Power 5 Misconceptions

The 2013 Temple signing class

A few years ago, a famous ex-Temple basketball player—who shall remain nameless—went on a sustained rant when he learned that the Owls were leaving the MAC for football and joining the then Big East.

“This is the worst idea ever,” he said. “We’re never going to win in the Big East. We’re going to be going back to 3-9 seasons. It’s just dumb. I like this winning thing. Let’s stay in the MAC where we can win. We haven’t even won a MAC title. Let’s do that first.”

I tried to explain to him then, as I do to others now, that when the Power 6 train (the old Big East was part of that cartel) pulls up to the station and asks you to board, you don’t say want to go back to 10th and Berks at midnight and look for the watch you might have dropped on the ground. You get on board. There might not be another train coming.

Just when you thought the Owls winning the AAC—the successor to the Big East football conference—drove a stake through that faulty logic, it reared its ugly head on the Temple fan facebook page the other day when someone said “we’re not ready” for the Power 5 and that a move to the Power 5 would mean a return to three-win seasons.

De Ja Bleeping Vu.


Oy vay.

Let’s deal with the first misconception, the so-called “fact” that  Temple is “not ready” or would “return to three-win seasons” in the Power 5.

Temple already has beaten Power 5 teams in Penn State (27-10) two seasons and Vanderbilt (37-7) three seasons ago. In 2011, the Owls beat a Maryland team (38-7), which was a week removed from a 32-24 win over Miami (Fla.), another Power Five team. They went toe-to-toe with the then No. 9 team in the country, Notre Dame, on national television in 2015 and lost pretty much on the final play of the game.

This is not your father or grandfather’s Temple football program.

It might not hit the ground running in the Power 5, but it certainly would not crawl and probably jog right into the middle of the pack if not better.

A year ago, only 120 yards in penalties kept one Group of Five champion, Temple, from beating a Power 5 champion, Penn State, on the road. Most of those penalties were of the kind that could have been avoided had the Owls paid more attention to detail in the week or so preceding the Penn State game. No one knows if Geoff Collins is going to be a more detail-oriented coach that Matt Rhule was, but you have got to hope that one of his Temple teams is not going to get 120 yards in penalties in such an important game again.

The whole conversation could be moot since there is no invitation on the horizon but should something come in the mail, every single Temple fan has to know that the answer is not subject to debate.

Friday: The Big Cheeses

17 thoughts on “Power 5 Misconceptions

    • …. and, as John Belli has said, the G5 is closer to becoming a glorified D1AA/FCS group than it is to having a piece of the delicious P5 pie.

    • nice read, thanks for sending.., the football team is ready and would be able to compete in Big 12 or ACC.

      The rest of the university is not ready, and won’t be ready until it figures out how to stop hemorrhaging money with continued play at the LINC…..,

      two back to back trips to the conference championship games, an NFL first-rounder, etc., etc., the team is waiting for the uni and BOT to catch-up..,

      same old grandfather’s Temple institution, losing city battles and can’t figure out a strategic plan for long term success and P5 acceptance

  1. Hate to be a wet blanket here, but I’m not so sure Temple is ready for a P5 schedule. Yes there have been some recent successes against P5 schools but their scattered throughout a G5 schedule (one or two big games a year) – play a solid ACC or Big12 schedule for the whole season and where would we be really? Hard to tell.
    Now we have a new coach with no promise of continuing the recent success but a pretty good promise of coaching changes if he and future coaches do succeed and the prospects of the G5 coaching carousel and it’s uncertainty. And if they don’t succeed it means the program is back to the doldrums.
    I think the AAC is perfect for Temple at this time in the programs development. And now, as you’ve said, it’s no good that the schedule ahead is weak in terms of big games. Maybe we wouldn’t go back to 2/3-win seasons with a P5 schedule but we very well could go back to losing seasons – recent Wake Forest and MAC team loses as examples of where we might go and those were with some otherwise great seasons. Hate to say it but there’s are reasons the P5 conferences ignore Temple even tho they’re in one of the top TV markets out there. So do we want more money in the P5 at the possibe expense of losing seasons, ala Vanderbilt? Temple is Temple, with all it’s limitations, so what else is there to say?
    So, maybe you have to take the opportunity if and when it comes, but I lean toward seeing our team win a lot in a P6 conference!

    • What you’re not considering is that a promotion to a P-5 program will improve recruiting. Moreover, unlike when the Owls were invited into the Big East, the administration will spend the money necessary to keep the Owls competitive. As my former boss said, “Only a fool slips on the same piece of ice twice.” This time the Owls would be starting with a proper foundation for success, which was not the case when they joined the Big East. Finally, even the administration recognizes that they will get one shot at this and will act accordingly.

    • The Wake Forest game was an outlier. It was like having the New England Patriots play the Super Bowl without Bill Belichick and his staff. Or at least having Ed Foley coach the Patriots against the Falcons.

