Monday, July 19, 2010

Looking Up To Temple Part 2

One of my great frustrations about Tulane’s football program is this need to continually re-invent the wheel. Frankly, it is cultural- from leaving the SEC to the hiring of retread Bob Toledo to clamoring for a new football stadium to trying to install a power offense in the most "pass the football" League going.

Any serious student of Tulane, or college football, knows this sort of approach is unlikely to succeed. Only cultural arrogance, "we are smarter than you", leads one to try it... probably another terminal cultural tic at Tulane.

I see some thing like this article, and I just want to put my head down on my desk:
Notre Dame and Temple are in negotiations for a game in South Bend in 2013...

Notre Dame is trying to reestablish some roots in the Northeast. The Irish play Army this November at Yankee Stadium. There is a large recruiting base, especially in North Jersey, that has eroded over the years. When Bergen Catholic superstar Brian Cushing went to USC instead of Notre Dame, the Irish knew that the Blue and Gold of yesteryear has turned into the Gray and Gold.
Jeez- can you think of another university seeking to maintain ties to the Northeast- regularly lining up games with Rutgers, Army, Syracuse?

I wrote about this last December- arguing the recent success at Temple, a somewhat good comparable, means Tulane needs to watch that program like a hawk for ideas:
Temple is not an exactly ideal comparison for Tulane. It is enormous, has tons of local alums, the administration was horrified by the program’s competitiveness level rather than oddly complacent. But on field, it works better: no one goes, an urban orientation with a popular NFL and college team sucking interest, playing in the NFL stadium, a bad League, minimal facilities, losing forever.

Temple seems to have figured some of this stuff out- get the right coach, recruit an overlooked star- and in two years, due their League being pretty bad- their problems seem a whole lot less terminal.

NONE of their solutions were big dollar or admin related.
It certainly appears that Temple is potentially stealing another march here. Why can’t Tulane be in this mix? If I were the AD, I’d be on the phone reminding Notre Dame right now that Tulane stinks worse, Temple could actually beat them, Tulane could play for mere expenses, mention my donation to the Brooklyn Archdiocese Annual Appeal- and further mention Tulane can prove they can move several thousand tickets, to the exact same Tulane alums who trek up to West Point.

Like Temple, our poor home attendance has one advantage- the utter freedom to give up a home date to do something neat: play Navy in Ireland, go to Hawaii to play UCLA, any thing. Yet, name one neat thing the AD and Toledo have done with this conundrum.

I wish I could point at a concerted effort by Tulane to copy winners around them- to do stuff that is in the realm of possibility. Temple did not hire a coach who couldn't win enough at a program with infinite more resources. SMU found the sort of retread coach that does work. Rice found a quarterback that could elevate the whole program without any change in the overall team talent level- maybe Tulane needs to have many more candidates in scholarship, reach for qbs rather than the DTs the green Wave never produces? How does Navy source players?

Know who I would hire when Toledo fails this year? The guy at the interview with the three ring binder with tabs labeled: Rice, SMU, Temple, Navy.

Labels: ,