The game Temple should have never turned down

Twenty-two days after the Giants won this NFL title Temple lost to Tulane in the Sugar Bowl.

Not quite a century ago Temple was approached by the New York Giants and the Mara family (who still own the team) and asked to play a game to “legitimize” in the mind of the public that the NFL game was at least the equal of good college teams.

Temple rejected the idea out of hand.

Haven’t seen the Temple football team called “Husky” in my lifetime.

Yeah, it happened long before you and I were born and probably before anyone else who has ever read this space, but wouldn’t it have been neat if the Owls accepted the November 9, 1935 game? Hell, since it was the Giants’ idea in the first place it would probably have been played at Temple Stadium.

The Temple coach, Pop Warner, wanted to keep the date as a “breather” for his team (called a bye nowadays) but the accepted truism then was that a good college team like Temple would have beaten an NFL team.

Pop, what the heck were you doing?

My, how times have changed.

Now even crazy Georgia fans are called nuts when they think they can play with the worst NFL team, let alone the best one.

Let it be known, though, for the rest of all time that the only NFL CHAMPION to ever challenge a college team was the New York Giants and the only COLLEGE team to ever be challenged to a game was the Temple Owls.

Kinda surprising because the Owls were not even the Georgia or Alabama of their day that year. They finished 7-3 and beat national powers Vanderbilt and Texas A&M but maybe the Maras were banking on the good publicity they would get beating a respected college team not that far from where the Giants played. Probably the fact that Warner was the most high-profile coach of the 1930s also factored into the offer.

Just think, though, if Temple had accepted the challenge. The Owls could have struck a blow for the college game or, on the other hand, helped legitimize the NFL years before it beat out baseball and became the national pastime. It was a win/win situation for Temple because no one would have blamed a team of amateurs for losing to a team where everyone got paid.

We will never know.

But we do know this: The New York Giants could have challenged Miami,, Rutgers, Penn State or Georgia.

They chose Temple.

No other NFL team chose anyone else.

Somewhere in Heaven, if Pop was honest, he’d probably be as curious as the rest of us how it might have turned out.

Monday: Rating The Hires


Toughest Temple coaching job ever? Probably

Jon Gruden on AG’s TU teams: “The Temple Owls play as hard as any team in the country.”

Imagine being a plumber who was an apprentice to the best in the business and the guys he worked for raved about him and said he should have his own company.

Then say someone gave him that job and then a couple of years later took his wrench, plunger, and snake away and told him to do the best job he could with his hands.

That’s kind of what Stan Drayton is facing today as head football coach at Temple.

Doubt when he took the Temple job that Drayton realized the Owls would have to battle the NIL and transfer portal.

The job he took two years ago was harder than the job Rod Carey took or the one Geoff Collins took. Neither of those guys had to face the NIL or the transfer portal on the level Drayton had to face.

In fact, the debate worth having is who had the tougher job?

Al Golden or Drayton.

A valid case can be made that Golden’s was tougher. Thanks to the eight years of Bobby Wallace, Golden took a team headed for a 20-game losing streak and a woeful APR that robbed the Owls of almost as many scholarships as the Penn State scandal hurt the Nittany Lions.

Golden kicked out all of the poor students–some of them happened to be very good players–and then slowly built a house of brick, not staw (his words).

By the time he left in 2010, the Owls had beat a Fiesta Bowl team (UConn) and Golden’s nine-game winning streak was the second-longest in Temple history (only to Wayne Hardin’s 14-game winning streak between 1974 and 1975). His appearance in the 2009 Eagle Bank Bowl was Temple’s first bowl game in 30 years.

Yet how would have Golden done had he had to battle a roster full of JUCOs and a system that allowed other teams to poach his best players?

Not well, I’d guess.

Would Muhammad Wilkerson, for example, be a first-round pick for Temple under Golden or would he have transferred to another school?

We all hope that Mo would have stayed, but that’s just wishful thinking.

While the case can be made that Golden’s job was tougher, Drayton has fewer tools in his box than Golden did 15 years ago and he’s going to have do get his hands much dirtier than Golden ever did.

