You cannot go back in time and say for certain one thing would have happened under different circumstances, but Temple let a good one get away at the kicking position the other day.
We’re not talking about Austin Jones, the graduate transfer who we will be watching kick for Alabama next season, but about our own Aaron “Boomer” Boumerhi.
What’s that you say, Boomer is still here?
Yes, for next year and for 2019 but except for some incredibly botched handling of the kicking situation by the current coaching staff, he could have been here in 2020.
Hindsight is 20/20 and that just so happens to be the year Temple could have had the services of Boomer until. Like many things on this site, the coaching staff did not need the benefit of hindsight; they just could have read this blog and would have saved themselves a lot of heartache. Jones, in a two-kicker system, got hurt in 2017 but who knows what would have happened in the injury department had he been awarded the job on his own? He might have gotten injured, but then again he might not have. He deserved the chance to prove either way.
This is what should have happened and what we outlined in a post in this space way back in August and here is the proof in black and white.
Jones should have kicked his senior year here, using up his eligibility, and Boomer should have been redshirted, saving a year of his.
That was the King Solomon Solution: Split this kicking baby right down the middle like a Jones/Boumerhi field goal and keep the good times rolling at a very important position for another year.
Why did the staff choose the two-kicker solution, you ask? Good question. As all detectives can tell you motivation is a tricky thing to determine, but my educated guess is that this staff did not think they would be here in 2020 so why do they give a flying fuck about Temple having a serviceable kicker in that season? (Excuse my language, but this is the college football world we live in today.) I do. Maybe other Temple fans do, too. You could give me $7 million to write a Baylor blog extolling virtues of Baylor football, but I’d have to say no thanks. This is my school and the the Temple football team is the sports team I love above all others, including the Eagles, Phillies and Sixers. Coaches come, coaches go, I and a great many Temple fans will be here forever. Not all coaches burn redshirts like the Steve Addazios and others. Say all you want about Al Golden but he promised Temple he would “build a house of brick, not straw” and he delivered on the promise by redshirting 10-15 guys every season. Golden would not have gone with the two-kicker system, if he had two kickers who were even because he felt his word was his bond. Collins has made no such promises and that’s his right, as it was Golden’s right to reward Temple with solid assurances. Golden gave Temple five good years and the uni is indebted to him forever for that.
Coaches with one eye on the door don’t make the promises Golden kept.
Who knows if Jones had been allowed to kick this season by himself he would have gotten injured like he did? We cannot say for sure. Nobody can, but it was a plan that needed to be executed first. Kick Jones this season, save Boomer’s redshirt.
Instead, they tried the two-kicker system and that’s never a good plan.
There is no guarantee that Collins—or Al Golden or whomever succeeds him—is going to be able to recruit a kicker near the ability of either Boomer or Austin in the future and there’s quite a lot of evidence to the contrary.
From 1991 until 2009—which so happens to correspond to the longest period of futility in Temple or any other kind of football—Temple had a lot of nondescript and comically ineffective kickers.
There were exceptions to the rule, of course, such as when Cap Poklemba kicked for Bobby Wallace, but the rule pretty much held firm until Brandon McManus came to town. When Steve Addazio was running Montel Harris into the middle of the field to set up for an OT win at UConn, he said: “We were going to put it in the middle of the field and let the best kicker in college football win it for us.” Before that, it was just an embarrassment at the position. After that, an embarrassment of riches.
Like the stock market and a ball that sails off a foot, what goes up must come down and it would have been nice to have a blue-chipper in the portfolio for one extra year.
Monday: Temple’s Super Bowl
Wednesday: Signing Celebration Primer
Friday: Signing Celebration Recap
Monday: The New Transfer Rule