Friday, November 26, 2010

Al Golden can fix his team with one phone call

The Brumfield File:
  • No. 2 all-time rusher in Pennsylvania history with 8,595 yards;
  • Averaged 9.79 yards per carry against defenses designed to stop him;
  • Over 100 TDs for his career;
  • A 3.0 GPA;
"You hate to say the word 'unstoppable,' but that's what Ryan is. He likes the challenges. The more he gets challenged, the better he plays. But what you like most about Ryan is that he's a great kid. Here's a kid that has every right to have an ego, and he doesn't. He gets along with everyone. It's why his teammates don't only want to play with him — they want to play for him."

_Tom Barr, head coach, Owen J. Roberts
Sometimes numbers mean nothing.
Sometimes the numbers all add up and the mathematical formula is pretty clear.
I found some numbers that were pretty fascinating over the last few days and I just want to share some here.
They tell the story of why this Temple season has a different, more hollow, feel for me than last year did.
They also show me the equation for getting the Owls out of this morass.
Temple football by the numbers:
  • Al Golden is 0-14 against MAC teams with a winning record;
  • Al Golden's two most impressive non-MAC wins were against Navy last year and against UConn this season;
  • Against Navy last year, Bernard Pierce went for 268 yards and two touchdowns with a pretty anemic passing attack on his side;
  • Against UConn this year, Bernard Pierce went for 179 yards with three touchdowns (again, with an anemic passer).
So who is most responsible for Temple's success?
Al Golden or Bernard Pierce?
Certainly, you can make a case for Bernard Pierce to date.
Going forward, to use a term Al Golden fancies, going forward, Al Golden is most responsible for Temple's success.
That's because the one thing he can supply is out there for the taking.
Bernard Pierce. Or at least a Bernard Pierce clone.
Certainly, we'd all like to see the Bernard Pierce of last year show up for his junior season (and the bowl game if the Owls are lucky enough to secure one).
What Al Golden failed to do "going backward" was make sure the Owls had a running back with Pierce's ability or close to it backing up Bernard should Bernard have gone down.
Let's face it.
Bernard had some injury issues after last year ended. Temple should have been better prepared than to replace him with a 5-5, 150-pound guy, no matter how good that 5-5, 150-pounder was.
The No. 1 running back recruit was a guy named Myron Ross (now Myron Myles) out of Wissahickon. Myron's a nice back, like Matty Brown, a nice back, not a Gosh-darn superstar.
I don't think Myron Myles on his best day can give Temple going forward what Matty Brown did.
And that, quite frankly, wasn't enough against Ohio and Miami.
And it won't be enough going forward.
He struggled to go over 1,000 yards in his senior year at Wissahickon.
Bernard Pierce was a Gosh-darn superstar, a 2,000-yard back, at Glen Mills.
We all kind of knew he would be something special in college.
So what Al Golden can do going forward is get me another Bernard Pierce as an insurance policy should the real one go down.
Short of cloning Bernard and waiting 18 years for the gestation period, I have a sure-fire answer:
Ryan Brumfield of Owen J. Roberts.
Brumfield, like Pierce, is a gosh-darn superstar.
I wrote about this kid in Friday's Inquirer.
He's five inches taller than Matty Brown (5-10) and 30 pounds heavier (180). He's a tenth of a second faster (4.4 compared to 4.5) and he's a lot shiftier and stronger. He's not quite Bernard (6-0, 218) but he's proven to be more durable.
Think a bigger version of Paul Palmer and that's what I'm talking about.
Brumfield has an offer on the table from Buffalo (Al Golden, I beg you, please don't let this kid go to Buffalo) and "interest" from Pitt, Penn State and Rutgers.
If Temple gets involved now, the Owls can have him.
The Owls should get him.
Temple needs Brumfield and Brumfield needs Temple.
That's a one plus one that adds up to two superstar runners for the Owls.