Can Drayton beat a BCS bowl team and rip off a nine-game winning streak? Probably not but an AAC title still remains a realistic goal and, should he do it, probably deserves the same spot in the Temple Sports Hall of Fame that Golden occupies now.

Friday: The One Big-Time Foe the Owls turned down

Monday: Rating The Hires

Going from National to Regional: The New Normal?

Current UAB head coach Trent Dilfer talks former Temple quarterback Anthony Russo.

Back in the 1950s, a guy named Art Linkletter made a mint on a show called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

He would stick a microphone in the face of a 5-year-old and if the kid said something funny that didn’t include the f-word, it made the TV.

Linkletter never had to hire a writer or put a script together because the kids made the money for him.

Today’s modern equivalent is social media and, when it comes to Temple football, it’s the fans, not the kids, who say the darndest things.

Anthony Russo produced 27 points in the Independence Bowl against Duke. The defense was the culprit that day, allowing 56 points.

Some of those darn things are true.

I’m not sure I know a poster on OwlsDaily named “PinballOwl93” but he nailed it after reading a piece by editor Shawn Pastor on a quarterback the Owls are recruiting named Chris Dietrich.

“Not in love with 11 TD with 12 INTs last year in High school. Like to see those INTs way lower because the college game will be moving much faster for him to make those quick reads.”

Fair enough.

That was followed by another comment by “Owlsilver:” “I wonder if this is the new normal with NIL. Going from “real” Elite 11s (Anthony Russo, Re’Al Mitchell, Dwan Mathis) to “regional” Elite 11s. #Sad.”

This is what a “national” Elite 11 quarterback looks like playing for Temple. We have yet to see what a “regional” Elite 11 quarterback looks like.

Right below that a guy who goes by the handle “R3Regioinal Rail” correctly pointed out that Quincy Patterson made the Elite 11. He failed to mention that Anthony Russo made the same Elite 11.

Russo became, at least statistically, the fourth-best quarterback in Temple history.

That’s the 11-best high school quarterbacks in the country, not the region, and prior Temple staffs deserve credit for luring that kind of talent to North Broad Street.

Those two could have picked any school.

They chose Temple (well, after Virginia Tech, North Dakota State, and Rutgers) but they chose Temple.

Gotta wonder if Owlsilver is right, though.

Dietrich was an “Elite 11 Northeast Regional” quarterback. Russo, Dwan Mathis, Patterson, and Re’Al Mitchell (who just missed out on an Elite 11 invite but still ended up at Temple) for a while represented a different level.

What’s next? Going after “Elite South of Northeast” regional quarterbacks? Elite 11 always meant just that, Elite and, I don’t think any other G5 has had the same kind of recent success recruiting national Elite 11 quarterbacks that Temple had.

Are the days of Temple luring that kind of talent over or do we celebrate the potential signing of someone who tossed 11 touchdown passes against 12 interceptions on the high school level? In my 50 years of following Temple football, I have never once heard of the Owls ever recruiting a quarterback who had more interceptions than touchdown passes.

I love this staff but they’ve got to do better than that.

In the 50s, kids said the darndest things that were both true and funny on national TV.

Nowadays maybe those kids are on fan message boards and the truth isn’t as funny as it might represent the new normal with this NIL and transfer portal nonsense.

Monday: A Debate Worth Having

Temple football welcomes an important player on Memorial Day

Joquez Smith is the most heralded incoming running back at Temple since Bernard Pierce of Glen Mills

Anyone who follows college football knows it’s pretty much a 365-day business.

Yes, Stan Drayton and his staff are able to take at least a couple of weeks vacation in July but the fact that the facility will be hopping today (Memorial Day) is Exhibit A that the work of winning is never done.

At least in the programs that chase greatness.

Two of the more prominent incoming freshmen, running back Joquez Smith (Tampa Jesuit) and defensive lineman Conlan Greene (Penn-Trafford of the WPIAL) are arriving on campus today.

That’s good news.

Smith on the way to 234 yards and five TDs at Largo (Fla.)

We’ve been writing in this space since November that the Owls’ biggest area of offseason need is a back who can take over and be one of the best in the American Conference. There is at least that ceiling with Smith. Maybe that’s why head coach Stan Drayton did not feel the need to pick up an accomplished FBS back in the portal.

