If there was a polar opposite of Memphis 54 SMU 48, well, it would be Wake Forest 3 Boston College 0. Still, Temple 17 USF 7 as the next nationally televised AAC game following last Saturday’s Liberty Bowl thriller was a bit of a letdown.
It was only a bigger letdown if you actually care about USF football. It was another deplorable offensive performance, in front of a mostly empty stadium. That wasn’t the worst part. That was when Charlie Strong waved the white flag, and begged the mighty Temple Owls, ‘No mas.’
No wonder the Bulls fans who made it out were chanting for Strong to be fired.
FINAL Temple 17 - USF 7— The Oracle — Sports (@USFOracleSports) November 8, 2019
“Fire Charlie” chant from the student section as time runs out. pic.twitter.com/CJ7HQu9nTp
I for one, don’t blame USF fans for wanting Strong out as head coach. The win total has gone down in each season, with it looking like the Bulls will get to save on travel costs this season, by not going to a bowl.
The offense has been bad since Quinton Flowers graduated. This season the Bulls are gaining 345.8 yards per game (108th in the country) and are only scoring 24 points per game (99th in the country). That number drops to 20.1 ppg without their FCS game.
But tell me more about how Kerwin Bell’s offense as a ‘pro-style pass attack.’
It’s clear to me that Charlie Strong is not the guy to bring USF to a conference championship. He may not even be the guy to get them to consistently compete for one. It looks like he doesn’t care, and can’t inspire his players.
Here’s why USF can’t fire him:
They can’t afford to buy him out. Well, they can physically afford it, but they shouldn’t spend their money on the buyout right now.
It’s like being able to afford your rent, food, and utilities. You can also afford a payment on a new car. You can’t afford both. Be responsible, and stick with your old beater of a car a couple of years longer.
The money that USF has set aside for the football program needs to go to an indoor practice facility and an on-campus stadium. They can not go to coaching buyouts, and another multi-million dollar contract.
Think about it. USF would owe Strong between $1.7 and $2.5 million dollars in a buyout. They would then either need to buy their next coach out of their current contract. Then, they would need to pay them in the range of $2 million annually.
That easily a $5 million expense. UCF built their indoor practice facility for $4.3 million. Now, the indoor practice facility that USF is planning would have all the bells and whistles, which UCF’s didn’t have when it first opened.
USF should build a minimalist facility with the money they would have used to fire Strong, and be able to improve it down the road. For the short term it’s more important that USF can practice when it’s thundering out in Florida.
Yes, it might seem like a good idea to fire Strong, but take a second and ask yourself, ‘Who should we hire to replace him?’
Good question. There’s a lot of answers, but only one is correct. A young, energetic, aggressive, offensive-minded coach. That’s the best way to succeed in the AAC, and it’s the best way to recruit those great Florida athletes despite having mediocre facilities.
So, you’ve hired your young offensive-minded coach. Let’s call him Fcott Srost. After a couple awesome seasons, if you’re lucky, Srost is going to get scooped by a power conference team. If you mis-fired, and got a Mhilip Pontgomery then you need to find the money for another buyout.
Either way, you need another new coach. You need to hope to make the right hire again. Consistently making the right hires is very difficult. That’s really not a game you want to play.
Here’s the other thing about Charlie Strong. He’s still pretty good at coaching defense, he has nowhere else to go, and you’ll never be a laughing stock with him as coach. You’ll never be as bad Scottie Montgomery’s ECU teams. You just won’t consistently be all that good either.
If I had to make a suggestion, grit your teeth and wait for Strong’s contract to expire, after the 2021 season. Then, simply don’t renew him. Move on, and find your Fcott Srost. In the meantime, build some better facilities with the money you saved. Build up a base for your program, and let Strong help build that base.