The Elephant in the Room



Mike Schmidt said something about Philadelphia being the only place you could experience the ecstasy of victory one night and the agony of reading about it in the paper the next day.

Saturday night was pretty ecstasy-filled, a lot of hugs among the fans who sat through losses to Fordham not so long ago and even had Fordham—Fordham, this is—fans yell, “Bleep you, Temple!” as they drove out the exits of Lot K.

And, at the time, we couldn’t say a damn thing.

That all changed last night with Temple fans on top of the world after winning the AAC East title and I thought the good feeling would last for a long, long time—or at least until the “real” championship next week at Houston.


“I told you guys he ain’t no different from me.”

It lasted for no longer than the hour it took me to get home.

Flipping open the laptop, I expected to read about the ecstasy of winning, but the first headline I saw was about the head coach leaving for Missouri.  When I heard that it was Missouri, I thought of former Phils’ outfielder Jeff Stone, who was from Missouri but never outside that state until his first training camp at Clearwater. After a 3-for-4 night at Jack Russell Stadium, Stone looked up at the moon and said: “That’s a beautiful moon. Would that be the same moon we have back in Missouri?”

The entire Phils’ press corps broke up and Stone had that look on his face wondering what he said that was funny.

When I heard Missouri, I thought: “Would that be the same Missouri that walked out and threatened not to play a football game?”

Yeah, it would be that Missouri. The problem, to me, is not Matt Rhule but the eat-your-young mentality of the NCAA. If coaches, like kids, were forced to sit out a year before transferring, a lot of this destructive “coaching carousel” talk would be muted.

Everybody says this morning to chill and that Matt Rhule is not going anywhere but I don’t like what I heard after the game. Would it have killed him to say, “I am Temple’s head coach for as long as this wonderful university will have me.”

Evidently, it would have killed him, and that’s what is troubling this morning. We were all told that this guy was different, that he was no Daz or no Golden and that he wanted to sign a 20-year contract.  There’s still time to mute the talk and I hope he is reaching for the remote right now.

Otherwise, this whole week is going to be one big distraction talking about big fat elephants when the focus should be on getting a chip.


67 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. This is on the AD. What did Houston do just recently? They came out and said they were paying Herman 3 million a year. Since the AD is not willing to pay Rhule what he is worth of their own volition, he is going to force their hand by interviewing for other jobs. I am sorry but I don’t believe anyone that says they would walk away from over a million dollar a year raise. Rhule may want to stay at Temple but if the AD won’t help him do that he has to look out for himself.

  2. Love the Daz picture, if Rhule leaves now just Daz in more sincere packaging and a slicker brand of BS. I wouldn’t walk away from a million dollar raise and why should Rhule, pretty much everybody in most lines of work are looking for what they feel are better opportunities. Question is does the “I would have signed a 10 year contract” becoming a punch line like Daz’s “dream jobs and macaroni” comments?

  3. Well UGA just fired Mark Richt so there is more motion added to the coaching carousel.

  4. We don’t look at it this way, but anyone who hires a “Temple” coach has to look at it from this perspective: Daz and Golden did not work out. I would also hope “Matt” sees this and decides to quash this talk no later than tomorrow and I do not mean with “I’m not talking about it” but with “I’m not interested in being anything other than the Temple coach so I won’t be taking calls.” If you want to win a chip, and want to recruit, that’s what you do. If you don’t, you sit in the office at the E-O and start faxing resumes.

  5. Guess what popped up in your previous post- an MRA who chastised those upset about the rumors involving Rhule because many here had criticized him for his coaching the previous two seasons. What those snarky fools can’t accept is that we were right and they were wrong given that Rhule admitted that he had erred. Please crawl back into your hole and leave us alone.

    • I think we need to let that go. I didn’t think Rhule was going to work out and you know what I am more than happy to be proven wrong.

    • Yes, I saw that. No one here “hated” Rhule. We hated a process that included five wides, no pocket protection for P.J. and no play-action passing. Mix a healthy dose of fullback, two tight ends, play-action,and suddenly “the process” is successful. Not rocket science. Always loved the guy but hated his schemes until the complete overhaul this season.

      • so u guys are the reason for our success this season? maybe Missouri can hire u guys….