According to some, Smith was the best high school running back in the state of Florida and he has the numbers to back it up. As junior, he led Jesuit to a state Class 6A title and that is probably the toughest classification in the best high school football state in America. For his career, Smith gained 5,334 yards and scored 75 touchdowns. Smith figures to be one of two true freshman to challenge Edward Saydee for the top spot on the depth chart. (The other being Kyle Williams of Harrisburg).

Certainly some pretty good backs at Temple never came here with Smith’s numbers. We went into the wayback machine and could find only one, Glen Mills’ Bernard Pierce, who nearly had identical senior high school numbers to Smith and he turned out to be an NFL third-round draft pick. Even Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead never had the senior years that Smith had or played against competition nearly as tough. Pierce had 1,769 yards and 26 TDs his senior year at Glen Mills while Smith had 1,934 yards and 29 touchdowns in his best high school season.

Bill Parcells once said: “You are what your record says you are.”

Jesuit coach Matt Thompson said Smith’s style “is slow to it (the hole) and fast through it.” Smith is adept at reading his blockers and seeing the hole and taking off.

One of the reasons he’s at Temple and not Alabama is that he’s in the 5-7 range and those Power 5 schools like their running backs at least 6-foot, 200 points and run a sub 4.5-40.

Temple is the kind of place where 5-9, 160-pound Paul Palmer thrived enough to finish second in the Heisman balloting in 1986.

If Smith even comes close to duplicating the career of Palmer, Temple will win a lot of football games.

Already here are offensive linemen Luke Wilson of Wilmington (Del.) and Eric King of St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) and safety Zyil Powell (Paramus, N.J.).

The Owls got their needed a fourth quarterback in the room when they plucked Forrest Brock from the junior college ranks (Santa Monica). Although Greene–while being recruited as a defensive player–was a more than adequate high school quarterback his senior year and is one of those guys who might be considered a disaster quarterback on the order of how the 49ers used Christian McCaffrey last season. Brock says he will compete for the top job and you’ve got to like that level of confidence.

While Owl fans are hitting the backyard and the shore and maybe a cookout here and there, it comforting to know that Drayton is using today to put the pieces together for what most of us hope is an AAC title run.

Friday: The New Normal

Monday: A Worthwhile Debate

Mike Aresco: The AAC’s Don Quixote

A rare color photo of Temple Stadium, a place that existed from 1928-2004. Have to wonder where Temple would be now if the campus was moved to the border of Cheltenham and Philadelphia, as was the original thought when the stadium was built. Temple could have upgraded it and 12,500 students living there could have made it a real home-field advantage.

Like him or not, you cannot accuse American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco of being lackadaisical.

As recently as two weeks ago, Aresco penned an open letter complaining about how the league has been treated by “the media” in not getting a Power 5 designation.

It is a familiar theme for Aresco and unfortunately will fall on deaf ears.

The problem is, like Don Quixote, the hero in a satirical novel by Cervantes, Aresco is tilting at windmills. To some, Quixote represents the idea of a person pursuing a goal that might be foolish or unattainable in the eyes of others but the quest matters to them.

That’s pretty much where the AAC is today.

Temple made several institutional missteps along the way to find itself in limbo with the other top G5 schools when it had a chance to be promoted. Maybe it goes all the way back to 1928. When I asked the late Doc Chodoff more than a decade ago why Temple built a field on Cheltenham Ave. instead of the main campus, he said the plan back then was to move the campus there so that’s where it made the most sense to get ahead of the game and build a campus around a stadium. Back in the 30s, the seating capacity was 40,000 and already having a stadium the university could have easily made upgrades. In the 1950s, the capacity was downgraded to 20,017.

Moving from largely a commuter school to 12,500 students living on campus, a stadium already existing in that environment could have probably been enough to position Temple for inclusion into the Power 5. Keeping Bruce Arians as head coach probably would have also helped move the ball forward. Instead, the school fumbled with bad coaching hires that started with Jerry Berndt and hopefully ended with Rod Carey.