    • There is no such thing as a P6 conference nor will there ever be. It’s P5 and then everyone else. Temple should be doing everything it can to lobby into that group before it’s too late. (I have a feeling it is too late.)

    • Agree whole heartedly !
      Rather see them in a conference where they can compete every year , rather than they become the next “duke” or “northwestern” of a p5 conference . Temple has been down this road b4. Besides the p5 conferences aren’t interested in schools with 44M budgets, playing in front of half full stadiums

      • The whole point is that we won’t be a Northwestern or a Duke and, in a P5 conference, we won’t be playing in a half-full stadium or have crappy non-conference opponents like Bucknell and Idaho. “Regular” students gravitate to urban schools now and Philadelphia is an attractive destination for recruits. The only thing keeping recruits from coming to Temple is the G5/P5 thing. That disappears when Temple accepts a P5 invite. Plus, hoops would thrive because G5 schools are discriminated against on Selection Sunday.

      • You just don’t understand the whole picture. Winning the MAC is a pyrrhic victory because it means nothing financially, football wise, or school image wise. Do you think Central Michigan’s application rate rose after last season? I doubt it. People only become interested when you beat the named teams in the P-5 conference and the casual fan only will attend if one of those teams is playing. No one says, “Hey TU is playing Ohio, let’s go to the game.” One of the sorriest sights I saw during TU football was the Wednesday night game against Ohio.when Peirce got hurt. It was raining and I think there may have been no more than three thousand people sitting in the stands despite the fact that it was for the division lead. Don’t think that would be the case if TU was playing an ACC foe under the same circumstances. Besides, the Linc was even more empty playing MAC teams than it is now and that’s true even after Golden turned it around. Nothing like Tuesday or Wednesday night games to pack in the crowds.

  2. My father and grandfather’s Owls played in the Sugar Bowl, but I agree to get on any P5 train that stops at Temple University Station. Don’t take the R5 (where you’ll end up in Doylestown watching the Delval Aggies). Make darn sure the program doesn’t get on the R2 to Trenton, transfer to NJ transit, and get off in Piscataway where there’s a bad train wreck smoldering on the siding.

  3. The P5 train won’t be stopping at Temple station because of the following three reasons
    1) No money in athletic budget, or from boosters 2) No national fanbase 3) and horrible attendance in a large media market.

  4. IMO, the AAC is as good as it gets for TUFB. I’m not sure of the season ticket fan base, but I think it’s somewhere in the area of 9,000 that includes partial season plans. Anyone have better info? But assuming that to be close to actual, that needs to be three times that amount to be considered somewhat acceptable to a P5 conference. But realistically, we have to hope the conference stays intact with the current members staying, the upper echelon FB teams win more than they lose against P5 teams, and the AAC champion gets one of the New Years major bowl games and wins it. With that happening and if the BB schools compete for Final Four success (in not the National Championship), continuing to claim to be the P6 conference isn’t so outlandish. I understand that doesn’t get the AAC into the FB playoff mix automatically. But perhaps AAC schools can get elevated to satisfying the requirement for P5 level non-conference competition of those conferences. And with all of that in place, the conference can get decent television contracts and some chance of scheduling P5 teams routinely albeit probably at less than home and home parity level. And I can continue to think we have another good chance for the conference championship at this time of year.

  5. It would seem artistic success (W-L) doesn’t translate necessarily to fiscal success (attendance, TV contracts) despite that when the team wins, TV sets are tuned to the games in this area. Just no juice among the general population for college FB. Even if State Penn is hot, very little talk on the radio about them or CFB in general

    The Owls could be beating the daylights out of a P5 team and while the game is going on, callers to WIP would be worried about what the Eagles will do on Sunday.

    If a P5 comes to town, better be one with a following. ND and PSU meet that criteria. When OU comes calling in the next decade, I honestly doubt attendance will touch 40,000. What was the largest non-PSU/ND crowd in recent years? The RU game when they were doing pretty well and their fans arrived in large numbers.

    That was a good thought from Easy Owl: AAC teams routinely top P5’s…ECU a good one for doing that, Houston, Navy, USF, Memphis and the Owls. The BCS committee emphasizing the OOC conference games may force some programs to give up that Southern Conference team to face a stronger AAC program. Win most of those games, and the AAC gains recognition….but only then to lose coaches and one or two schools. Becomes critical then to build crowds to be one of the chosen.

    And take a real hard look at moving as many games as possible from the Linc to Citizens Bank. Smaller, but it would be Temple’s field. Phils shouldn’t mind wrecking the infield for a couple years until they are ready for October ball.

    • and, Temple would get a much better deal $$ at Citizens Bank; the Eagles hate and rape Temple…,

      Temple is the battered wife living with Mr. Eagle, the abusive husband…,

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