After ND, Temple’s Non-Conference Games Lack Juice For Years


It would be sweet if the Owls unveiled the traditional football brand at ND.

Attention Temple fans: It’s a long way from here to Oklahoma, and we mean in more ways than one.

In between now and the 2024 game in Norman, it’s slim pickings for Temple fans in terms of non-conference games.

There will be some attractive matchups against AAC foes, but those conference games can get monotonous at times.

As far as juice—a word invoked by head coach Geoff Collins a lot—there is the game at Notre Dame on September 3, and that’s really it.

Then, as far as non-conference games goes, there’s a lot of walking through the desert before getting to that other Oasis in 2024.


There’s the taste of water in South Bend in September, and a lot of parched throats in between.

That is, unless games against Idaho, UMass, Bucknell and Buffalo whet your appetite.

(We didn’t think so.)

That adds to the meaning of the Notre Dame game and makes it the Owls’ Game of the Century, especially if they can pull it out and the Irish and Owls go on to have a decent season. (Hey, Army beat Temple in the opener and the Owls still went on to a decent season, so Notre Dame can do the same as well.)

The game is important for a couple of reasons. One, it’s Notre Dame and it’s on national TV. Two, Notre Dame is in talks with the ACC to become an all-sports member. If those talks lead to anything, the ACC might need a 16th team to balance two divisions and, should Temple win, it would focus the spotlight on the nation’s largest available media market.

That’s a lot of assumptions, but that doesn’t erase the fact that Temple has had big-time games in the not-so-recent past (Penn State the last two years and Notre Dame in 2015) and will go many years after this one before getting a non-conference foe as juicy as its next one.

So fill up your canteens in South Bend, Temple fans. It’s a long walk in the desert after that.

Friday: The Quotemeister General


48 thoughts on “After ND, Temple’s Non-Conference Games Lack Juice For Years

  1. Bucknell?? Good Lord

    • Yes, get them off my schedule. 😦

      • Bucknell is Temple’s oldest rivalry. They’ll be going all out to retrieve “The Old Shoe.” It would be great to see the Bison’s win it back similarly the way Army humbled the Owls on opening day 2016.

      • Err, no. That rivalry became irrelevant when Temple went big-time and Bucknell remained small time. I don’t want them on my schedule, We have the Old Shoe. Let’s keep it.

  2. How much of the difficulty in scheduling P5 teams is related to getting an even home/away deal, i.e. 1:1 or 2:2? I would’ve thought TU could get Pitt for a 1:1 deal. It might help Pitt in their recruiting of eastern Pa and NJ kids to have some games in this area. Also, a lot of Pitt alumni in the area might like having the occasional game in Philly. I guess the Penn St games serve these purposes. Now thinking about it, last year’s loss to PSU hurts in the scheduling area. I imagine PSU would not want to end the TU rivalry with 2 losses and not having a chance to get some revenge.

    • Easy Owl Fan: Although I would like to see the Owls play Pitt, Pitt never drew well in Philly. I can only remember two games where there was a decent crowd-one in ’79 and the one where TU beat them at the Vet. That latter one had a concert after the game.

      • My feeling on these marquee games is that the same motivation that allowed Oklahoma to schedule Temple other schools should be feeling, too. I don’t know what it is, but they agreed to play Temple, so Pat Kraft has got to be able to find similar marquee schools with the same thought process. Why not Northwestern? Why not Purdue or Indiana or Virginia Tech or West VIrginia? I have a feeling Rhule got into Kraft’s ear to get some cupcakes to pad his win total and then made an exit stage right, leaving Temple with a lot of crappy non-conference games. Job One should be getting Bucknell and Idaho off the sked.

      • John: I think Pitt has become a much hotter school for area kids over the last 20 years. I have 2 kids that went there. And know a lot of people in this area who have had family that attended Pitt. Fifty years ago (I am that old to remember), Pitt might as well as been in Iowa for the way it was thought about.

