Arians will roll the dice in Super Bowl

Bruce with strength coach Link Gotshalk and John Chaney (Photo courtesy of Willard Cooper)

When he was the head coach at Temple, Bruce Arians had a saying:

“No risky, no bisky.”

That was shorthand for “No risk it, no biscuit” and, if there’s one thing consistent about his time at Temple was that Arians practiced what he preached on both sides of the ball.

Arians’ accomplishments at Temple were, in my view, extremely underrated. He was a terrific recruiter and a good enough head coach to post two winning seasons against what in both seasons was rated the No. 10 -toughest schedule in the country.

He produced a Heisman Trophy finalist in Paul Palmer and the “quarterback whisperer” had a trio of fine quarterbacks in Tim Riordan, Lee Saltz and Matty Baker in five years.

In a 35-30 win at Rutgers in 1988, defensive coordinator Nick Rapone followed the playbook of most DCs at that time and went to a prevent defense with 1 minute, 52 seconds left in the game and RU having no timeouts. A quarterback named Scott Erney carved up that prevent and the Scarlet Knights had the ball on the Temple 30.

This time, Arians used the timeout and got in the ear of Rapone and told him to rush eight and drop back three. Temple sacked Erney three times and the game ended with a defensive tackle named Swift Burch sitting on top of him. (That same Rutgers team won at Penn State, 21-16.)

“If I was going to lose, I was going down with my guns blazing,” Arians said afterward, holding the game ball. “We called jailbreak–which is an all-out blitz–on the final three plays and, fortunately, it worked. I’m a former quarterback. I know the best pass defense is putting the quarterback on his back side.”

No risky, no bisky.

In his final game, a 45-28 win over Boston College at the Vet, Arians called two flea-flickers that resulted in touchdown passes to Mike Palys that basically won that game. There seems to be an unwritten rule in college football that if you try one trick play in a game and it works you don’t try the same play in the same game again. Arians never believed in unwritten rules. He made defenses make quick decisions with lot of motion like on this play:

Meanwhile, we don’t see flea-flickers at Temple anymore even once in any game.

No risky, no bisky.

It is a philosophy Arians had at Temple and took with him throughout his NFL career.

Nobody really knows what will happen on Sunday night, but if it involves a risky decision, Arians knows what the call will be.

Here’s hoping when he gets home that biscuit will be the best tasting one of his life.

Fizzy’s Corner: Why Not Bruce Arians?

baandpaul

Bruce rode his players hard and 30 years later they still love him for it and he loves them and TU

Editor’s Note: North Carolina recently hired former coach Mack Brown to take it to the next level. Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub, a former Temple player, suggests that Temple do the same with its former coach, Bruce Arians, a younger, more vital, version of Brown and certainly someone who still has a lot of love for Temple as proven by the above photo. Arians has promised to be at next year’s Cherry and White game. Why not as a head coach? Who better to develop Anthony Russo than the original quarterback whisperer?

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

Okay gang, let’s review. Used to be we held on to coaches for five years, but now its dwindled down to two.

Evaluating Collins

Good: Esprit de Corp with the players which helped recover from two disastrous losses at the start of the season – Recruiting seemed to be a plus – Defense continually got better

Bad: Patenaude’s “Broad Street Offense” – Poor recognition of who the QB should be (got it right on the third try, though) – Refused to acknowledge mistakes, including letting Armstead play injured

Overall Grade: 80 – 82 (B-) – Basically, he learned to be a head coach on our time. For more on this subject please go to @fizzwein on Twitter. An infamous Inquirer sports writer suggested I do this. You have the chance to be my first follower.

Where Do We Go From Here?

tapes

Well, Jensen had an interesting take in the Inky today and mentioned Francis Brown, our former defensive backs coach with Rhule, and who’s down at Baylor with him now. His main measurable strength is recruiting and has not been a coordinator. He’s from Camden. I think it’s a real stretch to jump to head coach.

