The very entertaining Johnny Carson Show used to have a regular feature back in the day called “Carnac the Magnificent” where it gave the answer to the question first.
On another bit, the Art Fern one, he would give directions to a fake store, he would say, “Go to the Slauson Cutoff.”
Temple’s “Slauson Cutoff” is really a Clawson Cutoff, because the one advantage Wake Forest will have over Temple (3:30, Tuesday) is the continuity of coaching and that begins and ends with Dave Clawson, the head coach of the Demon Deacons.
On paper, that is not a good matchup for the Owls.
Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer called for the Owls to hire Clawson over Matt Rhule in 2012 and, while it looks like he was wrong, that’s only to people who think Rhule was the only person in the world who could have steered Temple football in the right direction.
I also think Clawson could have done the same thing and, in reality, he has done a terrific job at Wake Forest. I’m in the minority of Temple fans who think there are a handful of really great coaches out there who Temple could have hired who would have done the same thing for the school Matt Rhule did.
Maybe better. Certainly better than starting 2-10 and 6-6.
That’s OK, because we will never really know.
All we do know now is that Clawson, really, is the only thing standing between Temple and a school-record 11 wins.
Most objective college football observers know that Temple has significantly better on-field talent than Wake Forest. If you take the coaches away and have the kids play a pickup game, Temple probably wins this one something like 41-13.
Putting the coaches that we know of in there and this becomes a significantly closer game.
All we know about Foley is that he is a good guy who followed a highly successful Clawson Era by going 7-15 at Fordham as a head coach and getting fired. So far, in the lead up to this game, Foley has been saying all of the right things about being a “competitive guy” and concentrating on the game, but we cannot know for sure until the final gun sounds on Tuesday. Clawson, unlike Foley, is a proven head coach.
This is one game where we will find how much coaching impacts a college football game. The formula for a Temple win equals the better kids plus a Foley who learned something a year ago against Toledo is superior to a Clawson who has worse kids but a better head on his shoulders.
That’s the thought here and the hope.
Unfortunately, it won’t be anywhere near 41-13 but a helluva lot closer to 21-13 and that is my call for the Owls because coaching means about 20 points in a college football game. This is not baseball, where a manager only impacts about 10 of 162 games a season.
Football is the most important sport when it comes to coaching. We will find out how important, oh, about 6:30 on Tuesday.
Monday: Game Preview