        But if I’m the AD, here’s my priority list for non-conference games that I’d pursue and the ratio of away to home games I’d take to get or keep them on the future schedule:
        1. ND 3:1
        2. PSU 2:1 or even 5:2 if necessary
        3. Rutgers even split
        4. Villanova all home
        5. Pitt even split might might go to 3:2 if necessary
        6. Army even split
        7. Maryland even.
        8. Oklahoma,Texas, Michigan or Ohio St 2:1 (some stretches)
        9. Any lower level SEC, ACC or Big 10 team 1:1
        10. Alabama for even just one away game

        Would be interested in hearing other’s thoughts.

      • Guess you missed the 2003 game at the Linc. Great turnout. Pitt was ranked 21st in the polls and had a WR by the name if Larry Fitzgergald . I was there!!

      • Steve Falk-If you miss it below, the attendance for that game was a padded 22,900. That is a mediocre crowd any way you count it. Tu counts tickets sold not actual attendance. I remember that game as well. Both end zones were mostly empty and there was no one in the second deck.

  3. Mike , I pointed this out a couple of years ago. Unfortunately for TU, not only do the P-5 teams want all the money, when they do step out of the P-5 they want teams like the old TU, the one that lost big time and said thank you for that wonderful pay day. Now that TU has gotten good enough to pose a challenge and maybe actually win, no one wants any part of them. Also, the increase from eight to nine conference games, really limits the opportunity to play the “big boys” and explains why TU and the rest of the G-5 teams are in big trouble. Houston did no one in the AAC any favors last year by beating Oklahoma and the same with Memphis beating Ole Miss and UCF beating WVU the year before because those games sent a message that the top of the AAC should not be trifled with. Can’t tell me that Houston’s win had no influence on the Big 12’s decision not to take Houston in as a member. One bright spot, for lack of a better phrase, is that without marquee match-ups, the cost of our season tickets will be reasonably low. In 2015, with ND and PSU on the schedule, the price of my tickets was more than twice what they usually cost. One more thing, beating ND, I think, would hurt TU’s chances to get into a conference because again, no one wants more competition. There are enough good teams in each of these conferences and no one wants another contender.

    • Nobody cares about competitive balance. They care about tv sets. And Temple obviously doesnt move the needle enough for a P5 conference to send an invite.

      • Temple-ND was the highest rated college football game in Philadelphia regular season history. That had more to do with Temple than ND because ND was on Philadelphia TV on 25 Saturday nights before playing Temple and the best it could draw was half the 18.1 it drew for playing Temple in Philadelphia. The variable in this math equation was Temple, not ND. Temple proved it can deliver TV sets and probably will do the same with a similarly competitive game in the Philly market on 9/3. Temple’s ratings for other games are high, too.

  4. The extra game many leagues are playing plus the mandate of the playoff committed about playing out of conference games with someone other than Savannah State or Liberty has reduced the opportunities. Are all the doors closed in so far as getting a P5 program on the schedule as a result? Offer a 2 for 1 with someone (like was done for ND or often with Penn State).

    So the dregs of the B1G are on the schedule (Rutgers, Maryland). Look for other dregs, i.e,. Mizzou, Vandy, Kansas, Iowa State, Virginia, NC State. Beat them regularly when you play them. Become a viable OOC opponent to win respect from the committee for being scheduled.

    Playing some known programs helps recruiting as well. Hard for coaches to dazzle a player with Army, UMass, Bucknell, Villanova, and Buffalo on top of Tulane, SMU and Cincinnati.

    Meanwhile, FAU, FIU, La-Monroe, Southern Miss and such get games with ACC and SEC schools…for the money.

    • Agreed. Lets make the most of our opportunities and schedule a series with an ACC school , whether its regional(Pitt, Syracuse, BC) or as far away as Miami, GA Tech . It would be great media exposure for the team and school.

      • ACC schools would be great matchups.

      • I disagree with the point that Rutgers handed us our asses. You are including the one forfeit game because Paul Palmer signed with an agent. We beat them 4 years in a row on a level playing field (Big East) before they kicked us out and ruined our recruiting for years. Hardin owned Frank Burns. The Penn State team that was boatraced by Temple beat Rutgers, 38-0. The Penn State team that Temple lost to by a touchdown also hammered Rutgers. The last two years Temple vs. Rutgers wouldn’t even be close. It’s Collins’ job to keep it that way. I think he’s a better coach than Ash. We will see in 2020 if he’s still around.