Jensen also says he’d be happy with our Assistant Head Coach Foley. That’s hard to argue. Ed Foley is a great guy and seems to be a solid administrator. As Jensen mentions, if he’d bring in outstanding coordinators it might be the perfect fit. But how do we get truly outstanding coordinators at our pay level?

whisperer

There’s no easy answer here but one thing’s for sure, we have to avoid taking the safe route just because we’re tired of always looking for a new coach. I’ll bet Pat Kraft already has about fifty applications on his computer, and I’m sure he’s been quietly been exploring for some time. Anyway, I’d like a coach who adapts his schemes to the ability of his players and not the other way around. Perhaps then, we’d have the Ridge Avenue Offense. (For you who don’t know the city, Ridge Avenue makes lots of twists and turns, and even reverses itself on occasion.)

I’d like to suggest my perfect coach, who just happens to be available. We know him well, and his name is Bruce Arians. I know he said he’d only coach the Cleveland Browns, but that was before Collins left. He was with us at last spring’s football alumni day, and marveled at all our new facilities; the facilities we never provided him when he was the coach. Further, I don’t care if he has a comfortable gig on TV, as all of us who coached know, it can’t replace being with your guys on the field. Pat, please check in with Arians. It only costs a dime.

Tuesday: Moving Parts And The Search

Friday: That Puff of Smoke

 

Best of TFF: Arians’ Reaction to win over PSU

For our vacation week, we are running a three-part series on the most-read stories in Temple Football Forever history. Here is one on Bruce Arians’ reaction to the win over Penn State published in 2015:
bruceandanthony1

When Bruce Arians led the Arizona Cardinals to a late-season upset of the Seattle Seahawks two years ago, it was the final loss of the season for the Seahawks on the way to winning the Super Bowl. The question for Arians then was a natural one as someone in the press room asked him if that was his biggest win as a head coach. Arians paused for a second and said, no, his biggest win as a head coach came at Temple when the Owls broke a 39-year losing streak to Pittsburgh in the 1984 season.

So, of all the congratulatory messages pouring into third-year Temple head coach Matt Rhule after a 27-10 upset of Penn State on Saturday, the one posted by Arians on his twitter page was priceless:

Rhule had one-upped Arians in the sense that he broke a longer streak over another in-state rival in Penn State (after a 74-year drought), so the two men have been in the same shoes at the same place. No one knew more what a win over Penn State could do for the Temple program than Arians, who said the first question asked of him at his first Temple press conference was, “Why does Temple even play football?” Like the presser after the Seattle game two years ago, Arians paused before a thoughtful response: “To beat Penn State.” Arians came close twice, losing to nationally-ranked Nittany Lions’ teams, 23-18, in 1983 and 27-25 to what would become an 11-1 PSU team in 1984, but never quite got over the hump.

Now that Rhule did, Arians used both twitter and the phone to express his satisfaction with the result. Rhule took the call and said, “Yes sir, thank you sir.” to a guy who was a young coach at Temple once, too. Rhule said he did not know what else to say to the NFL coach of the year. Then Rhule went out to the parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field and presented the game ball to another former Temple coach, College Football Hall of Fame member Wayne Hardin, who came close a few times against Penn State but, like Arians, could not get over the hump.

In the fraternity of college coaches, and the circle of life, all three coaches will now share a pretty neat memory forever because only those three fully understand the magnitude of the moment.

Friday: That Championship Season

Best Cherry and White Day Ever?

proof

Proof that a stadium or two can be built at TU without community opposition

Back in the day, they built a $22 million on-campus stadium right in the heart of Temple University’s footprint with nary a peep of protest from the surrounding community or student “Stadium Stompers.”

That day was two years ago and it is now the permanent home of Temple soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.

It will also be the temporary home of the Temple football Owls for what could be the best Cherry and White Day ever. The game will be moved to the soccer home of the Owls a few blocks south of 10th and Diamond this year, better know as the “Temple Sports Complex” or, more specifically, Howarth Field.

logical

We called for this a year ago and the university listened

We’ve called for the Temple spring football game to be moved here last year (see inset to the right) and finally the university listened. Meanwhile, we had a lot of the status quo apologists on social media pooh-pooh the idea saying “you can’t do it because of recruits” and “you can’t do it because of logistics.”

Well, Temple is doing what the naysayers said cannot be done and the powers-that-be (Pat Kraft and company) need to be applauded for that, moving the football game from an overly cramped facility to a more roomy location with plenty of seating.

nexttwo

The discussion last year centered on just why the university was intent on squeezing 5,000 pounds of fans into a 100-pound bag when a 2,000-pound bag became available.  Bringing portable seats for 500 people when, on a nice day, you can get 5,000 people into a little over 100-yard square area made sense when you had no place else to go.

