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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

The Countdown

No. 44: Temple

Temple pre-Al Golden: a train wreck, pure and simple. Without exaggeration, a disaster.

I’d like to say I saw this coming. But I didn’t, to be honest. I’m talking back in 2006, when Al Golden, formerly of Virginia, stepped into the worst environment in college football. The Owls were 0-11 in 2005 — outscored by 391 points on the year — and 3-31 over the previous three seasons. Off the field, the program was an “train wreck,” to use Golden’s own term. His first season, at least on the field, went along the same lines: 1-11, outscored by 365 points. Then came four wins in 2007. Five more in 2008. And nine in 2009. Winning football — at Temple. And a program built for the long term. Will Golden remain a part of it?

Conference
MAC, East

Location
Philadelphia

Nickname
Owls

Returning starters
16 (9 offense, 7 defense)

Last year’s ranking
No. 74

2009 record
(9-4, 7-1)

Last year’s
re-ranking

No. 52

2010 schedule

  • Sept. 3
    Villanova
  • Sept. 9
    Central Michigan
  • Sept. 18
    Connecticut
  • Sept. 25
    at Penn St.
  • Oct. 2
    at Army
  • Oct. 9
    at N.I.U.
  • Oct. 16
    Bowling Green
  • Oct. 23
    at Buffalo
  • Oct. 30
    Akron
  • Nov. 6
    at Kent St.
  • Nov. 16
    Ohio
  • Nov. 23
    Miami (Ohio)

Last year’s prediction

I doubt we’ll see an easier schedule. I see only one game where Temple will be outclassed (Penn State), and only one other game where, as of now, I’m predicting Temple to lose (Navy). Other than that? There is no doubt that Temple can play with, and defeat, the other 10 teams on its schedule. I have Temple winning the MAC East division with a 7-5 record — with the potential of breaking through completely with an 8-4 finish — and reaching the MAC title game. This will be the best Temple team in nearly 20 years.

2009 recap

In a nutshell A dream season. Well, not quite: the Owls did not take the MAC East, losing out on the division crown via a season-ending loss to Ohio. Only a bandwagon Temple fan — say, one that began following the team in August 2009 — could nitpick with last season’s success. Nine wins, a program-high since 1979. All nine of those victories in a row — from Sept. 26 – Nov. 21 — a school record, as you might imagine. The Owls scored 384 points, the second-most in program history. The offense succeeded despite featuring a lackluster passing game, one that ranked 112th nationally in passing yards and 118th in completion percentage. Three cheers, thusly, for the offensive line. Another round of cheers for a pair of young running backs. Save some applause, however: Temple will be even better in 2010.

High point Seven of that nine victories came against MAC competition, with the other two coming over Army and Navy – I predicted the Owls to lose to Navy, as you can see above. While the 1979 Owls may have been a better team, it would not be an exaggeration to call the winning streak the greatest period in the history of the program. Among the most memorable moments: the late touchdown scamper to beat Navy; the last-second field goal to top Miami (Ohio); the absolute dominance of the last three quarters of a prime time win at Akron.

Low point Of course, the loss to Ohio to end the season. That the team had already accomplished so much did not diminish the disappointment of losing out on a chance to win a MAC championship. In the big picture, 2009 remains a supreme achievement for a program locked in a three decade-long standstill.

Tidbit Last season’s nine-game winning streak equaled Temple’s output from the 2007-8 seasons. It was also one more win than the program notched from 2003-6. It was also more than Temple’s single-season win total in every year of the program’s existence (since 1894) but 1973 and 1979.

Tidbit (progression edition) Temple football from one season to the next, in the words of the Countdown. I ranked the Owls No. 105 heading into 2008, writing:

For some Owl fans, a 5-7 season may seem like the program is treading water, but think twice; for a program so downtrodden it was booted from the Big East, any sense of progress should be a godsend. And as long as Golden remains at Temple, the Owl program will continue to improve and be factor in the MAC race.

I had Temple at No. 74 last summer, writing:

I have Temple winning the MAC East division with a 7-5 record — with the potential of breaking through completely with an 8-4 finish — and reaching the MAC title game. This will be the best Temple team in nearly 20 years.