      • You can disagree about Rutgers all you want, but the fact is Rutgers leads the series against Temple

      • The only “fact” that matters is Temple is light years ahead of Rutgers in football development now. What may have helped them in 1927 or whatever to gain an all-time series lead over Temple means absolutely squat. When I went to Temple, we kicked their ass regularly. That means squat, too. The team the last two years would have kicked their asses and the team this year would probably, too. That’s more relevant to the discussion.

      • You must be a Trump supporter . you have alot of alternative facts.

      • The only “fact” that matters is that, by any objective person’s measurement, Temple has been a better football team the last few years that Rutgers has. .. and I’m definitely not a Trump supporter. You must be a Rutgers’ fan. You keep bringing up a series that is, essentially, even. I’m talking about the here and now and not what happened nearly a decade ago and even farther back.

  5. Baylor would be an insane matchup. They’re Waco, but are they crazy enough to put Mayhem their schedule.

    • Daz proved he has a set of balls by putting Temple on the schedule. Let’s see if Matt does. Kraft said that he is Matt’s best friend. Get him on the phone, then, and schedule a home-and-home. Temple fans would rather watch Baylor come to the Linc than Bucknell.

  6. Rutgers, Maryland, Army and BC might not be great teams but they do have name recognition and when Temple plays them they could be somewhat better. The Owls should be playing Pitt more often too. We used to have some heated games with Cuse also.

  7. Steve Falk-Attendance was a padded 22,900 for the Pitt-TU game in 2003.. That’s not a good crowd.

  8. My understanding is Kraft has recently tried to negotiate future non-conference games on an even split (i.e. home and home) basis with just about every school including the likes of PSU and Pitt. But TU has to compromise on that approach with certain teams. As noted above, I’d schedule ND on a 3:1 split if that became available. I’d take 5:2 with PSU in a heartbeat. I’d even consider 3:2 with Pitt. And I’d do 2:1 with P5 top level teams. Some years that might result in only 5 homes games. But IMO that’s certainly better than schedules with 7 home games that have teams that no one wants to watch. In college BB, the mid majors have to play a disproportionate amount of road non-conference games. That’s just the way it is.

    • yes, I talked to Pat at the tailgates and he said he is insisting on 1-for-1s. I said, “even with Penn State and Notre Dame?” He said even with them. Bill Bradshaw told me that Rutgers wanted a 2-for-1 and he told them to take a hike and call him when they were ready to play 1-for-1. They called the next year and asked for the current series, which starts in 2020.

      • Kraft told me the same thing last year. I think he’s not thinking straight because he gets three big pay days instead of none with a 2-1 with many P-5 schools. That will not be the case with Buffalo, Bucknell, and UMass..

      • Or Idaho. The day they announced they were dropping from FBS to FCS we should have told them to schedule Villanova instead.

  9. Were there vast amounts of alcohol consumed that day? Because that is not sober thinking.

    • Since he was the first person I saw in the parking lot that Stony Brook day and did not yet crack open the first brewski, no, and I don’t think Pat drinks at the tailgates. (Never have seen him drink even coke there.) My feeling, give 2-for-1s with ND and Penn State and hold the line fast with everyone else except maybe someone like USC, Alabama or Oklahoma. I like having at least one of those games every year on the schedule. We now have none of those type games until 2024. I hope that changes, but I have my doubts.

  10. But in fairness to CC regarding recruiting, his predecessors could show recruits scheduled trips to ND and PSU.

  11. Four years w/MR: 2 conference championship games, 2 bowl appearances, College Game Day, a victory over PSU, and a 1st round draft choice..,

    CC is on the clock with a deep roster…, the first step is to pick the QB who gives us the best chance to beat ND…, there are several things in life which do not come back, lost opportunity is one of those things…, beating ND, at ND, would be more significant than the win against PSU..,

  12. So, john, your point about the Tulsa article is that if Tulsa can schedule all those P5 teams, why can’t Temple? And kj, the best teams (last 2 years): one conference championship loss, 2 bowl loses and dropped out of the top 25 both seasons – great seasons for Temple but very dissappointing endings.
    There’s plenty of teams regionally (ACC) that would be good draws and probably very possible to set up – some are on the schedule. But if we’re talking only about marquee opponents the future schedule looks grim. Maybe it’s good to rack up more wins even if some are against crappy teams. But Temple has to win more games against really good teams too to become legitimate nationwide. Beating ND looks good but if they don’t do much better than last season, what would it really mean?