Now they do and I hope this is the temporary spot for the game going forward, at least until a larger stadium can be built. The soccer facility opened in the fall of 2016 and the place has 2,000 permanent seats and they can still move those portable E-O seats to that location.

South Florida, which also plays in a NFL stadium, moved its spring game from its football complex to its soccer complex in 2016 and it was an unqualified success. All the Bulls had to do was line the soccer field with football yard lines, put a couple of goal posts in and away then went.

April 14th’s Cherry and White game figures to be the best ever for a couple of reasons, a celebration of the school’s third bowl win and Paul Palmer being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Bruce Arians can’t come this year due to a prior commitment, but has promised to catch a Cherry and White game in the future.

The people have been the ones who have made Cherry and White great in the past. Now that they get to enjoy it in a place slightly larger than a phone booth, the location just adds to the usual great time.

Friday: Rock and Hard Place

Monday: Scheduling Buddies

Wednesday: The Bullhorn Lady

A Book That Needs To Be Written

brucetwo

Bruce takes items from his office home the day he was fired at Temple

Anyone who knows Bruce Arians will tell you he will use approximately one week to rest and relax after his “retirement” and then get so restless he will have to move on to his next project.

I personally think he would be best-suited to be Jon Gruden’s replacement on ESPN (they could not pick a better person), but there is a compelling project that needs to be finished first.

Arians is a best-selling author, having published his first book “The Quarterback Whisperer” to great acclaim.

bruceone

“After writing that book, I realized there were a lot of good stories I left out, particularly from my Temple days,” Arians said. “Maybe I’ll include them in the next one.”

Include them?

He has to have enough great stories in that head just about Temple that would make an entire book a best-seller.

Five years as Temple’s head coach—two of them winning seasons against what the computer then rated the No. 10-toughest schedule in the country—should provide enough good stories for a 387-page book.

bruceandanthony1

Plenty of topics could be covered.

Loyalty?

In these days of leaving for Power 5 programs and big bucks at the drop of a hat, Arians can talk about the time he turned down the head coaching job at Virginia Tech, his alma mater, for more money so he could stay in Philadelphia. “I can’t leave my Temple guys,” Arians said.  That job went to a guy named Frank Beamer.

Temple returned that favor by firing him three years later. That was a move current Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz brought up unsolicited  during a St. Louis Post-Dispatch interview on colleges being quick to fire head coaches: “Look at Temple. Firing Bruce Arians set that program back 20 years.”

bruceletter

Arians could write about beating a one-loss Toledo team in the Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City, 35-6,  1984 and watching that same Toledo team go out to play in the California Bowl while his 6-5 Owls stayed home. We still don’t know what Bruce was thinking when Bill Cosby hid the ref’s flag under a piece of sod, causing a 22-minute delay of game.

He could spin a nice tale about beating another one-loss team, the aforementioned Virginia Tech, 29-13, in the 1986 Oyster Bowl and then watching those Hokies go on to play in that year’s Peach Bowl, while his own Owls remained home.

He could talk about being the only coach to offer a Division I scholarship to Paul Palmer and then coaching him up to be a Heisman Trophy runner-up and someone the numbers showed should have won the trophy.

He could talk about his hot and cold relationship with Peter J. Liacouras, which started off hot and ended cold when the then Temple President had the kind of obsession with the Owls returning to the Sugar Bowl which bordered on insanity.

Most of all, Arians could tell a lot of the personal stories that few of us know of how a 30-year-old got a major head coaching job and interacted with players who loved him for the rest of their lives.

It would be a compelling read and a book that needs to be written.

Wednesday: The Power of a Resume

Friday: February Surprises

Bruce Arians: A Temple Football Life

 

If you didn’t get a chance to watch “Bruce Arians: A Football Life” on the NFL Network, please do.

There is a lot of good Temple football footage in there and some even better stories. Too bad they didn’t have time to tell all of the good Temple Arians’ stories. For purposes of this space, we’ll just tell two that will not make any national TV show.

benkin

Full disclosure: I was the Calkins Newspapers’ Temple football beat writer for almost all of the Arians’ years and got to know the man fairly well–enough to get him a recruit who later became a captain of the 1990 Temple team, center Dick Beck.

