There are very few things that cause me to shake my head on social media these days—heck, we’ve all just come out on the other side of a bizarre Presidential election process–but one of them was the title of this post on OwlsDaily.com the other day:
“Tulane Strikes Me As A Trap Game.”
First off, there are two games left in the regular season and there could be nothing bigger on the line for the Temple Owls than the task right in front of them. This is only a “trap game” if they build the trap and then fall into it.
Trap game my butt.
While there is confidence coming out of New Orleans, the Owls themselves should dictate the tone and tempo of this game. A poster named “Waverider” wrote this on the Tulane message board: “I think we can win this game. Temple runs a pro-style, I formation offense. That works well for our defense.” Another, named, “Gawave5” predicted a 24-21 Tulane win, writing: “Finally, I predict the defense will give us two turnovers in Temple territory and we convert these for 14 points.”
None of those forecasts map out what this game means to the Temple players and the school in general.
Arguably, there is more on the line here than the Penn State game (either this year or last) or the Notre Dame game last year. There is not a FBS-level league championship trophy in the Edberg-Olson Hall trophy case and the trophy they got last year for finishing in second place will be about as memorable as the one the Baltimore Colts’ 1966 team got for winning the NFL’s second-place game, called the “Playoff Bowl.” The vanquished team was the then 9-5 Philadelphia Eagles. If the Owls win on Saturday, they get to play a AAC East championship game at home the next week and, if they win that one, they get to play the overall AAC championship game on Dec. 3.
Maybe even at home, if things break right, but certainly before a lot more of their own fans than they had supporting them last year in the same game. This season is all lined up for the Owls to run the table. It’s up to them to do it.
So they have THREE championship games coming up in the next three weeks and there is no reason or excuse whatsoever for a letdown. Temple head coach Matt Rhule indicated as much earlier this week when he said the team knows that “every game is a playoff game” and that’s the approach everyone inside the E-O seems to be taking now. It is the right one. It is the only one.
To be truly memorable in this day and age of leagues, it has to be a championship season. The play “That Championship Season” written by Jason Miller in 1972, did not win the Pulitzer Prize in drama (1973) for nothing. The theme centered on the bond men on that team had 20 years after cutting down the nets as a championship basketball team.
Win on Saturday and the subsequent two Saturdays and the young men who run on the football field for Temple now will walk together forever in a way really no other Temple team can say.
With those kinds of stakes, the word trap should never pass through anyone’s lips or random keyboard.
Picks this week: UConn upsetting BC (getting 7), Northwestern covering the 2 at Minnesota, Duke upsetting at Pitt (covering the 8), West Virginia covering the 3 over visiting Oklahoma, Wyoming covering the 9.5 against vistiing San Diego State, and Old Dominion laying the 8.5 at Florida Atlantic. Also like Tulsa covering the small 1.5 at UCF.
Sunday: Game Analysis