Charles G. Erny (hat) and two others take a look at the “brand new” Temple Stadium in 1928. Erny contributed $350,000 to build the stadium and the Temple baseball team played on the adjacent Erny Field for decades. Perhaps Erny is pointing to North Philly and telling the men that’s where the school will house its students temporarily. (Photos courtesy Temple Libraries)

Water under the bridge for Temple now and so to it is for the AAC.

The “media” isn’t responsible for the Power 5 designation but the NCAA is for allowing the five largest conferences to hijack whatever governing it had over not only football but for the two major sports. The NCAA probably feels it has no other choice but to cede power to those leagues because it might fear they will break away to form their own organization.

Maybe they should let them go because a lot of the good that the NCAA provided was a tight reign on institutions that play fast and loose with the rules in order to get ahead.

Now it’s the Wild Wild West and there is no James West or Artemas Gordon to police the bad guys.

The bad guys certainly are not the media who just report on the reality of the situation.

The reality is that the “bad guys” are in control and no number of good guys or good arguments by the good guys seem to matter.

The system in place now rewards the “haves” with more riches and subjugated the “have-nots” with even less than they already had. The G5 didn’t start out to be a farm system for the P5 but with the NIL and the transfer portal, that’s what it has become.

The victim has been fairness and an eroding of confidence by fans of G5 schools that their teams can ever get a shot at upward mobility.

Nobody on the governmental level seems to be in a hurry to restore it. All Aresco can do in 2023 is, like Quixote in 1605, tilt at windmills.

Monday: The New Arrivals

Saying goodbye to a legend: Ted Silary

Former Temple great tight end Colin Thompson talks about Ted Silary covering him at Archbishop Wood.

Found out Thursday morning that Ted Silary passed away.

That’s Ascension Thursday in the Catholic religion.

Fitting because Silary no doubt he took the fastest track to Heaven because as good a writer as he was he was a better person. He also had the best sense of humor of any guy I’ve ever met in this business.

This one hit particularly hard for me because Ted and I spent many late afternoons roaming the sidelines together at places like 29th and Clearfield, 10th and Bigler and 67th and Woodland, watching high school football games, having fun and “working” if you could call it that.

Channel 10 was the only TV station to cover his passing.

Like Ted, I got my start in the high school sports department of the Philadelphia Bulletin, then moved to the Doylestown Intelligencer before accepting a job in the same building Ted worked in (The Inquirer building) for 15 years. We crossed paths many times over the years traveling in the same circles.

Silary was “the Man” and gave a lot of these players their nicknames. His was Teddy Ballgame and it fit because nobody told the story of a ballgame better than Teddy. He was such a good writer that he was offered every big beat at The Daily News and turned them all down.

“I never wanted that,” Ted said. “To me, there was nothing as satisfying as chronicling the achievements of young people.”

Silary’s connection to Temple football is tenuous but there is a thin thread. Ted went to Temple but dropped out to take his first professional job. Every Temple player from the Philadelphia Catholic, Public or Inter-Ac League at least knew of and admired and respected Ted.

There were plenty of them, from the Ray Haynes’ (Dobbins), to the Anthony Russos and Colin Thompsons (both Archbishop Wood), to the Adam Kleins (Episcopal Academy) and really too many to mention.

Whatever publicity Silary gave them probably contributed in small part to Temple offering the scholarship.

And those Temple players knew and appreciated Ted and he them, rooting for them throughout their college careers. His lasting gift to them is a website,, that lists what they did and the records at their particular schools. High school sports will stand still now because I doubt anyone will continue to compile the detailed records and stats that Silary did.

For every amusing anecdote Ted put in the paper, there were at least a few he left out.

A week after the Edison football team lost its 40th-straight on the way to 58-straight losses, I ran into Ted on the sideline of a Wood-Ryan football game.

“I wish I could have used this,” Ted said. “The snap sailed over the Edison punter’s head. He didn’t even go after the ball. He walked off the field and headed straight home, saying, ‘I ain’t chasing that damn bleeping ball ever again.’ He quit right there and walked home in full uniform. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Ted left the world in the same unassuming way he arrived, requesting no services. He was born in a hospital for unwed mothers in 1951 and adopted by the Silary family a year later.

If there is a Twitter in Heaven, I hope Ted got a chance to see this.

The rest is a history like only he can write it.