      • Look at it this way: We’ve been screaming at the top of our lungs for 2 years that Rhule go fullback, two tight ends, and run a passing scheme off play action, ditching the 5 wides. What does he do this year? Follow that blueprint beautifully. Shows he can adapt and for that he”s a great coach. Follow the plan of the past 2 seasons and we’d be mired in mediocrity. Doesn’t matter whose blueprint he followed, all that matters is he followed the right one.

    • My apology John, I didn’t realize you won ten games this year by writing on a blog. I was under the mistaken impression that Rhule and the team did that by putting in the work and following a plan. And all the while I thought penn state people were delusional.

      • when Rhule leaves please go with him

      • Go away troll. Again you were wrong and we were right. They won ten games primarily because of the change in the offense, which better suited their personnel. I guess you think the coach should shut up as well because he said he made mistakes by running that horrendous offense. Again, no one here is taking credit for the wins and are simply pointing out the facts, something you and your ilk cannot fathom or accept. Knew you idiots were still around and were just waiting to post your nonsense. Please stop posting because you are just making a fool of yourself.

      • Spot on John I think the MRAs have is that Rhule is looking to be not as special as they kept saying. Not talking about his coaching this year but rather how he was the only guy for the job, he’ll stick around after being successful. Of course he will as long as he gets paid and nothing wrong with. In that regard though no different than Golden or Addazio. At this point it’s getting harder to get excited about Saturdays game

      • Hey john facts are stubborn things. You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. Ten win season, beat penn state, ranked for 5 weeks, had game day in philly. I am sure listening to you here on this blog made that all happen, don’t think so. Rhule gets to decide where he works not you or anyone else on this blog. It’s called caputalism. Talented people have ambition, they want to challenge themselves to see how great they can become instead of staying in the same place for thirty years. I applaud people with guts and desire to achieve. It’s really ashame that so many Temple people are negative.

    • i do find it a little funny that Rhule was the devil on this site not too long ago but now he’s the best coach ever….

      • Only because he followed our advice.

      • And by Rhule’s own admission he watched tape, such as 4 wide in the end zone, and made drastic changes. We complained all 12 games last year and YES it’s a shame he didn’t notice all that sooner. He as a person was never the devil, just the (at the time) inability to make in game adjustments.

      • You and the other MRA boobs are simply clueless because not one of you can differentiate between objective criticism and personal animus toward Rhule. And no, not a person on this site believes what you all recklessly believe, namely that Rhule changed the offense because of what was written here. Get over yourselves. The fact is that anyone with half a football brain could have realized the ineptitude of the coaches not only in running that offense but also in the misuse of time outs and personnel. Finally, the fact that Rhule has received laudatory comments from some of those here who previously criticized him is not hypocritical or inconsistent. The fact is that he realized that he had erred and changed things around leading to the success the team achieved here, something which everyone on this site wanted. Please go away in any event because this site has been a joy to go to since you clowns have not commented the entire season until now when instead of adding to the discussion you and the other clown simply want to make snarky comments.

  6. Not to worry, Herman is apparently interested in UGA so both teams will be dealing with this issue this week.

  7. Couple of things: this would explain the lackluster recruiting commits for a ranked team (and best in state). Terrible timing given that the championship isn’t even over yet, which means the calls must have been coming from some time now. Truly an ugly business to take the wind out of the kids like that. Finally, Rhule not squashing these rumors is unnerving at best at a time when we’re trying to push the program beyond what it’s ever been before.

    • agree Ben, none of the coaches being mentioned for new jobs are sitting in-person interviews before their conference championship game…, even Herman at Houston refused in person interviews before his team played in the conference championship.., also, a new on-campus stadium will not be completed before 2020 due to philly politics which is a factor in this equation.., great news on the Top 20 ranking!!

      • He doesn’t have to because Houston has made it known that they are going to give him 3 mil next year. If Herman misses out on a coaching job he is still one of the highest paid coaches in the AAC. If Rhule misses out on the opportunity what does he get? We all like to believe that Temple will stay competitive but look at what happened to UCF this year and that was with the coach that made them competitive (until he resigned of course). Rhule could comeback next year, have a losing season, then no one is knocking on his door, and the fanbase is rumbling here. I can’t begrudge a guy who is trying to set himself up for life. In the end, the AD had the power to create the same situation that Herman has at Houston, but instead we see more short-sighted thinking that lead Temple to being the laughing stock it was.