Beck, Arians, Central Bucks West coach Mike Pettine (the father of the current Cleveland Browns’ head coach) are the only other people who know this story, but, on the occasion of Bruce coming to town this weekend to play the Eagles, it deserves repeating.

sheldonbruce

Sheldon and Bruce at  TU’s indoor facility.

Beck was, without a doubt, the best offensive guard I had ever seen in my years of covering high school sports. On one sweep, he knocked down the nose guard, got up pancaked a linebacker, rolled out of that block, and nailed a corner. This would happen pretty much with regularity, although mostly with just two defenders. When he was a senior, I made it to a CB West practice and stood next to Pettine in the equipment room before casually asking where Dick Beck was going to school.

“It’s between Towson State and West Chester State,” Pettine said.

joegreenwood

Bruce’s “kid” Joe Greenwood and Joe’s kid, Joe Greenwood III

“What? That’s not happening,” I said. “I’ll talk to Bruce.”

When I got back to the Doylestown Intelligencer, I picked up the phone and called Arians and told him Beck is really, really good.  He asked me for Pettine’s number and Pettine was able to have an assistant drive down to Temple to deliver film the next day.

Arians called me that night.

“Mike, we really like his film but we already have our limit,” Arians said. “If one guy backs out, we’re giving it to Beck.”

One 6-4, 275-pound lineman backed out to go to Ivy League Brown and the rest was history.

“Dick should buy you dinner,” Pettine said, “but he can only afford McDonald’s.”

Not necessary, I said.

Dick_Beck_Temple

Dick Beck.

Beck played his best ball not for Arians, but for Jerry Berndt, who succeeded Arians but Beck was one of the many very good players Arians recruited at Temple and became the only captain of the 1990 Owls, who finished 7-4 and should have made a bowl game. He is now head coach at North Penn in Lansdale and won a state large school championship there.

The other story happened the next year when Temple President Peter J. Liacouras made his biggest mistake. Arians had a farewell press conference that I covered at Mitten Hall. I leaned on the back wall the entire time. After it was over, Bruce made his way to the back of the room and walked up to me and shook my hand.

beckster

Dick Beck carrying BA off the field was better than dinner at McDonald’s.

“Mike, thanks for the great things you wrote about my kids,” Bruce said, shaking my hand before exiting for Broad Street.

That’s how Bruce referred to his players, his kids. They are still his kids to this day, guys like Sheldon Morris, Ray Haynes, Joe Greenwood, Kevin Jones, Paul Palmer and really too many to mention. Almost all have his phone number and stay in touch to this day.

That’s the kind of guy Arians was and is and Temple’s mistake became the Eagles’ mistake when it hired Chip Kelly instead. His head coaching football life started at Temple and we were all lucky to be a part of it.

Tomorrow: Bring on Toledo

Temple and the coaching dominoes

Bruce Arians’ first HC job was at TU in 1982 and now, 30 years later, gets his next one.

Round and round the coaching Merry-Go-Round goes and where it stops nobody knows.
Well, at least until a couple of hours ago.
For those who have Temple football connections, it appears to have stopped for awhile now.
Former North Carolina offensive coordinator John Shoop is actively seeking a NFL job. If he doesn’t get one, he reportedly told Matt Rhule he will accept Rhule’s offer to be OC.
Geez, I hope he gets an NFL job because I don’t really want someone here who says, “Well, if nothing pans out, I’ll have to take the Temple job, honey.”

Snow’s defenses gave up 44 points per game in 2010 and 38
points per game in 2012.

I’d rather have Marty Mornhinweg. First, he lives here already, his kid went to St. Joseph’s Prep and his presence might beget a five-star quarterback named Skyler Mornhinweg, currently at Florida.
When was the last time Temple recruited a five-star quarterback?
(Answer: Paulsboro’s Kevin Harvey, recruited by Ron Dickerson.)
Instead, Temple fans will end up with a DC, Phil Snow, whose best days were in the last century at Arizona State. Since 1996, his defenses have not posted a single shutout or had more than three games (in 72 tries) of limiting FBS foes to single-digits. He’s lost a lot off his fastball. In Snow, Rhule sees the 1952 Robin Roberts, not the 1967 Roberts, who ended his career with the Reading Phillies. I hope I’m wrong, but I see similar decline in important career numbers with Snow.
I must admit, after hearing names like Bill Cubit, Nick Rolovich and Nick Rapone thrown out there, ending up with Marcus Satterfield and Phil Snow as Rhule’s top two lieutenants is a bit underwhelming.

