The Peggy Lee song “Is That All There is?” reached No. 11 on the Pop hit charts in 1969 and that pretty much describes where the Temple football program is now.
Are there more “good old days to come” or were the best of days a month or so behind us?
Unless the Owls get into a Power 5 conference, and that is something that is not on any radar screen now, they pretty much reached the pinnacle of what they can do by winning the championship of the American Athletic Conference.
Any encore past that would be a Giant Proposition (although not to be confused with the New York Giants’ proposition to Temple that appears elsewhere in this post) and we all know how hard the Owls had to scratch and claw to reach that goal.
The legacy of the 1979 team (top 20 finish) appears to be safe for the foreseeable future and even that team did not have the street cred of the 1934 team, which was so good a NFL team challenged it to a game to, in their words, “determine which version of football was better, college or pro.” The New York Giants could have chosen any school to challenge, but they chose Temple.
So, in these days, what the 2016 team did was truly remarkable.
They had to win seven games in a row with each game being an elimination game and that was a tough task, but they did it. The rules are so stacked against G5 teams that one of them will never win a national championship, so really the only thing that Temple football has not done since joining a FBS league is finish in the top 25 and make a NY6 bowl and win more than 10 games.
Those appear to be more realistic goals for the 2018 team, not the 2017 one. However talented the quarterback will be this season, and he will be, it is too much to expect him to do in his first year what a four-year starter did in his last.
This year, the goal simply has to be getting to a bowl game and winning it but the Owls have already done that (2011) so would that be a unique achievement? No. It looks like the team will take a slight step back next season, winning anywhere from 6-9 games. There have been Temple teams which have surprised before and this may be one of them.
Getting into a NY6 bowl and winning it is really the best the Owls can do at this point and probably should be the goal every year, realistic or not. There is also something to be said for having a winning program every year and that is something most of the other 126 FBS programs cannot say.
Until then, or such time as the Philadelphia Eagles become the opposing team in the Cherry and White vs. Green Day Game, hoisting that AAC title trophy will always be considered the good old days.
Saturday: Fly On The Wall
Monday: The Next Jerry Rice?