    • that is a damn good point about recruiting. Golden mailed in his 2010 recruiting class after getting a lot of 3-4* guys in 2009. Critics of that class were rebuffed by the AGAs “trust the coaches” mantra but those same coaches left us holding an empty bag. Then Daz”s last class was similarly lackluster and he compounded it by burning redshirts like cords of wood. Now, we have 9 ships left. Do we capitalize on the momentum and get 3-4*s or do we coast home while looking for other jobs?

      • Email Dr. Kraft and tell him to give Matt a contract in the upper echelon of the conference, he has proved he is worth it. That is the only way to fix this situation.

  8. Look at it this way, for any Temple fan, this has had to have been the greatest season ever, regardless of what happens in the next few weeks. 10-2 is certainly beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

    Is Rhule responsible? Is he a great, up and coming coach? Possibly. He sure did make significant adjustments to his game plans and offense. He has recruited pretty well under the circstamces that will fiercer handicap Temple.

    But, he is still the same guy who lost to Fordham and Idaho. 2 losses which are as indefensible as any in our history.

    I suggest that we all wait to next year to see what kind of coach he turns out to be. If it is somewhere else, for a HUGE pay increase, I think the risk is betrer off on another university.

    If a raise to say, 3 million is not enough to entice Rhule to stay, then, good luck. The fact is that we don’t really know yet what he can do.

    • Please stop with the Fordham and Idaho games. Those were 2 games back to back in his first year as a head coach. He lost those games by a total of 3 points. Two years ago.

      I will remind you that 10 years ago this program was in the gutter and ready to be tossed out on the street. Then a guy with a great head of hair from Virginia came in and helped turn this around. One of the major people with AG during that time was MR.

      I will take a lose to Fordham and Idaho any day if you told me that 2 years after that we would be ranked, beat Penn State, host a College Gameday, and be on our way to a championship game/bowl game. Rhule, the coaches, and the team have done a fantastic job.

  9. The problem with that (and Temple) is that the uni operates at a glacial pace. They have to take it up at a BOT meeting (which isn’t until the 14th). Then they have to vote. Then they have to get it approved. Pat can’t print the money or take it out of his wallet. There are no “emergency funds” for these type situations. Temple will not join the 21st century in many respects.

    • That is what I am saying about Temple operating in a short-sighted manner. They should have been talking about contingencies before it came to this point. They should have determined what top coaches in the league get paid (Tuberville gets over 3), how much Rhule might be worth on the open market, what they could pay, and what Pat was authorized to offer as a max. That is called sound leadership and unfortunately that is what is and has been missing at Temple.

  10. agree Tractorr, Temple should pay him or let him go.., this is a major distraction that will have a negative impact on recruiting, not to mention THE FIRST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP six days from now

  11. I just read a post on the fan facebook page from a parent who said “please don’t post about Matt Rhule leaving because the kids are reading the page and it is going to upset them.” Newsflash: Matt Rhule can end this before the hoops’ game by saying I’m not talking to anyone. I’m the Temple coach now. I’m the Temple coach next year.” If anyone is upsetting their kids, it’s not the Temple fans. He can end this in 2 sentences. By saying “I’m not talking about jobs” only fuels the flames.

    • He could but he shouldn’t have to. If Temple was serious about building the football program they would have a better plan for retaining the coach with the best season in Temple’s history. Why should Matt put off the security for himself and his family for a school that won’t put up or shut up? People keep talking about his I want to coach here for however many years comment. Well he put it out there that he wants to stay at Temple. To me that is just as much a negotiating strategy as anything else. He told the Temple BOT and administration I want to stay here, but it isn’t fair to ask him to sacrifice if the school won’t meet him halfway. Pat and Neil should be on a conference call with the BOT to come up with a package as we speak. Maybe they are but I doubt it.

      • All I can remember is BOT chairman O’Connor saying “Temple will not get caught up in the arm’s race that is big-time college sports.” That quote has stuck with me. Still, Matt’s got to be smarter than to go somewhere where there’s a lot of turmoil and he doesn’t know the lay of the land. He’s an East Coast guy.