In the pros, former Temple head coach Bruce Arians landed as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals. To me, that’s the hire of the NFL year and Bruce having coached at Temple has really nothing to do with it.
Was there a candidate out there with two Super Bowls under his belt as an OC, a reputation of turning young quarterbacks into all-pros and someone who turned a losing culture into a winner as a head coach?

I think Rhule is in love with the 2001 Snow, not the Snow of 11 years later. If you take a step back and look at Snow’s resume objectively, he has not done much since 2001. He had a decent year for a non-winning Eastern Michigan team in 2011, but even then the Hurons didn’t limit any offense under double-digits.
I think Satterfield could be very, very good but I don’t know for sure.
But Rhule built that squeaky bed and now he’ll have to sleep on it.
In the pros, former Temple head coach Bruce Arians landed as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals. To me, that’s the hire of the NFL year and Bruce having coached at Temple has really nothing to do with it.


“Coaching is relationship-building
not just great players
but ballboys, managers
kids at Temple that I still
stay in touch with today
and they are my family.”
_Bruce Arians
head coach
Arizona Cardinals


Was there a candidate out there with two Super Bowls under his belt as an OC, a reputation of turning young quarterbacks into all-pros and someone who turned a losing culture into a winner as a head coach?
Other than Bruce, who got his last full-time head-coaching gig 30 years ago, I know there wasn’t.
I can’t imagine Chip Kelly bringing much more than suspect college assistants to Philadelphia.
Arians’ 20 years of contacts is going to build a solid NFL-ready staff and his first staff member is Todd Bowles, a former Owl player of his, as DC.
Good move by Bruce.
Bowles was unfairly blamed for the Eagles’ defensive woes because he inherited a backfield that was on strike and bereft of talent  all season. Bowles will have plenty of defensive talent in Arizona.
Speaking of Bowles, had he been hired as Temple head coach head coach instead of Rhule, his two coordinators would have been Mornhinweg and Rapone. That would have given Temple a guy who posted 11 shutouts since Snow’s last one as DC, an NFL OC and (possibly) a five-star QB recruit.
A little birdie, a red one, told me.
Funny what happens on the coaching Merry-Go-Round before it comes to a complete stop.

Eagles search for a coach should end now

Bruce Arians would be a great choice in three important areas.

The only known photo of
Bruce Arians as Temple
coach on the internet.

Driving around Philadelphia every day, I have my radio presets on a few select stations.
Two are the all-sports talk stations in Philly, but I invariably land on WFAN in New York for the best sports talk.
Mostly, I end up on 100.3 or 105.3, music stations. Big fan of Patti Jackson, Lady B and Michael Baisden.
Still, in between commercials, it’s amusing to stop on the Philly sports talk stations for awhile to hear them talk about potential replacements for Andy Reid.
I have to shake my head, though. All of these guys are garbage compared to my choice.
There’s really only one potential replacement and he should be hired no later than Monday. (If the Colts lose to Bernard Pierce and the Ravens, which I suspect will happen on Sunday.)
His name is Bruce Arians, the former Temple University head coach.
OK, I will admit that I’m biased but some other national guys like ESPN’s Dan Graziano (see above) who are starting to come around to my way of thinking.
I don’t think his age, 60, should have anything to do with it. Sixty is the new 40 anyway. Tom Coughlin won two Super Bowls after 60. Period, end of discussion.

On the Daz front, we’re at Dream Job No. 6.

Put aside the Temple connection for a moment and look at it logically.

Culture Change

Bruce Arians took a 2-14 team in Indianapolis and totally changed the culture from losing to winning. He was 9-3 in the 12 games he was head coach, including a win over the Green Bay Packers. That performance has made him the leading candidate for NFL Coach of the Year.
Think there’s a pro team in Philadelphia that needs a culture change?
Check.

Developing young quarterbacks?

Admittedly, he did it this year with a good rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck but I think, say, Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib has a similar skill set to Luck’s and he could do the same with another rookie in Philadelphia.
Also, Arians developed both Peyton Manning at Indy and Big Ben with the Steelers as quarterbacks and, if you don’t draft Nassib, he could at least work his magic with Nick Foles.
Check.

