  13. yep.., this what you get when you put “the process” before the product

    • I’ve been saying this all year, even in the wins. The “process” sucks with this personnel.tailor your “process” to the personnel you have,don’t force your “process”onto guys you never recruited for that purpose.

  14. I hear that ECUs fans generally travel well wonder if the Linc will sound more like an ECU home game next week. Can’t imagine more than 12 to 15k Temple fans

  15. The FAU-Marshall preview at least got lots of page views. Did Boise win today?

  16. I really think Temple players play poorly at home because of the poor attendance. they get pumped up all week, get super psyched the nite before at the DoubleTree, then go through warm- ups in an empty stadium and come out and play in a stadium that is 3/4ths empty. Temple comes out flat during every home game.

    I also think the opposing team sees the same thing and quickly realizes that they are playing at a neutral site. The Tulsa team really fed off the empty stadium.

    Temple does not enjoy a home field advantage. I don’t understand why Temple can’t “donate” tickets to the surrounding high schools, churches, and other non-profit organizations?

    This surely has an negative effect on recruiting.

    • i hear ya, kj, no excuse for the crappy coaching we got tonight. you hire a coach the players want and this is what you get.

      • Mike, no coaching doesn’t matter another quote from the heart of Rhuleville

        “This isn’t about the coaching . It is about player talent . It was very obvious against Houston and now UCF that we do not have the players to compete . We have been out muscled and just don’t have the athletic ability yet . Need the Kidd get better and then add better talent . It has a little yo do with coaching but mostly lack of talent
        10/25 8:05 PM | IP: Logged”

        Look I don;t hate the guy, I mean he seems sincere and I’m sure he wants to win at Temple, I sure as hell want him to be a success but I just didn’t see much in his coaching career that made him stand out so to speak from any of the other assistant coaches who have been hired to indicate he would be a success or not. Right now at the very best I think we are going to end up with a coach similar to Al Golden, good recruiter but bad game planner and game day coach. Trouble is this is a tougher conference than the MAC, there aren’t as many bottom feeders at the MAC and most the top team are going after the same or better talent. With the MAC you had maybe 3 or 4 really good teams but a solid half dozen or so where there was a huge drop off. That’s why I also disagree with some people who advocate Temple signing up a tough OOC every year. I say go for the weakest you can get, so you can go at least 3-1 and then try to pick up 3 to 4 conference wins and be happy with the Military Bowl or that one they were advertising during the game.

        While I thought Temple would probably win 5 to 6 games at the start of the season and maybe they still will. Starting out 4-1 and with the AAC not a strong this year as some would like you to believe, you needed to take a shot at making a bigger move not sit back and keep implementing “the process”

    • They do donate a ton of tickets. No one wants them. That’s why they have peewees playing at half time and invite dance squads etc. At least the kids’ parents show up. When your students can’t find the time to go why should anyone else especially given the poor coaching.

  17. Tonight was worse than last week because the team took three steps back. The CFU QB is a sophomore, starting his fifth game and he looks like a fifth year senior because his coaches put him in positions to succeed. And Snow’s defense took a step back as well. it didn’t matter how deep the passes were because the dbacks were playing off the man. The dropping of sure interceptions returned as well. How come every qb who plays against us looks like a hall of famer? I give up. Glad I can’t make the game next week. And no, this team will not recover and pull an upset especially since ECU played badly Thursday and have 2 extra days to prepare.

    • John, the Rhule apologists are starting already. Here is a direct quote from the pay site
      “Team won 2 games last season. Owls already have doubled that total with more chances to add to that. That is called progress.
      10/25 10:24 PM | IP: Logged”.

      So basically we have a staff that took what should have been a 5 win team (UConn, Idaho and Fordham) and coached into a 2 win team. Now after 2 games where this team has clearly regressed it’s well we doubled our wins from last year. How else would categorize losing to 2 teams by a combined 41 points that you lost to last year by a combined score of 12. We’re moving back to blow out losses and unless this turns around fast in 3 years this team will have shown no progress at all. I agree with you about the ECU game, don’t see this team recovering or this coaching staff coming up with any kind of game plan that works.