No. 105 in 2008, No. 74 in 2009, No. 44 in 2010. If this trend continues, the Owls should be hovering around No. 15 heading into next season.

Former players in the N.F.L.

9 CB Dominique Harris (Buffalo), LB Alex Joseph (Green Bay), DT Dan Klecko (Atlanta), DT Terrance Knighton (Jacksonville), TE Steve Maneri (Houston), FB Jason McKie (New Orleans), DT Andre Neblett (Carolina), DE Brian Sanford (Cleveland), OT Devin Tyler (Arizona).

Arbitrary top five list

Huxtable kids
1. Denise.
2. Theo.
3. Rudy.
4. Vanessa.
5. Sondra.

Coaching

Al Golden (Penn State ’91), 19-30 after four seasons at Temple. Much of that damage was done in Golden’s first season with the Owls (2006), when Temple struggled through a 1-11 finish. His Owls improved significantly over the following two seasons, bouncing back from a 1-5 start in 2007 to win four games – all in MAC play – and finishing with five wins in 2008, a program-best since 1990. Temple was a trendy pick to challenge for the East division in 2009, but few could have predicted just how strong the Owls would be: 9-4, 7-1 in the MAC, and within a game of playing for the conference championship. How has Golden done it? He has completely rebuilt the nation’s worst defense and ramped up Temple’s recruiting, which has ranked among the best in the MAC since his arrival. The young talent Golden has landed, now two or three years into the program, constitute the heart of the Temple roster. Though he is one of the youngest head coaches in the F.B.S., Golden brought a wealth of F.B.S. coaching experience to Temple in 2006. From 2001-5, Golden served as Al Groh’s first defensive coordinator at Virginia, helping lead the Cavaliers to a 37-26 mark and four consecutive bowl trips (2002-5). Like with the Owls, Golden pushed all the right buttons with the U.V.A. defense, helping the unit improve from 108th nationally in total defense in 2001 to 18th in 2004. Golden was tabbed to be the youngest coordinator in the F.B.S. after a single season at Penn State (2000), where he served as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. His additional F.B.S. experience includes three seasons at Boston College (1997-99), coaching the linebackers, and a three-year stint as a graduate assistant at Virginia (1994-96). Considering the job he has done with the Owls and his impressive assistant experience, it is no wonder Golden’s name has been attached to a number of high-profile job openings over the last two seasons. He deserves to be on the short list at every major job opening in the country.

Players to watch

The offensive line is the heart of this team. It’s superb, despite losing four-year starter and 2009 all-MAC left tackle Devin Tyler. That’s the only spot that remains up for debate; the rest of the line remains intact. Temple has two options on the blind side: the first is Pat Boyle, one of last season’s tackle reserves; the second is Steve Caputo, who moves to tackle after making nine starts at left guard last fall. Boyle currently holds a slight edge, though Caputo’s experience is a significant plus. Whether it’s Boyle or Caputo: the new starter steps into a wonderful situation. He’ll share the weak side with junior Wayne Tribue, who spent last season sharing time at guard with Caputo. Yet another junior, John Palumbo, returns at center, though he’ll be pushed for time by Jeremy Schonbrunner. Now, the strong side: guard Colin Madison and tackle Darius Morris. Both starters are seniors. Both are returning first-team all-MAC selections. Both key the run game, and do so wonderfully.

Forget training camp. The N.C.A.A. didn’t clear sophomore running back Bernard Pierce until two days before the season opener; all the Heisman hopeful did, despite the short notice, was rush for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns, rushing for at least 100 six times and at least 200 yards in back-to-back games to end October. In addition to landing only 13 carries through the first two weeks, Pierce, due to an injury, barely touched the field over the final two conference games of the year. He’s good enough, and important enough to this offense, to truly be a Heisman hopeful; this will particularly be the case should Temple break into the Top 25. Pierce isn’t the only weapon in the backfield. Pint-size sophomore Matt Brown stepped into the starting lineup in Pierce’s stead over the season’s final three games, averaging 137 yards rushing in those three contests. He’ll continue to play a major role. The Owls also welcome back sophomore Ahkeem Smith, who took a redshirt last fall after playing in six games as a true freshman.

