The Unwashed Masses


Sean Chandler could get a lot of interceptions playing safety.

When it comes to expectations or lack thereof about Temple football’s 2016 season, there is a loud murmur going around on the internet about “Temple not being as good because of all the graduation losses.”

Usually, you find those remarks on other fan message boards like Rutgers, Penn State and Pitt, people who think they know more about Temple football than they really do.


Avery Williams, one of three returning starting linebackers.

We who follow the team more closely know better. Just what are these “graduation losses” anyway? The Owls lost linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the national defensive player of the year, but they lost someone at a position where they already are strong because three linebackers—Jared Alwan, Stephaun Marshall and Avery Williams—return with 41 college football starts under their belts. They also lose a great tackle in Matt Ioannidis and a really good corner in Tavon Young, but the trade off is a four-star recruit Alabama wanted (Karamo Dioubate, who took a phone call from Nick Saban minutes before committing to TU) so the upside is there. It’s a question of how quick the learning curve is. With guys like Averee Robinson and Freddy Booth-Lloyd, the Owls have enough bodies in the middle to get by. As far as corner, the Owls have a few guys earned a lot of playing time (Artrel Foster and Nate Hairston) and, if either one of them falter, they can always move Sean Chandler back to corner. I think Chandler is primed for a big season of interceptions playing in the middle of the field. On offense, losses of talent like Robby Anderson and Kyle Friend can be mitigated by experience returning at both positions.

So maybe “all of those graduation losses” will not have a significant impact on the record.

As someone once said more than 2,000 years ago, “Father forgive them for they not know what they say”. Call them the “unwashed masses.”

People who know this team know it is going to be very good this season. The only thing debatable is how good. The lowest bar among those in the know is 8-4, while the highest one is the sky’s the limit. How high is the sky? I think this team has a real shot at the school record of wins, especially with the 126th-rated FBS schedule. Of course, winning the championship should be the goal.

Wednesday: The Washed Masses

Friday: New Site For Spring Game?

Monday: What the Eff?

Wednesday (8/3): Temple’s No. 1 Foe Is Not on Schedule

Friday (8/5): Thoughts on Summer Camp Opening



23 thoughts on “The Unwashed Masses

  1. Please explain just how Temple’s schedule can be ranked so low. Being in the AAC obviously isn’t helping but almost at the very bottom? If the schedule is really that weak, they better win 11 or more games to be counted as being good and progressing.

  2. As an outsider who enjoys your post, I saw your team a little on youtube, and in person on, and in person at the championship game. This team is really good. What Tyler was doing can be spread out among the other players and an experienced replacement. A big part of the fun of college football is waiting to see how the new batch does.

  3. Army and Stony Brook and no Houston on the regular-season schedule. Temple should never be playing Stony Brook. Kraft felt the obligation to honor the SB game because they moved to accommodate ND. Much rather have Temple play Buffalo, Rutgers or ‘Cuse on the road than Stony Brook at home. To me, UConn has hit on the perfect AAC scheduling formula (three P5 teams you can beat, plus the AAC schedule). When you ask Kraft why can’t he do that, he says “no one wants to play us.” No one wants to play us and everyone wants to play UConn? I have a hard time believing that. We’re not that much better than UConn that we have that street cred among the P5 yet.

    • remember when Florida St was trying to build a brand? they agreed to play 2 for 1s, and would travel anywhere to beat a name team.., the landscape has changed and Temple must be audacious and accept away games vs P5 Top 20 teams.., 2 (away) for 1 (home) is better than none

      the loss in experience and leadership can’t be overstated, Phillip, Dawkins and JT must step up in the leadership dept.., 2016 has to be a senior led team..,

      on defense, first things first – stop the run.., all bets are off it Army rushes for over 250 yards

  4. Tyler is going to be a big loss, but the overall speed of the linebacking group (faster this year) is going to help us nail down some of these mobile quarterbacks. Finch and Reddick are also extremely fast defensive ends. Once you got back Matt Ioannidis (as good as he was) and Tyler, I don’t think those guys caught too many people from behind. Also, moving Chandler to the middle of the field and Hairston into Chandler spot increases the speed at two (2) positions. I like the way this team is falling into place. Pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Plus, Marshall Ellick for Robby. People will be pleasantly surprised with Marshall Ellick.

  5. i’m really excited about this season. i honestly think they can be better than last year’s team. Our defense is loaded. Ventell Bryant has to take the lead at receiver. another key for this year is to get the young players one experience. we will lose a lot of seniors after this season, so we need our young players to get game experience for 2017.

    • If Ventell doesn’t, Marshall or Adonis will. There is plenty of high-end talent at those positions. There might be someone who comes out of nowhere (Cortrelle Simpson, say) who has another big impact.

  6. Though you would consider me part of the ‘unwashed masses’, I may be able to offer a perspective that hits closer to home than you think: 2007 Rutgers. After the 11-2/ #12 in the nation season in ’06, we returned something like 75% of our starters. We lost Draddy Award winning-FB Brian Leonard on offense, along with 2 TE’s and 1 WR but had Ray Rice, Kenny Britt, Tim Brown and Tiquan Underwood coming back, along with starting QB Mike Teel, with 4-star frosh RB’s Kordell Young and Mason Robinson, along with highly-touted FB Jack Corcoran coming back…on defense, we lost our MLB, WLB and NT but had All-American DT Eric Foster returning along with a bunch of highly-touted underclassmen ready to step up. I remember almost everyone talking about how we were winning 10+ again with ‘no way’ we go less than 9-3..