      • that about sums it up. here’s the ironic part: although we beat uconn 36-10 we will not give ecu as good a game in our building as uconn gave ecu down there. if that’s not regression, don’t know what is. ….

      • Well the MRAs are out in full force on the pay site now their up to you have to give Rhule at least 4 to 5 years. Humm last year it was 3 to 4 but hey who’s counting

      • at the end of 5 losing years, they will say he deserves another 5.

      • LOL…. Mike the more I read from them the more apologists just doesn’t catch their true essence for so if you don’t mind since you did coin the phrase I going to use RRE to describe them. Members of the “Rhule Religious Experience”

  18. “Super psyched the nite before at the DoubleTree” might be the key to all this. If they stayed at the Divine Lorraine they might be truly be Temple Tuff. They might even use a fullback.

  19. JD, 2013 team easily could have been an eight win team. The four wins we have this season are against some of the worst teams in the respective conferences in which they play. And in each of those games, the offense looked like crap. Even the color man tonight recognized the lack of a commitment to the run game. It’s pathetic. And the apologists are cowards. They are just blind and would find something good to say about a glass half full with piss. And now I have to watch PSU trying to pull off an upset.

    • face it john they are enamored with this “nice guy” who gives them his phone number. I’d rather have a bastard who tells me I’m a dick who wins all the time.

    • John, agree with you about the 2013 team and the offense. So this year we’ll have to settle for a team that was certainly capable of winning 7 to 8 games and be told winning 5 was a great success. As for the offense, if you factor out special teams and defensive TDs, and before you Rhule Cultists start yes they are great to get, not including tonight’s game, the offense is at best about the same as last year. 2014 (6 games) total offense – 371 yards, rush yards per game 135, pass yards 235, 25 ppg. Compared to 2013, total offense – 399, rushing 149, passing 250 and 25 ppg. So not seeing real improvement there. Now the apologist’s like to point out that this offense is so much more balanced than Addazio’s offense, not saying I thought he was good either, but that really isn’t the case. If you look at BC this year over 6 games, 418 yards total offense, 288 rushing and 130 passing, pretty much as balanced as Satterfield’s Spread Lite just with a different focus.
      As for that half full glass of piss can only imagine what they would charge at the Linc for that, speaking of which haven’t heard much on campus stadium is a done deal talk for awhile.

  20. In what will clearly be a conundrum for this blog, the previously-praised Zack Gelb is defending Rhule on his Twitter account. Uh oh, is he a MRA? Will he not receive his TFF decoder ring?

  21. u mean should have used a fullback. I guess they never did at Tenn.-Chat. I must have missed all of those championships your hero Satterfield won before he got to Temple.

  22. The offense stinks because the offensive line is horrific.they get no push at all, just look at how poorly they are near the goal line. Need to recruit some linemen that can power block. UCF runs a single back set and they were able to run well. Number 71 on Temple is horrible. He is a penalty machine.

    • JT, agree with recruiting bigger o-lineman and yes many teams run well out of a single back set. But given the issues this line has shown run blocking there is more in the spread package that can be done to help. First off run more out of the stack formation where you pull the H-back in a little tighter. Not all the time and they have started using Thompson more that way, but more than a couple times per game. Aside from Thompson, maybe they could also use Harper more in this mode. He is a good blocker and has shown himself to generally be a reliable receiver so you have the option of sending out on circle and wheel routes. In either case the H can become a lead blocker, extra blocker for blitz pick ups and still maintain a potential 4 receiver set.

    • you think a little repetitive coaching at the E-O might have helped No. 71? see my post about Mike Pettine Sr. He stopped the cb west practice after one player (one player) flinched and made the entire team do the play right 15 straight times. do we do that at temple? doubt it.

      • That might take time away from the recruiting staff…oops meant coaching staff

      • He jumps offside and holds cause he is overmatched and is looking for an advantage. He just can’t play, no amount of repetition will replace a lack of ability, speed and strength. Goes for the whole oline absolutely terrible. Running backs don’t make the line great, it’s the line that makes the back great. The interior line on both sides of the ball are inferior to the lines of the better teams in the league. Need to find some big boys upfront that can play. Don’t agree with the play calling but that line is a sieve with all kinds of leakage on both running and passing plays.you can’t block you got no shot at consistent offense. One additional point, tavon young got picked on big time yesterday. He was terrible too.l

  23. Last question before hitting the sack, which player(s) does Rhule throw under the bus after this debacle?

    • he probably throws everyone but himself, satterfield and snow under the bus. par for the course. arians used to grab nick rapone’s collar and yell at him all the time during the games. god forbid rhule get mad at satterfield or snow. at least arians held temple’s winning above his friendships (and yet he hired rapone as his db coach). just once I’d like to see rhule grab satterfield and tell him to go with a 2-back offense.