After splitting time last fall, junior Chester Stewart is the unquestioned starter at quarterback. He’s the guy: senior Vaughn Charlton, a nine-game starter under center in 2009, was moved to tight end following spring practice. Temple doesn’t ask Stewart to do much, and, to be honest, he hasn’t shown himself capable of carrying this team with his arm. He completed only 40 percent of his attempts last fall (26 completions in 65 tries) with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He’ll be better, thanks to experience, and opposing defenses have no choice but to focus on the ground game, potentially opening up the pass. Temple is good enough to hold fourth quarter leads in most games, but I don’t have confidence in Stewart’s ability to lead the Owls back into games with his arm.

Temple has a stout front seven, with a line keyed by the reigning conference defensive player of the year, junior end Adrian Robinson. His debut season in the starting lineup couldn’t have gone much better: 46 tackles (14 for loss) and 13 sacks, the latter total pacing the MAC. Robinson is one of two first-team all-MAC choices up front: the second is junior tackle Muhammad Wilkerson (61 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 7 sacks).

There is a third returning starter up front, in fact, but senior Amara Kamara will move to outside linebacker in his final season. His position change opens up the second end spot to sophomore Kadeem Custis. The biggest hole up front is on the nose, where Temple lost three-time all-MAC pick Andre Neblett. His replacement, sophomore Elisha Joseph, made 14 tackles and a sack in a reserve role in 2009. Even with two new starters, Temple again has the best defensive line in the MAC.

Kamara will step into a starting spot at outside linebacker. He, along with junior Tahir Whitehead, will flank new starter Elijah Joseph, who steps in for departed starter Alex Joseph in the middle. The transition from end to outside linebacker is not necessarily a very difficult one, though Kamara will need to accustom himself to playing with his hands off the ground, as well as playing the pass. It helps that Kamara spent some time at linebacker last fall, potentially speeding up his learning curve.

As with elsewhere, depth is not a concern in the secondary. Two players return with starting experience at safety. Junior Kevin Kroboth made nine starts at strong safety last fall, making 45 tackles and an interception on the year. He’ll be joined by senior free safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (76 tackles, second on the team), a first-team all-MAC selection. In addition to sticking his nose in against the run, Jarrett’s three interceptions tied for the team lead.

Senior Marquise Liverpool was the second defensive back to post three picks; he’s also the most experienced cornerback on the roster, and due to take on a leadership role in his final season. Sophomore Maurice Jones is the likely starter on the opposite side, but the Owls have options. That word again: options. One is junior James Nixon, a former wide receiver. He was one of the team’s most valuable receiving threats last fall, as well as a top-notch return man, and Temple hopes his athleticism translates to the defensive side of the ball. While junior Kee-ayre Griffin and redshirt freshman Zamel Johnson won’t start, both will play important roles. As with the defensive line, the secondary is loaded.

Position battles to watch

Wide receiver No position is in trouble; every position has depth. Few positions, in fact, face any meaningful competition. One position that does, however, is wide receiver. Yet it’s a strange type of competition: Temple returns both starters and most of last year’s contributors — minus Jason Harper, a former running back who made 12 receptions for 228 yards in his final season. The returning starters, senior Michael Campbell (27 receptions for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns) and junior Joe Jones (28 receptions for 387 yards), held onto their starting roles during the spring. It would have been a shock otherwise, in my opinion. Campbell led the Owls in both receiving yards and touchdowns, while Jones, another converted running back, led the team in receptions. Still, this duo will be pushed for playing time by a handful of hungry reserves, all underclassmen, all talented enough to grab meaningful roles. One is sophomore C.J. Hammond, who currently stands behind Campbell on the depth chart; likewise with junior Rod Streater, who trails Jones. What this group might miss is big-play ability: Temple will miss Harper and Nixon, both of whom averaged at least 19 yards per reception. What this group doesn’t lack, however, is depth. In addition to the aforementioned quartet, the Owls can turn to redshirt freshman Ryan Alderman, incoming freshman Deon Miller — a name to watch — and seniors Delano Green (8 receptions for 129 yards last fall), Nyles Bynum and Dy’Onne Crudup.