Now he’s in another world and I hope in that one he sees how much he meant to the people he left behind.

On Thursday, national Twitter blew up with #RIPTed and people who didn’t know him were freaking out thinking it was Ted Lasso or Ted Cruz not knowing that a high school sportswriting legend could have such an impact.

He did because he was the best and no one ever will match what he did or even could. #RIPTed, indeed.

Friday: The G5 Magna Carta

Monday: Temple Cleanup Day

Temple football in the press: No respect, I’ll tell ya

A comedian in the 1970s named Rodney Dangerfield made a bundle on a routine that centered around one phrase:

“No respect, I’ll tell ya.”

Then Dangerfield launched into a litany of hilarious jokes about from the way his wife and kids treated him to the general public at large.

If Temple’s second-year head football coach Stan Drayton still had those Dangerfield 78s on a turntable, you could excuse him for playing them today.

A listing of the rankings of AAC head coaches came out the other day and Drayton placed 11th in the listing of “top head coaches” in a league that has only 14 members. Two first-year coaches were ahead of him in addition to a couple of CUSA head coaches joining the league.


To me, something like that is very superficial and doesn’t take into account all the variables.

I would have placed Drayton closer to sixth than 11th but I understand the process.

As Vince Lombardi once said, winning isn’t everything it is the only thing.

You could not judge rookie head coach Drayton on his first year by everything alone.

You could judge him on how he moved the ball forward.

At the end of 2021, Temple was at its own 3-yard line The Owls had a head coach with no charisma and someone no one liked. Hell, I doubt even if his wife and kids liked him. Temple got rid of that problem and told him to take our six million and sit at home for the next three years. No one in Philadelphia likes you and no one cared about you. Fast forward to hiring Drayton a couple of months later. If Temple had won six games in 2023–as we thought possible in this space a year ago–the Owls would be in enemy territory.

Not quite what we expected but better than it was.

Temple, entering this 2023 season, is about on its own 47.

Stan Drayton was around a national champion at Ohio State and a very good team at Texas two years ago but said he was “never around a group of fighters” like the ones he had at Temple University last year. Those fighters are still here.

It’s time to get into the red zone and put points on the board in terms of national respect.

There were Temple fans (sadly) expecting Rutgers would blow out the 2022 Owls. We never did. We thought it would be a close game and that turned out to be true.

That’s thanks to two things and both can be attributed to Drayton. One, the 3-9 under him was much more impressive than the 3-9 under the coach who shall remain nameless. Two, after that 3-9, half the team could have exited stage right and, instead, about 90 percent of the team bought into Drayton’s vision for Temple to be a champion.

The Owls have a coach the team likes and respects and a quarterback who is dynamic. They have that now. They didn’t have that two years ago. In college football, that is everything. Put that in a pot, stir, and win.

Guys who write for national college football websites can’t possibly understand that nuance.

We who follow the program do.

What’s next?

The progress last year that turned 61-14 and 45-3 results against RU and ECU into 16-14 and 49-46 must be flipped to 16-14 and 49-46 for the good guys.

I believe it will.

It is a belief based on what I saw right in front of my own eyes. The national guys who don’t give a bleep about watching anything other than the scores don’t see the same thing. Pur it this way: Temple lost to Houston 37-8 in 2021 and with the same talent led Houston 36-35 with 1:13 left in the game last year. Temple lost to RU, 61-14, , and only a pick 6 by a rookie QB separated it from a 14-9 win. Temple lost and was disinterested in a 45-3 loss at ECU in 2021 and yet, with the same talent, was a failed 3d and 1 at midfield from falling on the ball and taking a knee for a 46-42 win.

Same talent, and different coaching.

By December, we will find out if that lack of respect was warranted or if respect of nuance should have been a prerequisite for ranking AAC head coaches.

Monday: Saying Goodbye to a Legend

Miami fans respond to Temple Football Forever

A couple of days ago, the Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey ended his press conference with the statement: “Game Seven is going to be a war and, if I had to go to war, these are the guys I want to go to war with.”

Yeah, it was a war only if the one you were thinking about was Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Like the Sixers on Sunday, that war lasted about 39 minutes.