Public Relations

This is an important hire for Eagles’ owner Jeff Lurie. Does he go the totally unknown route and hire a coordinator like Mike McCoy or hire a two-time Super Bowl winning coordinator AND a guy who is coming off a NFL Coach of the Year Award. When was the last time an NFL team hired an NFL COY from another team? This could be a first and an incredibly easy sell to an otherwise skeptical fan base.
Check.
It’s about a big a no-brainer as there is. We shall soon find out if Lurie has at least half a one.

KYW mentions MacIntrye as possible Owl coach

Temple had a shot at Bruce Arians in 2006 and 2011, but virtually no shot now.




WANTED: HEAD COACH, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY _ Large, urban, school in nation’s fourth-largest market, seeks HEAD coach for up-and-coming BCS program. School is committed to winning at the highest level of football and a new president is coming on board in January whose stated top two priorities are success at fund raising and winning in the Big East. Successful candidates will have had WINNING seasons as a HEAD coach at an FBS school. Philadelphia-area connections a plus, but not necessary. No current assistant coaches need apply.

When you hire an assistant coach, you are just as likely to get a Ron Dickerson as you are an Al Golden or a Steve Addazio

There’s a reason why they call the position HEAD coach.
That’s how I see the specific criteria for the next Temple University football coach.
Temple football owes a debt of gratitude to Al Golden, a driven young assistant coach, who built the program.
It owes somewhat less to Steve Addazio, another career assistant, who recruited a fine class last year.
In a way, both were crap shoots because, when you hire an assistant coach, you are just as likely to get a Ron Dickerson as you are an Al Golden or a Steve Addazio.
Now, though, this is the most important hire in the history of Temple University and the school needs a proven winner as a head coach. Remove the guesswork by hiring a guy who has won as a head coach before at the FBS level. Period, end of story.
Current Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Bruce Arians would fit the criteria, and was a leading candidate for the Temple job in both 2006 and 2011, but his career has advanced far past Temple’s pay grade and I’m afraid he’s out.
So it leaves those current hot college head coaches. An assistant would be a big mistake now.
I think it’s important Temple work quickly because these guys are being rumored for other jobs.
That narrows the field thusly:

YES TO (in order):

Former Temple assistant Mike MacIntyre

MIKE MACINTYRE, current head coach San Jose State _ MacIntyre, against an impossible recruiting, funding and facilities disadvantage, went 10-2 and has the Spartans  in a bowl game. One of his two losses was to PAC-12 champion Stanford by a 20-17 score. One of the wins was over BYU. Another was a 52-24 pounding of a 9-3 Louisiana Tech team.
MacIntrye has Temple connections and knows all about the program, having been the Owls’ defensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998. He had San Jose State, with about as much talent as Temple had this year, playing at a much higher level than Temple. MacIntrye, a finalist for the Temple job in 2011, was the only possible name mentioned as a successor on a 5:45 p.m. KYW report by Temple play-by-play man Harry Donahue. I agree with Harry, who is a very good friend of Temple AD Bill Bradshaw. Great choice. At $450K, makes about half of what Daz made at Temple this year, according to the website coacheshotseat.com.

Kent State’s Darrell Hazell

DARRELL HAZELL, current head coach,  Kent State _ Hazell took a team that Temple beat, 36-14, last year (he wasn’t head coach then) and beat the living daylights out of a Rutgers’ team that blew out Temple this year, 35-10. Hazell had Kent State (remember, Kent State we’re talking about here), 11-1 before losing the MAC title game in overtime to NIU. Hazell has Philadelphia-area connections. He’s from Cinnaminson, N.J. Currently grossly underpaid at $350K per year. Purdue is rumored to be interested.

PETE LEMBO, current head coach, Ball State _ Had Ball State, a team Temple beat, 42-0, last year, go 9-3 and earn a trip to the Beef O’Brady Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. Like Temple, Ball State beat South Florida. Unlike Temple, Ball State also owned a win over a Big 10 team. Knows all about the area having been head coach at Lehigh University. Not a sexy pick (just look at the photo), but the guy is a damn good head football coach and not likely to get outcoached like Daz was in the Maryland game. Since Temple has plenty of talent already in place, Lembo is just the type of guy most likely to get the most out of it. Makes $400K per year.