  24. our program sucks, lack of fan support, student apathy, no connection with the local community, average at best coaching and a bunch of two and three star athletes.., fours wins this year, below .500 next year is our destiny.,? at least our band is entertaining

  25. Where are all those douchebags from last week who said I was crazy?

    WE SUCK

    WE WILL CONTINUE TO SUCK

    FIRE BLOCKHEAD NOW

    Oh wait, we want to see what he can do in a five year plan.

  26. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Its time to send another scrapbook to the BOT, this one with clips of great coaches just dying to take on the challenge of making us BOTE. (Don’t firget the little hearts, for affect.) I’m thinking Gruden. Maybe Harbaugh, who wants back in college game. Arians’ entire Cardinals staff is not unreasonable either.

    • Dave, how about just a competent coach, maybe somebody on the way up who may only be here 4 or 5 years but who knows winning here gets him a shot at the next level. Nah, let’s keep hiring guys whose only qualification is they “want to be here”. That way you and few hundred other clowns can sit at Franklin Field and watch a 4 win team commenting things like “well you have to say the team is getting better this year, they were able to stay within 2 TD of Little Sisters of the Poor and with Rhulr here for another 10 only a matter of time before we pull the upset on them”. I’m sorry unlike you I’ve been following this team since my time as a student in the 70s and I hate to say but I would rather see the. BOT drop football then go through another round of Berndt, Dickerson and Wallace. And please since you are clearly a card carrying member of the Cult of Rhule, give me some specifics and reasons you don’t think this guy fits in more with that trio than Hardin, Arians and Golden.

      • Do you have me confused with somebody else? I think everyone on this board is grounded, consistent and knowledgeable. My go-to blog for x’s and o’s.

    • Not gonna happen. This guy will preside over the end of football at Temple. If he keeps trotting out this clueless spread offense, ending football at TU will probably do everyone a favor.

    • Gruden ,Harbaugh, you are clueless. They would have a 100 options before wanting to take this job. I have read some idiotic posts on this board, a lot quite frankly but you are delusional.

  27. Want to know the best way to turn a college football program around? Look no further than Colorado St. They are the best example for Temple. Why?
    Number #1 – they hired a great coach.
    Number #2 – they built a new stadium in the face of severe criticism.
    Number #3 – they didn’t make excuses along the way, like “we don’t have the talent”, “the process takes time”, etc., etc., etc.,

  28. Things might look bad right now but the problem is solvable. We’ve known the run game was weak for most of the season, but the quality of our backs allowed us to succeed against weaker opponents. Poor play calling is catching up to us now that we’re facing defenses that belong in the postseason. Rhule can’t say his “process” is working when his team manages 32 rushing yards.
    He kind of has to commit to the run now. I think Thomas, Harper, and Gilmore can do big things, especially with Thomas carrying the ball and someone else blocking. If we can run meaningfully on 1st or 2nd down the passing game can take flight.
    No run game= INTs on INTs on INTs for poor PJ.
    Hopefully Coach Rhule gets it. ECU is beatable, but they could also make history against us.

  29. No Dave you’re exactly the kind of fool I suspected.

    • Stupid is as stupid does, an Alabama fan once said.

      • And you sure do live up to that in spades. Probably time for you to get back down to you parents basement for some more of your real source of X’s and O’s. Madden football and the 1 page handout you got from “Rhule Football Camp”. Spread Offense for Dummys

  30. Even though the score against UConn seems lopsided if it weren’t for the interception return, the recovery of the fumbled kickoff at the beginning of the second half and some lucky throws that game would have been much closer. I was criticized by some when I said don’t get too excited after the Vandy game because we left so many points on the field. It’s a shame the coaches didn’t see that as well and tweeked the offense. They just don’t get it that the way to win is to go on long drives and eat up the clock thereby giving the defense a break. And they could run if they tried. Thomas had some nice runs to the left off tackle at the end of the game, a strategy they rarely employ. Also, the one pass to a tight end in the middle of the field went for a lot of yards. Why don’t they use the middle of the field. I’ve never seen such bad coaching. . At least Bobby Wallace changed the offense to fit his personnel.