    • The last time we played an ACC team before Wake Forest was Maryland and we beat them 38-7. Not getting the job done against Wake Forest with, in my mind at least, vastly superior talent, was the product of poor coaching and preparation. Incredibly disappointing that the state of college football today did not allow us to finish that season better. We need to do to the ACC with Rhule talent what Daz did to them with Golden talent. Pummel them and build up our reputation nationally so that we keep the recruiting pipeline flowing. (It dried up this year probably because of the coaching change.)

      • Actually you guys lost to Maryland after that ’11 game in the return game.

        Joe P.

    • agree, disappointing endings considering the talent we put on the field..,

      but I’m just saying MR’s accomplishments are better than AG’s and the DAZ.., and I’m not a huge MR fan…,

      fact is he did what previous coaches did not do

      • after taking two years to determine his plan of action, he did very well. Love to have a coach who hits the ground running, not stumbling and bumbling. If Collins doesn’t go crazy and try to use three wides while the best fullback in the country sits, he should do much better his first two seasons. If he uses Sharga to pound the rock and set up some deft play-action faking for passes to open receivers downfield, then we will know he’s the real deal. We should find out the answers in 107 days.

    • The article points out that Tulsa can’t get them to play Tulsa in Tulsa. Kraft has stated that he will accept nothing less than a 1 and 1 arrangement. Given the horrible schedule he may be forced to abandon that plan especially because TU needs the money an away game at a P-5 school pays.

  13. I think Mike does a great job with this site but tends to use selective memory when it comes to Rutgers. ‘We’ didn’t kick you out of the BE-your terrible administration at the time did by not doing a thing to support you. ‘We’ were busy dedicating resources to our program and trying to better ourselves, something your school didn’t care about until the BE told you to take a hike…and even then it took you 4 years to care.

    Mike also says past games don’t mean squat yet constantly brings up the 99-02 Temple wins while basically ignoring what happened in the immediate games both before and after. How’d the series play out after the formation of the BE? You seem to forget Rutgers winning 7 of the first 8 BE games as well as the last 4. TU is 5-11 against RU in the BE/AAC. I also remember him bringing up 99-03 before the 2012 game as well and wondering, ‘what do games that happened 10 years ago have anything to do with this?’

    Overall the series has been close and there have been more similarities than differences. One thing I will say though- some TU fans seem to think your program is now somehow untouchable…like any non-blueblood, you’re one bad hire away from the cliff’s edge.

    Joe P.

  14. …oh, and Wayne Hardin was 3-3 against Rutgers/ Frank Burns…don’t know in what world that would be considered “owning” someone as you put it Mike.

    Joe P.

  15. In the 1980’s, Bruce Arians wanted the toughest schedule for his team, at the expense of home games. Many of those seasons had only 4 home games as opposed to 7 road games. In 1986 the team was 6-5 despite inferior facilities to just about every team they played. Imagine if that team had the facilities of today, 9-3 and 10-2 would have been possible. Even with only 4 home games we managed to get home games in the 80’s with team like Alabama, Pitt, Virginia Tech. Not suggesting we go to 4 home games but my point is we had an amazing schedule back then. True it is harder today but sometimes we need to realize who we are to drop pride. I am all for 2-1 with elite teams.

  16. What seems to be so obvious to the people on this site regarding taking 2:1 splits (or more with certain teams) seems to be lost on the athletic department administration. Getting elite teams on the schedule means good pay for away games, better at tendency and fan interest for those home games, and just as important it is an important recruiting factor. I’ll pay the same for a 5 game season ticket as a 6 game ticket if the Stoney Brook and Idaho game are dropped. And instead, I can stay at the shore on a September Saturday and watch Temple at Pitt or Virginia Tech (or whoever).

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