Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks for a nice season, everybody

"And that's the way I used to play linebacker."
"But, coach, I'm a QB."
"Oh yeah, I forgot."

Goodnight and good luck.
I think that was Edward R. Murrow's line, but I was too young to remember him.
Let's face it.
The season is over, thanks to the BCS schools who derailed the teams-with-worse-records-can't-be-chosen-over-better-records rule at the end of last season. That means eight-win teams with small fan bases are in jeopardy of getting shut out this year.
Last year, no eight-win team could have been taken over nine-win Temple (excluding bowl tie-ins). This year, any six-win team can be taken over eight-win Temple.
The BCS schools pushing that rule change through is another example that big-time college football is corrupt to the core. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer.
If you think anybody is going to bend over backwards to invite an eight-win Temple team to a bowl, your thinking process is all wrong.
The only bowl that would want us, The Military Bowl, is spoken for with two tie-in participants eligible.

Geez, I hope Al Golden decides to stay at Temple but my gut tells me he's gone
Why would the Military Bowl want us?
That was the former Eagle Bank Bowl and we helped them out big-time by putting 20K fannies in the seats last year vs. UCLA.
Can we even put 1K fannies at any other bowl?
It's all about the Benjamins in college football, in case you forgot.
It was a nice season, not a great season, not even a good season.
Because you can't return 21 starters at 16 positions and not improve from 9-3 to 10-2 or better.
And you certainly can't go from 9-3 to 8-4.

Bruce Arians, the only logical choice as next Temple coach.
 It's a nice season, not a good one, and it represents a regression from a year ago.
So there is blame to be assessed (in this order):
1) Matt Rhule. Sorry, Matt, you do not deserve to be back as offensive coordinator. You are a defensive guy, a career linebacker and a career linebacker coach. There are way too many weapons (Rod Streater, a 318-pound average offensive line, Michael Campbell, Bernard Pierce, Matt Brown, Delano Green, Erod, AJax, etc.) for this team to struggle putting points on the board. There already is an accomplished offensive coordinator on the staff. His name is Rob Spence and he turned scoreboards into  adding machines at places like Clemson and Syracuse. He deserves at least a chance to move up and show what a lifelong offensive mind can do.
Why do we consistently make slow, white quarterbacks look like Fran Tarkenton? Because we don't blitz anywhere near enough to sack these guys 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, like we should

2) Mark D'Onofrio. Why do we consistently make slow, white quarterbacks look like Fran Tarkenton? Because we don't blitz anywhere near enough to sack these guys 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, like we should. We should punch these guys in the mouth (figuratively, of course) early and often and make them uncomfortable back there.
I've been a big Mark D'Onofrio supporter to take over Al Golden's job once Al Golden leaves.
No more.
I'll take a 57-year-old Bruce Arians, a guy who is not afraid to blitz, over Mark D'Onofrio any day of the week. I've never seen a more passive defensive coordinator when it comes to attacking the other guy's quarterback.
Fifty-seven is not old anymore.
I never thought it was.
When I was 21 and working at the Doylestown Intelligencer, I wrote a column that Temple should hire John Chaney as its new basketball coach.
I got called into the office of the Managing Editor, Jim McFadden.
"Mike, don't you think 50 is a little old for a new basketball coach?" he said.
"Fifty's not old," I said.
My boss smiled.
"You get a raise," McFadden said.
He was 50, too.
The point is if you can do the job, it doesn't matter how old you are.
Bruce can do the job.
Bruce can recruit. He knows Temple. He loves Temple.  He will put other quarterbacks on their asses and make them give the ball to us early and often.
He's a Super Bowl winner.
An NFL pension is no longer an issue with him, like it was last time. He's making $600,000 and his boss is Mike Tomlin. At Temple, he would be making $1.2 million with no boss.
This move makes sense for both Bruce and Temple,
If there ever was a time for Bruce Arians at Temple, it is now.
Do I think Al Golden is leaving?
Geez, my heart says he stays but my head says he's gone.
If my heart was right tonight, we would have won, 23-3, instead of lost, 23-3.
So I think my head is right this time, too.
The tug might be too strong this year.
Yes, he's as good as gone. Benjamins also figure into the Al Golden saga. We don't have them. Other schools do.
I salute him.
What a terrific job he's done here and I can't thank him enough.
If he failed this year at all, it was sticking with his Penn State boy, Rhule, for way too long.
Golden proved that you can win at Temple, just like Arians did some 20 years ago.
When Al leaves, let's keep this momentum and move forward with the only other guy who's proven he can win here. I don't want to go back to the days that existed between those two regimes. Hiring Jerry Berndt, Ron Dickerson and Bobby Wallace was a crap shoot. I don't want any more crappy crap shoot hirings.
I want a sure thing next time and Bruce Arians is the only sure thing out there right now. He's the round peg that fits nicely into Temple's round hole.