Maybe Baylor hasn't done much lately to deserve Matt Rhule.
As that school tries to dig out from scandal, however, it did its homework. From everything I've seen the last few years, Rhule is both the real deal as a football coach and made to order for Baylor. He's even the son of a minister. They'll like that down there.
Rhule is a great salesman, but he doesn't sell a line of bull. Temple saw he was the real deal. I mean the whole Temple community, from players to administration to fans. Baylor will see it, too.
As for any attempt by Temple to keep him, there was no way. Baylor plays in a different league, in all aspects. Most Power 5 schools have money to throw around that even the best of the rest can't match. If Rhule didn't triple his salary, he quadrupled it. It didn't sound as if there was much of an attempt at a counteroffer.
None of that is a knock on Temple. If Texas and Virginia Tech can hire American Athletic Conference coaches, as they have in the last year, and Oregon can be looking at South Florida's coach, which makes perfect sense, then Baylor can go after Temple's coach and get him. Reports have Oregon showing recent interest in Rhule, too, which only helped Rhule's bargaining power with Baylor.
Rhule had hired one of the big-time agents before schools starting coming after him last season. That big-time agent surely told him now is the time to go.
I know a lot of Temple fans hoped Rhule's love of the city would keep him forever. He's also a football coach who worked in a lot of places as an assistant. In addition to his ability to see outside the walls of Temple's football complex, I always sensed his ambition. That was a positive. That ambition served Temple well.
The digging out at Baylor is real. The sexual assault charges also took down high administrators, not just the football coach. Rhule isn't walking into an easy spot.
The surprise is more about the region. Texas is its own entity when it comes to football and everything else, and Rhule will need the right ambassadors into that world.
What now for the Owls? They have two really fine coordinators, but coordinator is a different job from head coach. Every time I've talked to defensive coordinator Phil Snow, there's been meat on the bone. I just have no clue whether he's a head coach or better served as a coordinator, which brings up another issue. Snow might prefer to be a coordinator in Waco. I can't imagine Rhule's not trying to take him.
Temple athletic director Pat Kraft had to know this day could come, which means Kraft has a list in his own brain. He said as much himself. That's how it works. The good news for Temple is that Temple is now a legit job, worthy of a legit coach.
So here's what I'm suggesting: Go after Charlie Strong, hard. I thought Houston should do that, make a straight trade with Texas. It's an even easier sell for Temple, since the Owls aren't losing their coach to the place that just let Strong go.
Strong is the real deal. Texas wasn't the right fit, but he showed up when the talent pool was drained and you don't get a lot of time to fill it at a place like that. Strong did a great job at Louisville, winning 23 games in his last two years before going to the Longhorns. He's another guy who doesn't sell a line of bull. He got paid well at Texas, obviously, so Temple might be able to afford him, assuming he wants to be a head coach again right away.
Another name thrown around is that of Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. A great name, but Moorhead may want to stay longer than a year in Happy Valley and see where it takes him.
Time to think creatively, Owls. The job now is to make sure the high point of Temple football didn't just get on a plane for Texas.