Today starts about the best week of weather in Philadelphia this season, splashing sunshine for most of the rest of the week.
There will be sunshine all over the city, except for that little cloud that seems to always hover around Geoff Collins’ head.
It’s there simply because of what he did not say in his signing day presser. Sometimes, I think the guy could have used a good speechwriter because, while a lot of his bullet points hit home that day, it was what he did not say that will always cause some Temple fans like me to look at him with askance.
A simple speech like this AFTER THE WAKE FOREST DEBACLE would have done the trick, as short at the Gettysburg Address:
Tapping on the microphone, Collins opens up:
“Test. Test. Is this thing working? You will all have to excuse me because there were a few words I did not say on the day I was hired that I feel I should say today. I have a few prepared notes for this occasion so I thought I’d jot a few down. Four scores and less than a month ago, this great program beat Navy and looked poised to enter the final AP Top 20 for the first time since 1979. That Navy team was playing better than just about any team in the nation going into that game, so a convincing win for us should have assured a final Top 25 spot.
“That did not happen for a couple of reasons. One, Matt Rhule, who is a good friend of mine, took what he thought was an opportunity of a lifetime and was faced with the difficult decision of leaving the very kids who helped give him that opportunity. Having been at that Wake Forest game and witnessed the half-hazard lead-up to it, I can say that, while Ed Foley did a great job, he did not have the requisite staffing support leading up to the game to adequately prepare the team.
“While researching this job, I came across a couple of sentiments I want to express today. The day Al Golden was hired here, he said he wanted to build a house of brick, not straw, and I echo that statement today. The day Steve Addazio was hired from the same school which produced me, he said he wanted to reach out to the Wayne Hardin guys and so do I. Those are the true Temple legends, not the guys who graduated after 2010.
“When Matt was hired, he said he wanted to sign a 15-year contract. To me, a contract is a two-way street. My signature means I will hold up my end of the bargain. All I can say about that is to tell you right now that this is my opportunity of a lifetime, Temple. Not Baylor. Not Florida. Not Mississippi. While I cannot tell you what the future holds for me, I can promise right here and now to you and them that no future Temple team will be without the full coaching staff, including me, while going for a bowl win and a Top 25 ranking. That means too much to this great school and I will never dishonor this school. I wanted to clear this up because I felt I left some things hanging on the day I was hired. Thank you, and I want to open this up for questions.”
Thunderous applause all around would have greeted similar sentiments, but none of the sort came. Instead, Collins followed up on signing day by recruiting a class that suggested the house would be more straw than brick, and propped up by the foundation his predecessors laid. That leads to the inescapable conclusion that this staff is outta here with the first overachieving season, maybe even this one. Some people say that we as Temple fans should accept our fate as a steppingstone, but I’m not ready to do that. The notion that this staff might use Temple, heck probably will, is not good.
Looking up into the sky, that’s not a sunny prospect for the long-term viability of Temple football. There is still time for Collins to change that perception, but those days are dwindling down to a precious few. Cherry and White Day would be a good day to clear this up and remove that cloud for good.
Wednesday: No Punter, Big Problem
Friday: 5 Questions Pat Kraft Needs to Answer