      • The problem is that it isn’t even necessarily as much about him going somewhere as it is the threat of going somewhere else. That is the only card he has.

        Jeremy Foley said the same thing at Florida. After a couple of lackluster seasons, he gave into all the demands of the incoming coach (indoor practice facility, new dorms, more supports staff). The problem for Temple is a couple lackluster seasons could mean back to the gutter for a decade. I work for Temple so I know how the operate, but if there was any moment for Pat and Neil to lead it is right now.

    • so if he says this and then takes a job what would u say then? as much as we hate this, its good leverage by Rhule. flirt or get flirted with to get a raise. Rule is just doing what we would all do if we were in his position.

      • Nothing wrong with getting a phone call and testing the water with a tight pocketed BOT. A week before a Championship game??? That’s where I draw the line. Not fair to players who’ve bought into the program to think they are being ditched at the end. Really should be NCAA rules on coaches for this.

  12. As many people have pointed out, this Rhule thing is a major distraction. Can’t tell me that he’s fully focused on Houston. It runs counter to human nature. Rhule simply should have told Missouri to wait a week before speaking to them. There is little chance Missouri is going to hire a coach this week. Besides, although they are in the SEC, it’s not that attractive a job especially because of the competition. No easy games there.

    • Bingo. Because of the racially charged climate at Missouri, they would be wise to hire Bowling Green’s Dino Babers and Matt Rhule should know this and tell Missouri to take a hike. That uni needs to show extra sensitivity in reaching out to hire qualified minorities and Babers is at least as qualified as Matt.

    • Completely agree and that is the baseline of many comments on this post. Rhule not denying it alone is a distraction at a terrible time.

      On to what matters most right now, Houston, who are beatable if we play like we have no tomorrow. Toughest part will be the crowd, and our players have done well in those environments this year.

  13. UGAInsider reporting that Herman to UGA is a done deal and it is being announced tomorrow.

  14. My issue, the NCAA has strict rules of when recruites can be contacted. The same should apply to coaches. At the very least no contacts until all regular season and conference champions are determined. It is not fair to the players, coaches, and the fans. With the Houston coach already rumored to be going to Georgia. It puts a cloud on what should be a great game next Saturday,

  15. Matt Rhule going to Mizzou is similar to Bobby Wallace coming to Temple. Matt has no connections in MO. He was successful at Temple because he knows the SJ and PA territory. Going to Misery is fine with me. He’ll be a rich former coach, like AG or SA.. Temple will get a nice buyout from the Tigers.

  16. He is not going to Missouri. Be more afraid of MD and Rutgers. Remember MD’s biggest booster is Kevin Plank and Temple is an UA school. I am sure Rhule already has a relationship with Plank.

    Rutgers is probably the best fit for him and would likely pay him $3+ million/year.

    • Temple should call his bluff and let him go, he won’t win in the SEC.., Temple is the perfect fit for Rhule and he should be smart enough to realize it…., anyway, I think Mizzou is just going through the process and will not make him an offer because he is not the right fit…., we are jeopardizing our chance to win a championship, a NY6 bowl game, and a Top 50 recruiting class.., you play to win the game and our game is at Houston high noon on Saturday

  17. If also like to say 2 more things about Rhule and the Missouri job.

    One it is Rhule’s CURRENT job to have the Owls ready to win this game on Saturday, because if they don’t, I do think that they will get screwed with a shitty bowl game. If he allows this to be enough of a distraction that it becomes a reason for a loss, then I think everyone has the answer to how much we want him to stay or go.

    Specifically with regard to Missouri, I think it would be ABSURD for Matt Rhule to seriously consider the job, excluding some ridiculous financial offer that he couldn’t pass up.

    Missouri seems to me to be a non-win position. At Missouri, he would need to win too many recruiting battles against the Oklahoma’s, OK st and Texas schools. Missouri is not going to win kids from the Deep South, so how does a coach convince kids from Oklahoma and Texas to skip those schools to compete in the SEC.