    ..well, we went 7-5/ 8-5 after a fairly quiet International Bowl win. Wait, how can that possibly happen??? I was told “NO WAY” we win less than 9… Well, a number of ways:

    -Stars and recruit heralding can help, but they don’t win games. Performance does…and you won’t know what those newer guys will do until play starts. I remember reading here about how Kilaf Herbin was going to light Rutgers up when he played us. The best NJ HS RB I ever saw play live (mid-90’s) never started a game at the D1A level.

    -Your team can improve…but not in a vacuum. Your opponents can get better too…and beating them one year doesn’t guarantee victory the next.

    -Talent/ability isn’t necessarily a clean substitution for experience and guile. I think you underestimate your losses and overestimate your potential gains.

    -Injuries- perhaps the ultimate x-factor. They differ year-to-year.

    -You’re now more on the radar. You’re not going to sneak up on anyone.

    As fans, overall we tend to assume the intangibles and close calls will always go our way. In reality, we just don’t know how it will go until it actually plays out. I told OwlfaninNorthJersey on the Rutgers board that I can see 9 or more wins for Temple, though I can really also see 8-4 or even 7-5/6-6 (hard to go lower than that with Charlotte, Army, Stony Brook, Tulane, and UCF coming off a winless season with a lot of young guys still all on your slate) depending on how things play out. As with all things, time will tell.

    Joe P.

    • You could lose a lot of money betting Temple to go 7-5 or worse. Don’t do it. The other/under is 8 and the Owls will definitely go over. I only see two games where they possibly will be underdogs (South Florida, Penn State) and even that is not a given if the Owls win their first 2 games 42-0 and PSU loses to Pitt.

      • I don’t think Temple goes below 8-4 in the regular season this year because you have talent on your team, a senior QB, good coaching staff, and the schedule is fairly light half the year (which I don’t really blame you for; not your fault Tulane has been having a hard time pulling it together, Army is a local team we’ve both played for years, and likely 90% of D1A teams play 1-AA’s…Charlotte though, yeah, I can see you getting a bit miffed about that game. They were playing D-II and III games just 2-3 years ago).

        Joe P.

  7. PSU, South Florida, Cincy, Memphis and UCONN will be close fights. Most likely is Temple will go 3-2 in those five game and finish at 10-2.

    Less likely is 2-3 or 4-1. Run the table in those five and finish the regular season at 12-0? Temple has talent and depth…,

    the talent gap is closing in college football which means Temple can’t just line up and expect to win against SMU, Charlotte, etc, remember the UMass game?

    experience, guile and leadership must emerge during the first three games

  8. Again, if the prognosis is so favorable including possible conference title, finishing in the top 25, bowl win, 5/6 games considered tough/close, etc., how in the world can the same prognosticators consider Temple’s schedule near the very bottom of all 1-A teams? In other words, if the schedule is that weak how do they think Temple could possibly be good enough for all those “awards?” How could Temple possibly prove they’re goood enough even if they win all their games over such weak opponents? Somehow it just dooesn’t make sense to me.

    • Simple. Penn State probably goes 2-0 entering Temple. Temple probably goes 2-0 entering Penn State. Temple, despite the odds (+6.5) probably beats Penn State. (I think those odds reflect more of the past 30 years of history, setting a line, rather than current roster reality.) A 3-0 Temple then enters the top 25 and because it doesn’t lose for a long, long time (USF or AAC title game), it remains in the top 25.

      • MIke – Pitt had a good team last year and returns a lot of players, Penn State lost some key people, and Pitt is at home. The Panthers are favored in that game, and for good reason. I think it is more likely PSU enters the Temple game at 1-1 than they enter at 2-0. Hopefully they exit the game at 1-2 (or in the latter scenario, 2-1).

  9. But that’s 3-0 against 2 truly weak opponents and a mediocre PSU. How does Temple be considered for the top 25 beating teams like that? I thought strength of schedule had a lot to do with getting ranked.

    • My bad. I guess I wasn’t clear. PSU doesn’t always have to be mediocre for Temple to beat them. PSU is going to be good and Temple will still beat them. Remember, they will have a P5 win by the time Temple beats them (Pitt). That win will put Temple into the top 25. If it came in the opener, probably not.

  10. PS: Heck, Temple just a few years ago got passed over for a bowl game with 8 wins! Hopefully Temple is changing people’s minds about their validity but past history still has me a bit gunshy.

    • John, IMO main 2 reasons Temple missed a bowl in 2010:

      -lack of available MAC tie-ins
      -weak at the gate attendance-wise/ ticket sale concerns

      I don’t think it had anything to do with who you beat or lost to that year.

      Joe P.

  11. JoeRU, I didn’t mean to mix my 2 comments together on the same point. Temple had an ok schedule in ’10 but, if I remember correctly, they were the only 8-win team ever to not get invited to a bowl, at least in the modern era of so many bowl games. It’s that kind of getting screwed that has been a Temple “thing.” So that’s one example of why I’m gun shy about them getting recognition. Mike I’ll take your word for it that 3-0 with a win over PSU will put them into the top 25 – but I can’t help but take a wait and see approach none-the-less. Of course they have to beat PSU to find out.

    • John- I hear you (as a Rutgers fan I can identify with the ‘not sure if serious’-esqe viewpoint almost every time something good happens). There have been others who haven’t gotten invited at 8+ wins (in 1996, 10-2 WAC Pacific Division Champion Wyoming was left home, though that was pre-bowl explosion era, a few MAC squads were left home in the 2000’s and in 2012, 9-3 Louisiana Tech ended up basically outsmarting themselves, declining an Independence Bowl bid because they were under the impression a Liberty Bowl bid that never materialized was on the way. They reached back out to the Independence Bowl, but the I-Bowl had already invited another squad) but not too many.

      Joe P.

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