Game(s) to watch

Ohio, at home, on Nov. 16. The Owls will be looking to avenge last season’s loss in Athens. Continuing with MAC play, an early October trip to Northern Illinois is a conference title game preview, in my opinion. Why not one more? The Chippewas are down, but Temple can make an early-season statement with a win over the two-time defending conference champions on Sept. 11.

Season breakdown & prediction

In a nutshell There’s really no question that Temple is the class of the MAC. Yes, a conference rival may catch the Owls on an off day and score the upset, but no team can hold a candle to Temple’s mix of coaching, talent, experience and depth. And make no mistake: the Owls are loaded in all four categories. Al Golden has staked a claim to being the finest young coach in America. Contributors who took their lumps as freshmen in 2006 and 2007 are now tested, veteran seniors. Temple’s strong recruiting has infused this roster with young talent; a handful of these youngsters made an impact a year ago. It’s not a question of whether Temple will take the MAC, but a question of how good it looks doing so. Now, quickly, step back. Think about 2006. The university, having recently considered disbanding the football program altogether, hires a young, defensive-minded assistant from Virginia. Little was expected. Little was given in the way of support. Four years later, the Owls are the clear favorites in the MAC; an overwhelming choice to reach bowl play for the second consecutive season; and, in my mind, a very realistic contender for a Top 25 finish. It will take some help to get there: a win over Connecticut, for instance, as well as a perfect conference mark. Certainly doable. Let’s temper our expectations a bit, however. If Temple does win 10 games, it won’t be the prettiest 10-win team — in terms of its resume — we’ve ever seen. For all its talent, Temple still doesn’t match up with Connecticut or Penn State, the two B.C.S. conference programs on the schedule. Not that it matters much. When it comes to the MAC, Temple is in a class by itself. If you saw this coming, raise your hand.

Dream season The Owls split games against B.C.S. conference opponents, then dominate the MAC. When all is said and done, Temple sets a new school record with an 11-1 finish, and ends the regular season ranked in the top 20 nationally.

Nightmare season It’s hard to picture anything worse than six wins. A nightmare, in that case, would be a 5-7 mark, 4-4 in conference action.

In case you were wondering

Where do Temple fans congregate? You can find solid message board talk and recruiting coverage at Owl Scoop and Owls Daily. For a blog’s take, visit Temple Football Forever. As a loyal reader suggests below, The Owl’s Nest is another option for fans.

Up Next

Who is No. 43? Our next program scored more points in both 2007 and 2009 than it did from 2005-6.

You can also follow Paul Myerberg and Pre-Snap Read on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. Jer says:

    The points apply to Cincinnati but I don’t see them that low.

  2. Jer says:

    It is amazing that Cincinnati avg 18.71 ppg over the two years before Brian Kelly got there and avg 36.31 ppg in 2007 and 38.62 ppg last year.

  3. Kevin says:

    It’s not Navy!

  4. Jeff says:

    Paul, thanks for the write-up and your kind words for my Owls. It’s been quite the ride for me for 21 years and 364 days. I’m really proud of our guys, our program, and the fellow fans who have remained loyal despite things that happened that no college football fan should ever have to endure.

    Only small errors I saw where two misspellings: Kadeem Curtis should be ‘Custis’, and Jaiquwan Jarrett should be ‘Jaiquawn’.

    Also, our game against Central Michigan was moved to September 9th to accomodate ESPN programming.

    Another good Temple site, which is run by our most passionate young fan is http://www.Owlified.com/

    Nonetheless, this is a great read, and a great site.

    Thankfully, unless Penn State comes calling, Coach Golden is here for the long-haul. We really have a lot to look forward to. Hopefully a top 25 finish is up next.

    Shock the world. T for Temple U. Go Owls!

  5. Chaddogg says:

    Still no Northwestern. Top 42 or better, baby!

