If you start having some measure of success in the coming years and get that itch to leave for supposedly greener pastures, take a break, a very l-o-n-g break, and think things through. Really think 'em through.
Why? Because the list of failed ventures for those opting to leave North Philly just got a little more daunting on Monday with Geoff Collins’ firing at Georgia Tech to put the capper on Week 4 of the 2022 college football season.
Who is Geoff Collins, sadly, too many Temple alums and reputed fans may ask? Ummm, he’s a former HC of your Owls, not all that long ago, and he set the school record for wins by an HC in his first two seasons on Broad Street and became the only HC in Temple history to go bowling his first two seasons.
Check that, his ONLY two seasons as the lure of Power 5 money and returning home as a Georgia kid to take the reins of the Yellow Jackets in downtown Atlanta proved all too much for him to turn down and stay at Temple.
Ahh, the fool – just like Al Golden, Steve Addazio and even architect of the Owls’ best, albeit short, run of success, Matt Rhule, before him.
Golden, who salvaged the Owls’ program from the scrap heap in 2006, put in five years of blood, sweat and tears at Temple, and won 17 games his final two seasons, including a 9-4 campaign in 2009 that included a Military Bowl berth, bolted for Miami the moment the Hurricanes breathed in his direction. He was never a good fit there, especially with him being choir-boy clean and Miami headed to probation after he arrived in Coral Cables. Oops, might wanna get all the info next time, bud.
Oddly, he had a better mark in Miami (32-25) than at Temple (27-34), but no rankings … and Miami administrators finally listened to Hurricanes’ fans and said, no, thank you – next.
Addazio, doing a Collins before Collins did a Collins with proclaiming he had to leave Temple because his “dream job” was offered by Boston College, only last two seasons. Of course, his first once provided the Owls with 9 wins and their first bowl victory in four decades. His second, well, he introduced this kid, Ryan Day, as his offensive coordinator, and the kid was dreadful as the team went 4-7. Somehow, he has seemed to find his way these days in Columbus, Ohio.
Daz? He proved to be the essence of mediocrity at his blessed BC, going 44-44 in seven seasons, before hightailing it to Colorado State, where his HC days likely ended in 4-12, get-him-outta-here abbreviated deal with the Rams.
Even Rhule kinda effed up. He’d already turned Power 5 gigs the previous year, but once he saw that back-to-back 10-win seasons, as well as one glorious victory over Penn State and an American Athletic Conference title were not enough to give him (and Temple) comparable pub to Penn State, never mind that on-campus stadium he so coveted, Rhule was gone to the first bidder. So what that Baylor was under investigation. Huh? Oh ... no biggie.
OK, so Rhule rebounded from the bad news, racking up 18 wins combined his second and third seasons, the latter of which saw an 11-3, national-ranking campaign pave the way to his current NFL gig, but he was sweating bullets that first season at Baylor while going 1-11.
And, frankly, his expiration date seems to be coming up quick with the Carolina Panthers.
Needless to say, things haven’t been so great for any of them since they left. Maybe monetarily. But in terms of success as an HC, no, not really. Not outside of Rhule’s last year at Baylor.
Just might be something for Drayton to keep in mind down the road. Could be a jinx or a curse or something.
Apparently, not even the disaster of Rod Carey was able to kill it.
Before Saturday’s ACC thriller between conference standard-bearer Clemson and fellow unbeaten Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., ever entered OT, Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney probably was questioning his recruitment of Nate Wiggins. Pressed into service due to a secondary decimated by injuries, the freshman cornerback already had three pass interference calls and two personal fouls against him … and two Demon Deacons’ TD passes caught against him.
The youngster bitched and moaned after every call, or reception against him, and later Swinney tossed in the obligatory “we had some tough calls go against us back there,” and neither the coach nor the player had a legit gripe. At all.
Yet, even with “being terrorized most of the afternoon,” as ABC’s Sean McDonough so appropriately put it, Wiggins delivered the decisive play – in Clemson’s favor.
OK, so he got another P.I. in overtime … Still, the final play saw him knock down a pass into the end zone by Wake QB Sam Hartman, who abused Wiggins and his DB cohorts for six TD passes, and them crumple to the turf, uncertain whether he made a mistake by not intercepting the fourth-down ball … only to be assured he was “aces” this time by his teammates as they celebrated all around him.
Frankly, considering what had transpired the rest of the game, and the fact this tussle was between the nation’s fifth- and 21st-ranked squads, ending with the higher-rated Tigers prevailing 51-45 after two extra frames, Wiggins’ play – the only one he made all game – was the play of the day in college football.
Just an unreal turn of events … in a flash.
Oregon QB Bo Nix, an Auburn transfer after being a legacy Tiger (father Patrick had his moments on the Plains at QB a lifetime ago), has been tabbed – correctly so – as dynamite at home and kinda dud away from it during his star-crossed career. That all changed at Washington State over the weekend as Nix rallied the Ducks from a 27-15 fourth-quarter deficit and carried them to a 44-41 victory.
He threw for 428 yards and 3 TDs in the process, ran for another 30, and, for good measure, caught an 18-yard pass well.
Oklahoma, overrated as always, dropped a game to an unranked squad – in Norman, Okla., no less. Of course, it was Kansas State pulling off the upset, as the Wildcats won for the third time in the last three years of this series. Exiled Nebraska show-runner Adrian Martinez surgically picked apart the Sooners’ D – sorry, but Brent Venables’ days as an elite defensive mind are over – en route to accounting for 5 TDs.
Side note: Tip of the cap to fellow QB transfer, Dillon Gabriel, from Central Florida. The lefty was brilliant in throwing for 330 yards and running for another 61, accounting for 4 TDs himself. Wasn’t sure before. Am now. The kid is an NFL prospect for real.
MY HEISMAN FRONTRUNNER
With apologies to the more over-hyped QB at Kansas and the ridiculously way more-overhyped QB at Southern Cal, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker has been a revelation for a season and change now at Rocky Top. He is, far and away, the best character in the best story in college football right now. There is no debate.
Talented, but erratic for three years at Virginia Tech, he arrived in Knoxville, Tenn., via the portal, looking for someone to tap into his abilities, but unknowing who that would be … since the Vols had yet to hire Josh Heupel from UCF.
No problem. Since the two have united, Hooker has racked up 39 TDS (and just 3 INTs) passing, plus another 8 TDs on the ground. Tennessee is 4-0 in 2022 mainly due to him and ranked No. 8 – the first time they’ve been that high since 2006.
Against then-No. 20 Florida on Saturday,