Fizzy: Adventures in Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Land

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Every once in a while, we submit the extraordinary insight of a former Temple football player, Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub. Fizz graced us with this analysis of the game. Enjoy.

By:  Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub

For the third year in a row, we end up in despair.  Two years ago, we lost out three in a row.  Last year, we lost a winnable game in Houston, and then a horribly coached and played game against Toledo.  This past Tuesday, after a terrific conference championship, we lost to Wake Forest.  There were three major reasons for this loss, the defensive coordinator, the offensive coordinator, and the NCAA.

When I watch a game, I mentally grade the coaching.  That’s because the players will always make great plays and poor plays, and many in-between.  The refs will also be inconsistent, and that’s to be expected.  What shouldn’t ever happen, is that the coaches screw it up.  That’s what happened.

Yes, Phil Snow coached a highly rated defense this year.  Despite the fact he always drove me crazy when he’d go to a three-man  rush when the opponent had a third and long, the defense was fine.  It wasn’t even satisfactory on Tuesday.

Wake found a weakness early on, and Snow never adjusted.  Wake would come up to the line, look to the sideline for the called play, and then adjust their formation.  After Wake’s adjustment, Temple would look to their sideline for their defensive call.  Yo Phil, while you were sending in the call, Wake Forest was already running the damn play.  Over and over, even into the fourth quarter this was happening and a major contributor to the Wake Forest tight end catching and running down the middle of the field without a Temple defender in sight.

How do you fix it? Well, it’s simple.  You let your defensive captain make the call on the field.  We have two guys on the defense who will probably be playing on Sunday.  They should be trusted to make the call.  When I was playing in high school (in a previous century), we had four different defenses, and the captain made the call.

Moving on to the offense, I could never tell if it was Matt Rhule, who dictated the mostly conservative play calling, or the offensive coordinator.  But in the AAC, it didn’t matter because we had more talent than mostly everyone, and we’d overwhelm the other teams in the second half.  It mattered Tuesday though.

Wake was consistently blitzing up the middle, yet we ran no real screens, no middle screens, no jet sweeps, which would have put Jahad outside their rush, or flares to Jahad after a quick fake.  Over and over on first down, we called the straight hand-off to our running back into the teeth of the blitz.  All this did was put us in second and third and long, so they could bring great pressure on Walker.

Four times we were in the red zone, and two of those times the first play was the direct hand-off which got stuffed.  We ended-up having to kick four field goals, despite two, first and goal situations.  Yes, I know; Phillip took some horrible sacks. However, those sacks were after we were already in second, and third and long situations.

Now let’s review the NCAA bullshit rules that allow schools to poach each other’s coaches.  Mike Jensen from the Inquirer and I, tried to fight this nonsense four years ago. I even wrote a letter to the NCAA, and got a politician’s reply from the Executive V.P. that any rule change would have to be initiated by the schools themselves.  The NCAA won’t ever force a change because they fear the Power 5 will simply form their own association.

There’s an easy solution for the problem.  Simply move the signing day back to March 1st, and mandate that all the coaches who are leaving must coach in championship and bowl games.   It’s grossly unfair to the players and their schools for the current piracy to continue.  How much did the coaching turmoil affect Temple?  For sure, it couldn’t have helped, and it was a definite factor in keeping us from finishing in the top 25.

So Temple fans, here we are again.  A new head coach is on board, and there will be new coordinators.  Will we improve?  I’ll let you know after the Notre Dame game.  On the plus side, I did get to see a win  over Penn State last year, and a conference championship this year.

Tomorrow: Season Analysis

 

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10 thoughts on “Fizzy: Adventures in Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Land

  1. There will never be an NCAA solution because the schools and the coaches don’t want it. Second, the game plan was horrendous as noted in the previous post and comments. Third, it’s disappointing they lost, but if any of us had been asked before the start of the 2015 season would we accept ten wins the next two seasons with a conference champion in exchange for losing two bowl games, most of us would have made that bargain.

  2. Amen to the above.

  3. Temple picked the wrong time to get serious about football. Sure, Temple has had its moments in the distant past but the school has been playing longer than some teams with multiple national championships. After all those years, Temple saw the writing on the wall (and the massive pay checks teams like Rutgers were cashing) and decided to get in on the action. Too bad that it was too little too late. I will root for the Owls for the rest of my life but the odds of them ever being anything more than a stepping stone is slim to none. Mike, I see your comment about a G5 playoff on the sidebar and you should probably rethink that. A G5 playoff would be the best possible way for a G5 school to make the jump to P5. If a G5 team was able to get to the playoffs 4 or 5 times in a decade they would start to gain the reputation of being a mini-powerhouse. Plus, the money for a playoff would probably be much larger than what teams get for a lower tier bowl game (is Temple going to turn a profit off this year’s bowl?). What would be really great is if they made it a 6 team playoff with the champ from each conference plus a wild card. That way they could market it as a true championship because all of the conference champs would be represented.

    • At first a G5 playoff sounds good in theory but I think it would just hurt perception further. One of the Rutgers Rivals reporters mentioned a year or so back that number of recruits seemed to enjoy their visits to Temple and some would like to play there, but the big knock was ‘it’s not big-time football’. Having a G5 playoff just reinforces that further. If anything, I think the AAC needs a dedicated bowl for their champion if/ when they’re not in the NYD slot. Having the champ float around to seemingly random bowls (Miami Beach one year, Military another, etc) IMO undermines its value and makes it seem like the champion is no different than your standard ‘rank and file’ bowl teams.

      Joe P.

      • Agree on the surface the G5 playoff sounds intriguing but if it came to fruition in the long run it would most likely make the G5 the new FCS and current FCS D2. I could see the P5 pushing for say 100 scholarships, G5 would stay at 85, etc. Chad, I don’t think a G5 playoff would be any additional help for getting into the P5. In fact I feel the P5 would use this more to close off any upward mobility for the G5 going forward. My other concern with that idea is I feel it would only be a matter of time for that kind of thinking to spread to basketball as well with the NCAA tourney reserved for P5 and the rest of the schools could have the NIT.

    • target hit.., bingo.., Temple is a day late and now millions of dollars short.., the window of opportunity closed six years ago.., self-imposed frustration levels will only increase., the space between the haves and the have not is widening.., we are what we chose to be 7 years ago.., the University made a conscious decision years ago not to enter the ‘arms race’.., short-sighted and stupid..,

      let’s commit to being what we can be.., a G5 power.., my vote is for a G-5 Championship

  4. John, agree with you there. As I posted on FB would much rather be disappointed at how the past 2 seasons ended then back to the days where it took us almost 10 years to win 20 games

  5. Moving Signing Day back is a great idea. Until then, I think I’ll stay home and watch the games on TV. I don’t like being taken for granted.

  6. I see no gain from a G5 “tournament.” Temple-WKU and SDSU-WMU may have been interesting games, but what would be gained in playing them? And beyond the teams and fans invested in those programs, who else would care? Best option is to push hard for bowl games vs P-5’s and win them, especially the AAC teams (if the coaches can be retained). Perhaps something in upcoming contracts that significantly bumps the buy-out if a coach wants to bolt with the team going to post-season play…either $ or a 45 day notice.

    • …think Larry is spot-on. If I were Aresco, I’d start trying to work one of the decent mid-tier bowls (Liberty, Russel Athletic, etc) now or working with ESPN to make the Miami Beach Bowl more viable (give it a 12/28 game date, get an ACC/ B1G/ BigXII team in there- likely the most realistic option) and make that your champion’s dedicated game if/ when you’re not in the NY6 slot.

      Joe P.

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