  6. huskyskins says:

    Temple? Seriously, Temple? You think they could even hang on against the likes of Arizona, Clemson, Michigan State, Rutgers, or Washington? Come on, they’d be a bottom dweller in the Pac-10, ACC, or Big 10.

    Heartwarming story, but the reality is that they still get their wins against the MAC.

    Just the facts: 2009 Non-conference results of bowl-eligible teams.

    Temple:
    Wins – Army, Navy
    Losses – Nova!, Penn State, UCLA

    Ohio:
    Wins – North Texas, Cal Poly
    Losses – UCONN, Tennessee, Marshall

    Central Michigan:
    Wins – Michigan State, Alcorn State, Troy
    Losses – Arizona, Boston College

    NIU:
    Wins – Western Illinois, Purdue
    Losses – USF, Idaho, Wisconsin

    BGSU:
    Wins – Troy
    Losses – Missouri, Marshall, Boise State, Idaho

    Where does this conference hang it’s hat? Wins over the service academies, FCS opponents, or CM’s 2-pt win over MSU? Or, losses to Nova!, Marshall, Idaho, and every other credible FBS competition?

    There is some serious flaw in judgement to place any MAC team, exept Central Michigan, in the top 50, and they’re even suspect.

    Temple will be a good………..wait for it……..MAC team this year, but not the 44th best team in the nation. Come on man!

  7. Jeff says:

    “Temple? Seriously, Temple? You think they could even hang on against the likes of Arizona, Clemson, Michigan State, Rutgers, or Washington? Come on, they’d be a bottom dweller in the Pac-10, ACC, or Big 10.”

    Didn’t take long for a hater to post. Yes, we could hang with Arizona, Clemson, MSU, Rutgers and UDub.

    You’re basing too much on last year if Central Michigan should be ahead of Temple and in the top 50. It’s kind of like ranking baseball prospects; it’s all about potential and outlook.

    Go Owls!

  8. Ezra says:

    the “your non-cartel team couldn’t hang with a medium-tier cartel team” is so tired, and so wrong.

    Look for strong lines (Temple’s got ‘em) and good coaching (Temple’s got that, too) and you’ll find a team that will do well in any conference. It may not beat the cream of a cartel conference, but it’d be find in the middle.

    Just like most of the cartel is.

  9. huskyskins says:

    Cartel/non-cartel, FBS auto-qualifier/non-auto-qualifier, Haves/wanna haves…call it want you want, but for a minute few outliers, the distinction exists for a reason. Temple would get throttled on a weekly basis in a cartel conference whether it be Pac-10, Big-10, etc. Sure, they’d get the best of Washington State, Baylor, Indiana, but they wouldn’t get much higher. Trade schedules with any of the teams I mentioned and the cartel team wins the MAC going away, while Temple is an also-ran (e.g. Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Indiana, Minnesota, etc.)

    And before you get all huffy and puffy, you know your school would jump at a chance to join a big-boy conference. BYU wet themselves just because there was an outside shot they might get into the Pac-10 with Utah. Face it, MAC wins don’t mean squat, neither do wins against Army and Nova(if Temple actually wins this year). Temple will get throttled again by Penn State, so the whole season rests on a game against UCONN. That’s a pretty sad state of affairs. But, go ahead, win the MAC and get to play another wanna-be like Troy in your bowl game that no one will watch when 20 better cartel teams with 5-7 records stay home.

    Temple is not Boise State or TCU yet. They’re not even BYU or Utah. They won’t have a win of consequence over anyone this year except maybe UConn, and that’s not a real huge win in the grand scheme of college football (if it happens).

  10. Jim Narby says:

    i’m shocked temple came before nebraska.

  11. Jeff says:

    Husky, looks like you’re pretty butt hurt that my Owls are ranked ahead of UDub. I hope you’re done crying.

    You’re right; we’re not Boise or TCU yet. Key word is ‘yet’.

    I will certainly take ‘also-ran’ status if it means Okie State comparisons. They have a nice program there.

    Go Owls. Temple>Jake Locker

  12. Tom says:

    Outstanding report. Well done! Thank you for the enjoyable read.