    Yes, it is a bigger platform for a conpetive guy, but is Missouri a place to ever compete for a National Championship as some have suggested? I doubt so. Missouri seems to be more of a stepping stone if Rhule really is that kind of coach.

    I could be way off, but I think he’s just heading what they have to say, which is his perogative. He ought to be able to get this team ready for Saturday regardless.

  18. Ask Siri who her favorite college football team is!! unbelievable

  19. Getting off of the coach drama for a minute I’m assuming with the win against UConn Temple will win their first Lambert Trophy this year

  20. would be great if PJ could rise to the occasion again.,, he is at the bottom of the pack of all the Top QBs in the Top 25.., I he ranks 86th in the nation in completion % at 56.8% which is last amongst all the QBs for teams in the Top 20 except for the kid from Florida, and he ranks 69th nationally in QBR at 129.7.., would like to see him be at 60% in completion % and get into the Top 50 in QBR…, the offense has the same caliber of athletes as the defense but the production is widely dissimilar, why? think Temple will have to be at least a Top 50 offense next year in order for the team to enjoy the same success as this year.

    • Eh, I wouldn’t worry about QBR all that much. PJ is more of a game manager type player (Bama has won a couple national championships with this type of guy). He has 18 TDs to only 6 INTs. Sure he has a low completion percentage but he also has a relatively low sack number (16) considering how many times he has attempted passes. PJ is supposed to not mistakes, get the ball to his first or second option, throw it away when those guys aren’t available, and run when he can. I bet there would be more designed runs if we had better backup options behind him

    • QBR is super predicated on YPA. 350 yards on 25 passes but 3 picks is a higher QB rating than With Walker, I see only 6 picks and 10 wins. I don’t care about his QB rating.

      12-25 for 275 yards, 1 TD and 3 Picks is a higher QBr than 12-25, 175 Yards, 1 TD and no Ints. QB Rating is often a useless #.

      • I would give PJ a QBR of 10.2 on a scale of 11. He’s played the role of game manager like a maestro. Next year, he graduates into a big-time playmaker IMHO.

    • hey KJ, how did that Penn St, UConn, Memphis prediction of yours go?

    • Completion percentage is also low because the receivers had a ton of drops this year. I think PJ has played pretty well, especially given the fact he has been playing injured for a lot of the season.

  21. Even if Rhule accepts an offer elsewhere it would be nice to see him and his staff be professional enough to complete this season at Temple and give the players and uni everything they deserve to try for as much success as possible. And likewise for the players to use the lessons they’ve been taught not to get distracted and continue playing as well and as hard as they can. This very well could be the highlight for these coaches and players in their football careers. Make the best of it, leave a legacy.

  22. As an alumnus and fan of an SEC school (South Carolina) in the midst of a coaching search it’s hard for me to see Rhule’s actions with Mizzou as anything but professional courtesy. Most of these early tire-kicking conversations are between search firms and agents. While emphatically agreeing he should and needs to stay at Temple I just don’t see any smoke here. I could be wrong.

  23. any comment since he has turned down the job? Is he still the same as Addazio and Golden even though he turned down what was reported as 4 million at an SEC school? Are you still trying to find reasons to hate him even though he has now won 10 games (tied for most in school history), got us to the american conference championship (albeit we lost), a bowl game (only our 5th ever?), temple was ranked for multiple weeks, and beat 2 top 25 teams. I believe you would have to admit, whil hes not perfect, he has improved as a gameday coach. He’s gone back to your preferred type of football in ground and pound with a tough defense. What will be your reason to hate him next?

    • for the millionth (actually two millionth) time, I don’t hate the guy, never have, never will. You are confusing game criticism of incredibly stupid moves (like throwing a bomb into the end zone on 3d and 3 when the corner is playing 10 yards off your best receiver). That is not hate. That is valid criticism. Never called for him to be fired and never will. I’m happy that he turned down the job. Tom Herman coached the pants off him and so did Willie Taggart. No shame in that. He needs to up his game. Watching that 2-minute drill was like watching a train wreck. Nobody has ever done it worse than Temple did in the fourth quarter Saturday. If you think that’s hate, you need to revise your definition of hate. Writing graffiti in Chester calling for cop-killing season, that’s hate. Criticizing a 3d and 3 call is not hate.

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