We’re No. 1 (and No. 119)

Duece Mathis stares down a receiver in practice. (Photo courtesy of Zamani Feelings)

A couple of recently released numbers illustrates the current state of Temple football these days.

Temple is No. 1 both in the AAC and all of G5 football in terms of transfers out via the portal (15) and No. 119 in terms of ESPN’s 2021 Power College Football Index. The network has the Owls finishing dead last in the AAC.

If you’ve been following this space since the end of a depressing 1-6 season, you shouldn’t be surprised.

Our contention all along is that too many good players have gone out the front door and not enough have come in the back door for the Owls to realistically be favored in more than two games of the upcoming 12-game season.

Not all our friends have agreed with us.

We’re hearing a lot of “now that Rod Carey has his quarterback and can run his system” the Owls will be successful.

We shall see.

When everyone on the outside says you stink and you don’t smell it, it’s probably you, not them.

When ESPN says you are back in the dreaded Bottom 10 (there are only 127 FBS teams, so do the math) and nobody in your league lost as much talent as you did, you tend to listen.

Not since Al Golden did CPR on the Temple program did I ever think we would return to those days.

We are here.

This brings us to another number.

Eighteen.

No one in my recent memory–with the possible exception of Montel Harris in 2012–has been expected to make as much of an impact as No. 18, quarterback Duece Mathis. The difference between then and now is that some publications had Harris as the preseason No. 1 player in the ACC (not AAC) before he transferred from Boston College to Temple.

The player Temple is counting on now had more interceptions than touchdown passes in his only duty as an FBS quarterback.

“Well, he’s a big-time SEC guy and Anthony Russo was not,” the contrarions say.

Remember the last big-time Big 12 quarterback Temple brought in, Re-al Mitchell? He was supposed to give Russo a run for his money and he did not look like a starting-level AAC quarterback, let alone a replacement for a top five Temple all-timer. Just because you are the No. 2 quarterback at Iowa State one year doesn’t mean you are going to light it up at Temple the next. My initial feelings after seeing Mitchell quarterback Temple was that we were fucked (excuse the language) without Russo.

That turned out to be true, at least in 2020.

Who’s to say the No. 3 quarterback at Georgia (after things shook out) is better than the No. 2 quarterback at Iowa State?

Now maybe Mathis proves to be a lot better than Mitchell.

He better, but that’s an unfair amount of pressure to put on one young guy and involves probably unrealistic expectations and that’s why the numbers don’t look good for Temple right now.

Whatever the dwindling number of Rod Carey apologists say.

Monday: The New Guy

9 thoughts on “We’re No. 1 (and No. 119)

  1. Carey and Russo never formed a bond, same w/Collins. It matters most, Mathis and Carey enjoy the ideal HC/QB relationship…., so far. Will it translate to on the field success? We shall see.

    IMHO, Carey is transforming TUFB into a flag football team. Where is Temple Tuff? It starts w/the identity on Defense. In MR’s last two years, the Temple D knocked the opposing starting QB out of the game over an astonishing 50% of the time. Carey has replaced body blows w/tag outs.

    The NIU offense under Carey was far from prolific. In 2018, Carey’s last season at NIU, they ranked 93rd in total offense!

    https://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs/2018/team/21/p2

    And, Temple still hired him. This OC is committed to running the same 93rd ranked scheme. wow!!!

    Both Carey and Collins came to Temple w/o the commitment to the championship caliber TUFB brand. They didn’t bother to learn, study, or embrace it. Now the brand is gone, replaced w/In Rod We Trust.

    MR’s mantra was Trust the Process. From process to pathetic.

    • Kraft had egg on his face after the Diaz hire and his comfort level with Indiana connections screwed us with Carey. Carey wasn’t our first choice (Leipold was) and the Eastern Michigan guy probably would have been better, too, but Kraft didn’t know them.

  2. The state of TU Football and Hoops is what some might say “dire”. Aaron Mckie is a very nice person, but Owls hoops is irrelevant. Boring. TU football is slowly losing its relevance, you need to be mildly competitive to garner interest from non alumni in a crowded market. TU football competes for media coverage with PSU, the Eagles, Phillies baseball in September and the beginning of the NBA/NHL seasons. It’s not easy, but as we have witnessed if you put a decent product (I’m not saying Top 20) on the field that is entertaining, people will follow and maybe even make a game at the Linc. Carey was a disastrous hire at a time where the transfer portal has become vital to a program’s success. Do you think a guy w/ virtually no personality can recruit kids ? No, the guy was at NIU, are you kidding me. Sure, let me transfer into a program where the coach is 0-7 in bowl games.

    Should have hired Rick Pitino, guy is a piece of work but can flat out coach. Got Iona to the tournament. At this point Temple has nothing to lose.

  3. Rutgers plays the Owls and Blue Hens within 2 weeks of each other. Hens probably will be stiffer competition.

    Historically, RU has 23 wins versus 20 losses to Owls. RU has 15 W and 13 L against Delaware.

    • A lot of that history was made when Temple was coached by bozos named Berndt, Dickerson and Wallace. When the Temple BOT prioritized football, they didn’t get much chance to play Rutgers. From 2009-2019 Temple probably would have beaten RU every year except the year the Owls went 4-7 and 2-10 and a first-year coach named Matt Rhule made a rookie mistake.

  4. Owls are rolling a 7 this year. Fall is a great time to golf, hike, fish, and hunt. I could be an expert in each sport by the time Carey’s contract is up.

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