Friday, December 16, 2011

New Mexico Bowl: Final exam for Daz

Dave "Owlified" Gerson's excellent senior highlight video. If there is a "techie" out there who can remix the background music of this from the classical format to D.J. Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" on a loop than get back to me. Love the Ed Benkin call of Joe Jones' touchdown catch and don't love the Harry Donahue call on the Kee-ayre Griffin blocked field goal "running with it is Robinson. Johnson, rather" (which is pretty much a typical Harry Donahue call).

This is going to look awfully good at the E-O.
My good friend Fizzy and I were talking about Steve Addazio's first year as Temple's head coach after the final game of the regular season.
"I'm going to have to give him a C," Fiz said. "Not excellent. Not good. Satisfactory."
Fizzy is a former Temple football great and someone who spent the rest of his life giving out grades for a living as an esteemed educator.
I thought his grade of Daz was a fair one until that point.
I gave him an incomplete because you really can't give Steve Addazio a grade until he completes his finals.
That comes tomorrow (2 p.m., ESPN) in the New Mexico Bowl.
If Temple beats Wyoming to a pulp, 31-14, something on the order I expect it to, Addazio's grade improves to a B+, which is very good. If it's a 28-27 win, it drops to a B.
I could not in fairness give Addazio a B or an A on the basis of his first regular season because I thought he made some key errors in judgment that could have cost the Owls at least a couple of games:

Some that come to mind:
  • Removing Mike Gerardi with a lead in the Penn State game. I thought Gerardi was following the "plan to win" until he was removed. The plan to beat Penn State was to avoid turnovers and make plays in the play-action passing game. Gerardi even threw the ball into the ground in the first half of the Penn State game, rather than make a turnover. When Chester Stewart was ineffective, Gerardi was reinserted and I really felt that the pressure went back to Gerardi to make a play in order to keep his job. The result was that he forced the ball into tight windows and Penn State picked him off twice.
  • The failure to remove Stewart in the Toledo or Bowling Green games. Stewart was never held to the same high standard Gerardi was and he was allowed to remain in the game Toledo despite throwing two picks. Against Bowling Green, it was painfully apparent he could not move the team. As a result, two games got away from the Owls.
  • Not recognizing the talent he had in Chris Coyer. Daz said he was "thisclose" to starting Coyer against Villanova. Had he done that, it's much more likely Temple would have gone 10-2 instead of 8-4. Heck, Villanova was the perfect game to get Coyer's feet wet. Owls would have beaten that sorry ass team, 42-7, with Stewart (suspended for that game), Gerardi, Coyer or Clinton Granger.
Now come the finals on Saturday before an ESPN national television audience.
Daz will ace his final with a 31-14 win and earn my B plus. He can't get an A because I really feel this is the most talented team of the last three years and Al Golden reached a minimum eight with slightly lesser talent.
If he wins this game, though, Daz will accomplish one of the big things he said he would do (see sidebar of this blog) which is to get the team in a bowl game and win it.
That's very good in my book and something Golden never did.
Heck, even a tough marker like Fizzy might be forced to redo his grade as well.