  13. huskyskins says:

    Jeff,
    I’m not chapped specifically about Washington. They’re coming off of 6 straight losing seasons. I can be realistic. While vastly improved, it will still be a stunning upset if they beat Nebraska, USC, or Oregon. Every other game is a toss-up, save maybe WSU and Syracuse. They could go 2-9 or 8-3. But, those are against 9 Pac-10 opponents, 2 BCS opponents, and one top-tier non-BCS opponent. If they should go crazy and sweep, they will play for the National Championship.

    On the other hand, Temple plays 1 service academy (the worst of the three), 1 FCS opponent (who beat them last year), 2 BCS opponents, and 8 MAC opponents. Should they miraculously beat PSU and run the table, they will not play for the National Championship or a BCS game. No one in the country, save the Temple faithful, will even say with a straight face that they deserve to.

    Why? Because 8 MAC+PSU < 9 Pac-10 opponents. Way less.

    The MAC is not a good conference. They don't win games against BCS competition as a whole. Even the yearly top tier of the conference has trouble with games against mediocre to lowly BCS teams. Boise State, BYU, Utah, and TCU don't hang their hats on wins over New Mexico or Utah State. They have wins over Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon, etc. to showcase their programs. Temple has a long way to go to even get in this conversation.

    Oh, and when I mentioned OK State, I was talking about this upcoming year where they'll be facing off against Iowa State, Baylor and the like for the cellar of the Big 12.

  14. Jeff says:

    I dont even understand your point. Paul has us 44th, not 11th…

  15. huskyskins says:

    Jeff,
    Being the best team from the second worst conference in FBS does not make you a top-50 team. I picked out five teams I think should be ahead of them. I’ll add Nevada, USF, and Fresno State to that list. All would be favored over Temple on a neutral field. There’s probably others, but I’ll stop there.

    I find it laughable that Paul thinks a win over UConn and sweeping the MAC will garner a top-20 finish. Maybe I’m mixing up “would” and “should”. There’s no way it should, but voters look at that shiny record and forget how they got it.

    Regardless, I’m rooting for the Owls. I hope they go undefeated and cause their little ripple in the BCS discussion.

  16. Jeff says:

    Mr. UDub, have you ever watched us play?

  17. dc4azcats says:

    I agree with Huskyskins and here’s why. Look at where the Mac teams are ranked by Paul.

    Temple plays 7 games TY against teams that are ranked #82nd or lower. How do you know a team is any good when you play 8 games against some of the lowest ranked teams in the nation?

    For argument sake lets say you get blown out by UConn and PSU then reel off 8 straight – does that make you a top 50 team? Really?

    The teams that Huskyskins mentioned would blow through this schedule with possibly just the one loss to PSU.

    Miami, OH at #112
    Buffalo at #108
    Akron at #105
    Kent State at #99
    W. Mich at #92
    Bowling Green at #89
    C. Mich at #82
    Army at #85

    That’s 6 teams from one conference in the bottom 38 of this ranking. Throw in Army and ‘Nova and you should have 8 wins by just showing up.

    At least in the MWC you have TCU, BYU and Utah – you don’t have anything close to that in the MAC.

    Even worse is Phil Steele ranking Temple at #31 – is Phil a Temple grad?

    Paul: I think you raise a good point. However, remember that this list — and I don’t about Steele’s — is based on what I project each team to achieve. In my mind, if Temple goes 9-3, its resume would be the 44th-best in the country. If Arizona went 9-3, its resume would be somewhere between 15-20, in my opinion. So try not to think about whether team No. 44 could beat team No. 46, because we both know, and Temple fans know as well, that the Wildcats would beat Temple by two scores. If I had to guess, I’d say that Steele believes Temple will go 10-2 — very believable — which in terms of The A.P. Top 25, for instance, would rank them as the 31st-best team in the nation. And yes, Temple’s schedule is easy by national standards. If they do beat UConn, however, you’d have to think that an 11-1 team, regardless of the schedule, deserves be at least No. 44 on any list.

  18. Jeff says:

    No, Phil isn’t a Temple grad. I’m not sure where he went. I saw something about Notre Dame, but I’m not sure he went there. He lives in Cleveland.

