The only good news for Temple football this week is that AAC rivals Tulsa and SMU are about to hire assistant coaches. UConn did last year.
They might turn out to be great hires. They might turn out to be busts. That’s exactly the point. Since those guys have no history of making final decisions CEOs are supposed to make, like timeouts during the heat of battle, we do not know if they will turn out to be Vince Lombardi or Mike Gottfried.
Cincinnati football was once where Temple football is now. In fact, it was much worse. Despite the loss on Saturday and four games prior to that, Temple STILL holds a 9-7-1 all-time lead in the series.
Now, though, Cincinnati it is in a much better place. A good exercise today would be examining just how the Bearcats got where they are now, from struggling to draw 10,000 a game in a pro football town to averaging over 30,000 and winning three of the last four titles in the history of the old Big East Conference and having enough of their own funds and fans to build their own state-of-the-art stadium.
At some point, the athletic administration decided to take the guessing game out of the coaching hiring—forgive my use of this word– process. They decided to say “bleep it, we’re just going to hire the best head coach available.”
And it’s been a spectacularly successful strategy. From Brian Kelly to Butch Jones to Tommy Tuberville, all Cincinnati has done is hire guys who have won someplace else as a head coach before on a similar FBS level. It might result in a quicker turnover rate than an institution would want, but the tradeoff of wins and championships is more than worth it and kids, being as resilient as they are, have a knack of getting over the number of coaching changes if the result is more winning.
If Tommy Tuberville moves on, chances are Cincinnati will just go out and get the best FBS head coach available and, while the players might cry for five minutes, the school will be laughing all the way to the bank.
In the AAC today, it apparently is the road less traveled but the one with the promise of far fewer potholes ahead. It might be a lesson Temple has to learn in three years, if the program is still here by then.