Miami vs. Temple football might be a war and it might not. Let’s hope it’s more like Japan vs. the U.S. for four quarters, err, years, in the 1940s. I’ll sign for Temple being the one to drop the Atom Bomb. Now just so Miami fans don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying Temple WILL be the one to drop the bomb. Hell, Miami could blow the Owls out but it would be a nuclear-type “jawn” for Temple to beat Miami so let’s hope Stan Drayton is working on his own Manhattan Project.

Unlike that war with Japan, no sneak attack is necessary.

Already a little border dispute has flared up with one Miami Youtuber firing back at Temple Football Forever.

The ORIGINAL headline was misleading in that he said TFF claimed Miami should “fear” Temple. If you can find a single sentence or even phrase proving we wrote Miami should “fear” Temple, then you win 100 bucks. (Credit to Coop for changing that headline yesterday to “called out” instead of feared.)

Nowhere did we ever say that but reading comprehension evidently isn’t a strongsuit for Miami fans.

For a game between a Group of Five team and a Power 5 team, though, there are enough storylines for two weeks of pre-game stories.

Not only did Miami hire (and fire) two ex-Temple coaches, Temple passed on the current Miami coach, Mario Cristobal, who finished second in a two-man race to current Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule for the Temple head coaching job in 2012.

At that time, Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw was said to be leaning to hire Cristobal but had an Ephinay when Cristobal called Bradshaw from Philadelphia International Airport asking for directions to Temple.

At the press conference introducing Rhule as the Temple head coach, Bradshaw said one of the candidates called for directions to Temple from the airport. He didn’t say who during the actual Rhule press conference but when pressed by a couple of writers afterward he said it was Cristobal asking for directions to Temple from the airport. “I figured if the guy didn’t care enough to research this for himself, he wasn’t our guy. Matt was the guy who wanted the job the most.”

Rhule was the guy who got Temple consecutive 10-win seasons, a blowout win over Penn State and a college football game day in Philadelphia so Bradshaw made the right call.

As far as Miami “outclassing” Temple, the same thing could have been thought by teams from Vanderbilt in 2014 (a 37-7 Temple win) or Penn State the next year (a 27-10 Temple win) or Maryland in back-to-back years (Temple by 35-14 and 20-17) or Georgia Tech in 2019 (a 24-2 Temple win) or even Maryland in 2011 at Maryland (a 38-7 win for Temple).

Who did Georgia Tech beat the same year it lost to Temple, 24-2?

None other than the Miami Hurricanes, 28-21.

The same year Temple beat Maryland 38-7 who did Maryland beat 32-24 two weeks prior?

Also the Miami Hurricanes.

I’m sure the vloggers for all of those schools–if they had any back then–put those games in the win category for Vandy, PSU and Maryland. Never count your chickens before they are hatched or your wars before they are won.

If Temple-Miami is more of a war than a skirmish, Stan Drayton would have proven to be an even better choice than Rhule was.

Conversely, leaving Cristobal at the Philadelphia airport could even look better now than it did back then.

Friday: Temple in the press

Monday: The G5 Magna Carta

Friday: Temple Cleanup Day

The greatest Paul Palmer video dropped this week

The years have not been as kind to Ukee Washington as they have to Paul Palmer.

Ran into one of my main Temple friends, Paul Palmer, at Cherry and White Day a month and a couple of days ago.

After we caught up on some things, I mentioned to him–like I seem to always do–that he hasn’t aged a bit since when I met him as a writer and he as a player from Temple in the early 1980s. Everybody else, including me, and the several Temple greats I ran into that day, have fallen victim to Father Time.

It this were a prize fight, Paul would have knocked out Father Time in the first round.

“Black don’t crack, Mike,” he always says.

Not quite true.

After seeing the above video, I’m shocked to see how much Ukee Washington has cracked and you can throw in longtime Temple play-by-play guy Harry Donahue (Paul’s first radio sidekick).

Paul, at least to me, has never cracked.

He’s the “Dorian Gray of Temple.”

That story revolves around a portrait of Gray, painted by Basil Hallward. Dorian expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted and Dorian stays young. All the while, his portrait faded.

That’s the youth part of this story.