    • You know John, it’s interesting to see you bringing up the “if it weren’t for the interception return…” When I mentioned last year that if it weren’t for 3 missed FGs by UConn and a blocked FG against USF, the 2012 Owls would have been 2-9 instead of 4-7. You jumped down my throat. Funny how you’re now doing the same thing with this team.

  31. Really couldn’t bring myself to write on here yesterday. All my drafts were full of frustration and lacking hope. Thought I’d sleep on it. Feelings didn’t change.

    Today the sober reality set it. The cost of Rhule not improving has likely lowered the coffin. Clearly, the hiring committee feared making a choice and went with a “safe bet”. Players liked him. That’s all you need right?

    When the Eagles lost a tough matchup Reid used to bark, “players need to make plays, but they can’t make them if I don’t put them in the position to succeed”.

    So yes. We need to run more. PJ needs to complete more passes. We need to be less predictable on offense. All of that starts by putting the players in the right situation to make all that happen. So far that hasn’t happened. So far we haven’t moved in that direction. What change has Rhule contributed to our success? The more optimistic bunch point out we have more wins this year than last. True. Numbers are funny that way. The only difference is this year we’re beating more of the bottom barrel. I’d hardly call that an improvement.

    Final thought: given the situation with the Linc, prior competitive issues in conferences, and the luke warm Univeristy support, Matt Rhule should be acting like a starved animal backed into a corner. Shifty, creative, desperate, and hungry to prove he’s right. Instead he shows up each week like it’s another Saturday. I’m not questioning his commitment, I’m questioning his appetite for success.

    • Good stuff, Ben. Given the ridiculousness of the offensive play-calling, just what does he have to lose by using Harper as a fullback, running toss sweeps with Jahad behind both Harper and Thompson, then giving P.J. a chance to throw off play-action in second and short and third and short? what does he have to lose? Nothing.

    • Great post.

      Right on the money.

  32. Father Forgive the Rhule Apologists because they know not what they do. I’ve been through this whole thing before. Many of them have not. Nice guy, great recruiter, no experience anywhere as a head coach before TU, could not coach his way out of a paper bag on game day. It was called The Ron Dickerson Era. You think Temple would have learned from that kind of hire, but it did not because the leadership at Temple has changed since then.

    • “Nice guy, great recruiter, no experience anywhere as a head coach before TU, could not coach his way out of a paper bag on game day.” Hmmmm…sound a lot like Al Golden.

      • Big difference is that in Golden’s case he was 1) starting with a program at below rock bottom 2) playing in the MAC given that the conference bottom dwellers have greater numbers than the AAC, you could put together 8 win seasons with just better talent. Also, Golden was OC under a good HC, Al Groh in an established program at Virginia at the FBS level

      • actually, golden looks like Knute Rockne on game day next to this guy. He would have figured out Jahad was the closest thing he had to BP and run a fullback in front of him.

      • JD, it sure sounds like you’re saying Golden had a good record because he played in an easier league.

  33. NEPhillyOwl, I do think it helped from the stand point that taking a program from basically nothing to a reasonably competitive team, yes it did help to have teams like EMU, Kent State, Akron, etc. on the schedule every year. So I do think the AAC is a tougher conference and I think it would have taken Golden a little longer to builder a winning team here if starting from the same position. For Rhule, there was a foundation in place, the team had a year prior to his taking over to acclimate to tougher competiton and now even with being in a tougher conference than the MAC, which they have been playing at for 3 years, my expectations would be a team that is competitive, at least in the running for bowl eligibility and no real excuse to not be in the upper half of the conference and in a bowl by 2015 at the latest. I would equate this year to at least no worse than Golden’s 3rd year and second in the MAC with an 8+ win team for sure next year.

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