The Second-Easiest Schedule In College Football


Instead of heading to the beach or having a barbecue, I spent most of the entire Memorial Day evening watching guys a little older than me tell war stories.

The channel was 39, the PBS Channel in Allentown, and the guys were Vietnam Veterans telling stories about how absurd the rules of engagement were. One guy said that to break the boredom he and his buddies made up  a FKIA list. FKIA stood for “flies killed in action” and the guy who killed the most flies in a given week would earn the pot. As a lark, they included the FKIA list in with the EKIA “enemies killed in action” list and none of the superiors said anything about it. To make a long story short, the brass thought that FKIA and EKIA was  to differentiate between Viet Con and NVR troops and the killed in action lists eventually made it to the Walter Cronkite CBS News and Cronkite was reporting 100-1 kill ratios of Americans to bad guys.

As a result of the high enemy kill ratio, the GIs were told they had to get permission to return fire. In other words, if they were shot at, they had to call headquarters and ask to shoot back.

Absurd indeed.

The 2016 Temple Football schedule is a little like that FKIA list because it is the second easiest schedule in FBS. What does it all mean? It means in the absurd state of college football today, the Owls can go 13-0 and win the AAC title and quite likely not get a Final Four Playoff invitation, let alone play for the national championship.

Make that definitely not get a FF invite because the Owls’ strength of schedule is rated 127 of 128 FBS teams. As Temple fans, we would love to have that kind of problem.

While there are benefits of an easy schedule, the whole point of playing is to win and the whole point of winning is to compete for championships. That a 13-0 team would be left out of the national playoff picture is absurd.

Just like that FKIA list.

Friday: The Mystery Big-Time Team Coming To Philadelphia


12 thoughts on “The Second-Easiest Schedule In College Football

  1. Not long ago Temple would have struggled with even this schedule and been viewed as ‘relief’ for some of these sad sacks. It’s nice to have progressed to a point where we’re criticized for having this type of schedule but at the same time it is embarrassing.

    The Owls made significant strides last year in beating PSU, taking out a ranked team, taking ND to the wire and winning the conference against a challenging schedule. This year we have only one P5 game and if we lose that game, given strength of schedule, would be hard pressed to crack the top-25. If the Owls go the entire season without getting ranked we would need to win the AAC to claim a more successful season then last year. Given the SOS the Owls will have no moral victories, like the ND game, but will be considered something less then our actual record.

    Given the talent on this team and the momentum stemming from last season’s success, a dynamic young coach, potential stadium and recruiting success this slate of games leaves me flat. This is to say nothing of the significant drop off we’re likely to see in attendance given the pedestrian level of our opponents.

  2. Stony Brook and Charlotte don’t entice me to give up late summer Saturdays, even if they will be early kickoffs. Still, these are better than Delaware State, Howard and Fordham (don’t remind me).

    Scheduling OOC games these days with a program that is being recognized as a “tough out” is not easy for the AD and staff.

  3. Gee, only the poor schedule is going to keep Temple out of the Final 4? C’mon, we all know Temple’s not ready for that kind of success at this point. One very good (not even great with 4 losses) season and a weak schedule and you think they actually have a chance at true national prominance. Athlon has the Owls rated 2nd in the east division behind USF (who whomped us by 2 touchdowns last season btw) and only an 8-4 regular season record, pre-season. You guys may think they’ll breeze through this schedule, but there are several games that aren’t gimmes. Plus if they think they’re going to win simply by showing up, we could see some more of those Fordham situations. And rating this schedule as the 2nd weakest doesn’t say much for the AAC either. Sorry for the negativity, but with some of the player losses, especially Tyler M, they could struggle a bit this year. I don’t think double digit wins and beating PSU are guarranteed – I sur hope it happens, but….

    • All I’m saying is if we do get fortunate enough and go 13-0 (not impossible with this sked and the USF game in Philly), we will regret a home game with Stony Brook when we could have had a road game at Rutgers. Back to back road wins over Big 10 schools look a lot better on the resume than a FCS win

    • I completely agree with your points, including last year being a ‘very good’ but arguably not great season (but for the fact I thought we’d never beat PSU in my lifetime). If we had beaten Houston or beaten a credible P5 school in a bowl game that would be ‘great’.

      The Owls are capable of losing any given week but I would be surprised if we didn’t win at least 9 games and challenge for the East AAC. I expect the offense to help control the game while the defense may take a step back but still be more than serviceable with a strong veteran nucleus and some very fast hunger players.

      I think there’s also an under appreciation for the losses of TM, Young, and Ionnodis on defense. You don’t replace that talent and leadership with first year starters. I think if things break for the Owls this season we could find ourselves in the bottom tier of the top-25. That would make me very happy. The final four can wait until later.

      • I would be excessively worried about the losses of TM, MI and TY if we did not have 3 starting linebackers returning nor Kareem Ali Jr., Greg Webb and Karamo waiting. Webb was an All-American JUCO. He’s not a true rookie. Tavon Young is a great cover corner, but did not have an interception last year. If Ali is a slight drop in coverage, he can make up for it in anticipation and interceptions. Plus, putting Sean Chandler at free safety is like putting Willie Mays in centerfield. He covers a lot of ground. The step back is next year, not this year.

  4. I agree with Mike. this year is setup well for Temple. the 3 senior LB will help replace Tyler. the defense will be just as good as last year. and the offense i think will step up. 2017 is the step back year. but Rhule has continued to recruit well.

  5. Athlon also rated the O-line very well, which is good to hear. I guess my skepticism still goes back to decades of failure even when a good season here and there were thrown in. I’m still holding my breath somewhat. It’s hard for me to “expect” success. But I’m also excited to see what Rhule and some staff changes with this talent will produce. Go Owls!

  6. Concern is the other AAC teams seemingly are better than they were last year. It wasn’t like Temple blew them all out of the water in 2015 (other than Memphis). The team will have to realize each week no one is going to be beaten simply because of the uniform across the line from them.

    • I don’t think Memphis (without Paxton Lynch and with a new coach) will be better nor ECU (new coach, we all saw growing pains in a career assistant when our new coach took over in 2013) nor Cincy (late-season swoon) will be better. I think Temple and USF better, yes. Not seeing overall AAC improvement, though. The teams that should be a little better, like SMU, are poised to take incremental steps, not big ones.

  7. Mike: UConn making strides. Diacco has figured out how to be a head coach and has been recruiting with a plan, rather than bringing in bodies.

    Agree with you SMU’s young players are a year bigger, stronger and wiser. UCF won’t be as bad. Memphis should recede after losing QB and coach. ECU played the lefty with the rag arm and it wasn’t easy. Yes, one wonders if Tubs in Cincy hasn’t lost interest. We both agree USF will be ready to host the championship game. Tulane? With focus, they should be put away after 20 minutes, but we know that usually isn’t what happens.

    Really not a rocky schedule if a team does all the right things mentally because physically, the Owls can out lift, out run (except USF), and out execute everyone on their schedule.

    • I think the game being in Philly vs. with being at USF is the key. Temple has got to beat Penn State to create the same kind of attendance buzz and, with a 35K crowd (just like we had for Tulane last year), that could make the difference. USF may be ready to host the title game, but the title game goes through Philadelphia. I think we’ve increased the speed out of defense significantly (the only fast player we lost was Tavon Young) and that should also help beat the dual-threat QB. Beat PSU to get the homefield buzz against USF, and the Owls are ready to host the AAC title game against Houston. The last time we played Houston here it was 23-15 and our quarterback was Connor Reilly. We’ve come a long way.

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