NO TO:

MATT RHULE, current assistant offensive line coach, New York Giants _ Rhule is an outstanding young man but has no (zero) wins as a FBS head coach. He’s a fine recruiter, but would be a crap shoot as a game day coach. Addazio did not think enough of him to make him sole offensive coordinator, instead bringing in Ryan Day from Boston College to be co-coordinator with Rhule. Shortly after that, Rhule left for the Giant job. Temple is too big to be the first head coaching opportunity, especially at the BCS level. I’d encourage Rhule to get a head coaching job at a place like Kutztown or Delaware and work his way up the head-coaching ladder that way. It’s obvious he’s well-liked at Temple, but the question you have to ask yourself is, “Does he pass the non-Temple smell test?” Would even Kent State or Western Michigan hire him for their head coaching openings? The answer is no. His first head coaching job should not be in the Big East.

TOM BRADLEY, former Penn State defensive coordinator _ Yeah, I know that photo is of Jerry Sandusky but if you hire Bradley he brings all of that Sandusky Penn State baggage with him and that’s a headache Temple can’t afford. Plus, Bradley is a dead fish personality and not likely to inspire a fan base like Addazio was. While Bradley has recruiting ties to Western Pennsylvania, he has no recruiting ties to Eastern Pennsylvania or South Jersey and that’s where Temple needs to win the recruiting wars.

Throwback Thursday: TU beats No. 4-ranked Pitt

… Breaking News: Hawaii players are posting on their Facebook pages this morning that the game with Temple is a “done deal” and they will probably be playing the Owls on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 … a day that will live in infamy (maybe) … …

Program covers have come a long way since this Sept. 25, 1976 Temple vs. Pitt game.

Temple plays Pitt a week after a loss to Rutgers its head coach called “an embarrassment.”
October, 2012?
No.
September, 1984.
The difference then was that Pitt at the time was three weeks removed from a No. 4 preseason ranking in the country.
Temple beat Pitt, 13-12, on a field goal by a kicker named Jim Cooper.
Temple will have a kicker named Jim Cooper next year, but more on that later.
The win in 1984 gave Temple a 2-1 record on the way to a winning season under 32-year-old head coach Bruce Arians.

Story in the Allentown Morning Call the week after Temple beat Pitt.

“We were embarrassed at Rutgers, didn’t play to our ability at all,” Arians said. “We oughta be 3-0 and we know it.”
The Owls played the No. 10-toughest schedule in  the country then and its wins over East Carolina (17-0) and Pitt were sandwiched around a one-point loss to Rutgers.

Bruce Arians made a habit out of beating nationally-ranked Pitt teams.

Pitt was coming off an 8-3-1 year and maybe that influenced its inflated preseason ranking in Sports Illustrated. The Temple loss was one of four straight for Pitt (BYU, Oklahoma, Temple, West Virginia) and the Panthers never met their expectations.
At the time, it was the first win for Temple over Pitt in 39 years but Arians made sure it would not be the last.
The next week, Temple was to play Florida State and Arians fully expected to win that game, too.
“Florida State is a great opponent and it is a game we can win,” Arians said. “There’s no doubt about it. We can take the field anytime, anywhere and we have a chance to win.”

Temple’s last win over Pitt came 14 years ago.

This week, Temple renews its long-standing “rivalry” with Pitt. It’s just a one-year deal since Pitt moves to the ACC next year, but when the teams meet on Saturday it will bring back fond memories of Cooper and Arians for a lot of Temple fans. Arians beat Pitt three out of his five years as Temple’s head coach.
Later, he became well-known (and sometimes vilified) in that town as the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Still, Arians is mostly fondly remembered in Philadelphia by Temple people as an energetic young coach who did the best he could with the tools he was given.
Beating Pitt in a year it was ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP poll certainly helped foster a positive impression of Arians, who is still helping Temple football today.
Arians figuratively begat then kicker Cooper who literally begat another Cooper by the same name, Jim Cooper, Jr.
Next year, Cooper Jr. will take over the kicking duties for Steve Addazio.
If he beats Pitt, 13-12, like his dad did, it will have to be in a bowl game.
I’m sure dad and son would sign for that now but first both, being long-time Owl fans like the rest of us, just want to win the next one.

Tomorrow: Fast Forward Friday