A Giant Proposition


With all of those Cherry-clad Owl fans behind the team holding that championship symbol, definitely the high point of my 40 years as a Temple fan. The guy in the beige sports coat is …  Avery Williams, who played only in the first half of the Navy game.

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.


Giants picked the best college team they could think of to challenge

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?


17 thoughts on “A Giant Proposition

  1. Letter from Coach Collins:

    I am so excited to write to you as the new Head Coach of the Temple Owls. It has been a very fast-paced few weeks on the job and I anxiously await the opportunity to pace the sidelines as the leader of OUR football team.

    This football team has won 10 games in each of the past two seasons, went to the American Athletic Conference Championship game each year, and won the conference championship last month. Temple also has been bowl eligible in six of the last eight seasons.

    A winning culture and sustained success in college football is a product of four very diverse groups coming together for a common goal. You need a solid coaching staff, high character student-athletes who work hard on and off the field, a commitment from the university’s leadership, and a supportive group of alumni and fan base.

    I came to Temple because all of those things are in place. We battle some of the best teams in college football and plan on bringing more championship seasons to our faithful and devoted fans. This season, we look forward to repeating as champions and to continuing to build upon the exciting football culture that is the new standard for Temple.

    Temple has been known for an aggressive defense and that will continue. We will impose our will on other teams and inflict mayhem on the opposition with the best safety tandem in the country in Sean Chandler and Delvon Randall. On the other side of the ball, we will run a pro-style offense that exploits all of our weapons and we are certainly stocked with talent. Ryquell Armstead returns as does our entire receiving corps led by Ventell Bryant, Keith Kirkwood and Adonis Jennings.

    This year, we need your continued support to make Lincoln Financial Field the toughest place to play in the conference. Bring the juice! Over the past two seasons, Temple has notched an 11-2 home record – let’s win them all this year and bring the American Athletic Conference Championship game to Philadelphia!

    Our team, staff, program, and University are extremely grateful for your loyalty and support as a season ticket holder. Please join us in 2017 as we attack our opponents and showcase our Temple Pride!

    Geoff Collins
    Head Football Coach

  2. 1934 is too long ago to be relavant today – ’79 is more relavant but fading. The ’79 team couldn’t win a conference because they were an independent at the time. So, to me, that squad is still the hall mark of Temple’s best. Bowl invite with much fewer bowls, bowl win (against a PAC10 team), ending in the top25, 10 wins in fewer games and a tougher schedule. As great as these last 2 years have been, setting certain precedents like 2 consecutive 10-win seasons, the endings to these recent seasons have been dissappointing. The Owls program is in a better place for a longer period of time at present than ever before, but still hasn’t matched that ’79 squads success. And Mike, the biggest thing Temple can do now is to CONTINUE with their present success. They may never get into a P5 conference, but for Temple the AAC suites them just fine.

  3. Bring the juice! I always bring the juice.

  4. Coach’s letter was well done. By why not send it to the season ticket holders? For that matter, send it to everyone that has bought a ticket to a TUFB game that the AD’s office can find. (Assume ticket agencies for major games in 2015 and the 2016 Champioship and Bowl games have email addresses of ticket purchasers.)

  5. First time since I’ve been following that a coach has come on and addressed matters. That’s something new and good. While it covered generalities, he did commit to a physical style. Now to recruit the players who can make it happen.

  6. Numbero, even if Temple gets into a P5 conference “in the next decade” who knows what the college football landscape will be like then. My comment was a general statement based on things that have happened up to now, such as when there has been realignment in the Big 10, ACC or Big 12 Temple wasn’t even listed as a possibility. Up tp now Temple has frankly been disrespected – maybe for good reason (low attendance, no campus stadium, pretty bad football history, etc.) Maybe within the next decade if Temple can keep up their present success coupled with the Philly market (altho Philly is widely known as a pro town) maybe it could happen. But other AAC schools from sizeable cities are also under consideration: Cincy, Tulsa, Houston, Memphis, Orlando, etc. Like I said, for now, the AAC is a very good fit for Temple from a competition standpoint (in all sports) and possibly may be the best they can get. We’ll see. And heck, do we want to become another Rutgers who, for now, got in over it’s head? A couple years success and everybody wants bigger and better. Temple needs to prove they can handle more first.

    • “become another Rutgers”

      …if Temple was offered a spot in the B1G right now and you think you would say anything other than “Yes, where do I sign?”, you are beyond kidding yourself. This thing is a marathon, not a sprint.

      Joe P.

      • Here’s a reality check fr Rutgers, yeah they got big dollars to be another Purdue, Indiana and Illinois in football. You can ask these programs how well the marathon is going.

      • The difference between Temple and Rutgers is that winning means more to the Temple administration than it does the Rutgers’ administration. Rutgers did not “graduate” from the AAC. In fact, it could not compete in the AAC in the final years of its existence with the AAC/Big East. Houston went into RU and hammered RU. Other current AAC schools had their way with Rutgers. Hell, even a 2-10 Temple team would have won at Rutgers if a first-year head coach knew that a quarterback sneak behind future NFL center was probably the best call on 4th and inches.

    • TU would become another Rutgers in a microsecond. 40 million a year would guarantee the future for every sport and likely would result in enough bribe money to guarantee the erection of a stadium.

  7. Badley, here’s your reality check- Temple, after winning the AAC, just went to the same bowl game it did when it finished 3rd in the MAC. I’ll take my chances as a ‘Purdue, Indiana or Ilinois’, especially since all 3 have been to better bowl games and captured more attention as mid-level B1G teams than you did as AAC champion (not even getting into the resources/exposure points because it’s that obvious).

    Joe P.

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