Rather than a deal with the devil, I attribute this fortune to good genes, the same genes that enabled Palmer to have that knack for elusiveness that made him the greatest running back in Temple football history.

Those weren’t Temple records back then. They were all-time college football records.

If you don’t believe me, watch the above video that came out earlier this week.

A lot of this footage has really never been seen since 1986 and thanks to Youtuber Joe Tolstoy it is available to a wider audience now. Tolstoy taped all of the games I taped in the 1970s and 1980s but the difference between me and him is that I lost many of my tapes in several apartment moves in places like Doylestown and Quakertown and he maintained the library.

Temple as a school has done a very poor job of archiving its football hstotry.

Tolstoy is a treasure in the sense that he’s releasing a lot of it now.

Now a new generation of Temple fans can understand what a lot of us boomer guys already knew.

What would make me more comfortable with the 2023 Temple prospects? A running back with 1/10th the talent of Palmer. Not one half, not two-thirds, but I will settle for one-tenth. If that player enters the program in the next couple of months, my excitement level for the season goes through the roof.

Paul Palmer was a legend in the game of football. He also follows in the same legacy of Dorian Gray when it comes to eternal youth.

If there’s a portrait of Palmer somewhere that is aging, I’ll pass on seeing it.

Friday: Temple in the press

Monday: The G5 Magna Carta

Friday: Temple Cleanup Day

Temple’s new cockiest foe: Miami

Pro tip; If you are a blogger or a vlogger and your team got blown out at home by Middle Tennessee, don’t make pronouncements regarding any future opponent the next year.

You won’t see any sentence in this space disrespecting any 2023 Temple opponent even though the schedule is the third-easiest in college football.

The mantra at Temple should be to respect everyone and fear no one.

That, however, doesn’t seem to apply to a certain foe this year for Temple: Miami.

The only gift Temple wants Miami to bring to Philadelphia is turnovers.

For many years, Temple’s “cockiest” foe was Penn State and the Nittany Lions had plenty of reasons for it. Until Temple’s 27-10 win in 2015, the Lions had not lost to the Owls in the prior 74 years (although they played to a 7-7 tie in 1950). When AAC defending champion Temple went on the road and lost by a touchdown to Big 10 champion Penn State the next season, a lot of that cockiness was knocked out of the Lions’ fans, who probably had a newfound respect for Temple. Had the Owls come up with eight more points that day, it would have been the first time a G5 champion ever beat a P5 champion on the road. So close yet so far.

The respect doesn’t extend as far south as Miami, which has a number of fan Youtube channels. The No.1 from a subscriber perspective channel is “Coach Coop” and he dismissed Temple out of hand with his preseason rundown of the Miami schedule last week.

Coach Coop watching MSTU celebrating in Miami after a 45-31 win in 2022.

“Next up we face off against the Temple Owls who went 3-9 last season and have won a combined seven games over the last three years,” Coop said. “Not a good football team but it’s going to be that MTSU argument all over again. We’re going to hear that all season and every season from now on as long as Mario Cristobal is the head coach until we prove otherwise consistently. It is what it is. This should be an easy win. Crazier things have happened to us but I’m just saying it should be an easy win. Temple is not a good football team. Let’s keep going.”

That was it.

No mention of the fact that quarterback E.J. Warner was the rookie of the year in the best G5 league in the country. No mention how improved the Owls were over the second half of the season. No mention that they took a Navy team that beat UCF (objectively a better team than Miami) to overtime when Warner just started to get good or the fact that Warner put up 500+ yard passing games against better teams than Miami (Houston and ECU) in the last part of the season.

You can’t expect Coop to know that.

Or even care.

Like those games against Penn State, Temple is going to have to earn Miami’s respect.

Just for giggles, we went into Coop’s wayback machine and found this gem discussing the upcoming game against MTSU in the 2022 season exactly 11 months ago:

“I’m just going to be honest with this. This should be an easy DUB (W) for the Canes. I don’t even need to say anything else about that football team.”

Coop had to eat those words. We’re not saying that Miami is going to be an “easy DUB” in this space, we are just saying that if Warner looks like the guy he did against ECU and Houston, the Owls have more than a puncher’s chance.

And that’s all they can ask for at this point.

Friday: Another Temple gem unearthed