    I won’t bother to keep arguing about whether we’re deserving of whatever meaningless ranking you mention. Think whatever you’d like. I’m sure you complained about our basketball team being ranked in the top 12, because the A10 has a bunch of bad teams too, right?

    Go Owls.

  19. Jeff says:

    “because we both know, and Temple fans know as well, that the Wildcats would beat Temple by two scores.”

    I dont know about that, but Arizona definitely has a very good team.

  20. george howley says:

    regardlous where one thinks that Temple should be ranked this one of the great stories of college football. I’ve been a fan for over 60 years and I have never seen a turnaround anywhere close to this. Yes, I know of rhe Kansas State story and almost as remarkable was Rip Engle with Penn State. We can’t forget Florida State or Virginia Tech. None of these compare to Temple which was given up for “dead”. Can Golden bring them to “point A”? We’ll never know because he’ll be gone to better pastures at the end of this season. Maybe Penn State.

  21. dc4azcats says:

    Great points Paul and I can live with that. That being said – how do you not see Arizona going 9-3 with the favorable schedule that they have?

    Jeff – Temple is as George pointed out – one of the greatest stories in college football when you consider that as recently as 2001 you got beat 45-3, 33-7, 38-0 and 35-0 in 4 consecutive weeks – to where you are today.

    Tip of the cap to Temple fans for hanging in there through some very lean years.

  22. Jeff says:

    As recently as 2006, we lost 62-0 in consecutive weeks to Louisville and Minnesota. I dont think that would happen now. In fact, we’d probably beat both of them.

    Also, George, Coach Golden is here for the long-haul unless Penn State wants him as their head coach. He signed a 5 year extension in May, bought a very nice house a few years ago, and has a young family. He likes the Philly area very much, and isn’t just going to leave for simply any BCS job. He’s also said many times that he’s not here to build a team, he’s here to build a program.

    Go Owls.

  23. VIC says:

    Great write up…. I am looking forward to packing the Linc with owls fans this fall… get your tickets now at owlstix.com

  24. xxx says:

    All Temple fans should be excited for this upcoming season. If Pierce stayed injury free against UCLA in the bowl game, and didn’t have to leave at the half, Temple wins that game easily. Even without Pierce, Temple was winning the game into the 4th quarter. So to say Temple would be a bottom feeder in a BCS conference is plainly stupid particularly considering the recruiting advantages a BCS conference team gets over a non-BCS team. Put Temple Football and Coach Golden into any BCS conference and Temple would fare nicely; maybe not the top dog, but certainly not a bottom feeder. It’s almost like there is a pathological blind spot with many college football fans when ‘Temple’ is mentioned with ‘Football’, ‘Winning’, and ‘Top-25′. Go Owls!

  25. [...] heading into the season opener. Today’s team, No. 44, is Temple. You can find a larger Temple preview [...]

  26. dc4azcats says:

    Ucla was a horrible team LY so I wouldn’t make them out to be all that. They barely scored more than their defense gave up. Scoring 22 and giving up 21. They beat teams with losing records which got them bowl elgible at 6-6.

    They got crushed by good BCS teams with winning records. UCLA had all of 2 wins against teams with winning records – A bad Tenn team that went 7-6 LY and Temple. They beat a 6-6 K-State team and lost to 6 other teams with winning records.

    Temple got beat by a team that went 3-6 in it’s conference and finished 8th in its conference.

    You might want to re-think that whole bit about being in the top half of a BCS conference.

  27. croller says:

    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FOR THE CHERRY AND THE WHITE!!!
    GO OWLS!

  28. Jeff says:

    Damn straight. Go TU!

  29. Rick says:

    The prediction placing Temple at #44 appears to be based not on what Temple did last season or who we play this season. The thorough analysis and ranking rather appears predicated on the talent of our team and coaching staff. It is much more thoughtful than dismissing us because of our schedule.

    It makes little sense to complain about the ranking when your complaints are about collateral issues such as schedule, results from previous years, or what conference Temple is in. Those factors are simply not part of the formula for this ranking.

    Temple has the talent to deserve the #44 ranking. Read the analysis in the article if you want specifics.

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