Eye Of The Needle


In Mark 11-23-27, a God-like figure who goes by the initials JC and is not John Chaney said, “it is easier for a Camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.”


I guess you and I dodged a bullet by not winning that $700 million lottery on Wednesday night, simply because eternity is just a bit longer than the 50-100 years we get to live on this planet and, if you had to chose one, you’d chose eternity.

What has proven to be just as difficult, though, is for a Group of Five team to enter the Kingdom of College Football Heaven. That’s how corrupt college football has become in an era where the Power 5 sets the rules and the Group of Five must follow or go home.

The bad news is that Temple is PROBABLY not going to get into Paradise this year. The good news is that it’s possible should this scenario occur:

  1. Temple beats Notre Dame
  2. Notre Dame beats everyone else
  3. Temple beats everyone else

Crazy, because crazy things rarely happen. Yeah, we know that’s pretty nigh impossible but, on the eve of a college football season, we can dream, can’t we?
Really, the MOST crazy part of this equation is if Notre Dame loses to Temple, it’s hard to see the Irish run through the rest of a schedule that includes teams like Southern Cal and Georgia. Still, after losing to Army in the opener last year, did you ever envision Temple winning the toughest G5 Conference?

I did not think so.

So say both Temple and Notre Dame run through their regular seasons unbeaten. It would be pretty impossible for even a P5-stacked selection committee to pick one-loss ND over unbeaten Temple for a slot in the Final Four given the fact that the unbeaten team won at the one-loss team.

There are not many G5 teams that have a similar pathway into the Final Four because they have not scheduled a marquee team.

If the G5 is ever going to crash this rich man’s party, then this year is the year and Temple is the G5 team and the first step is winning at Notre Dame.

Somewhere, the real Touchdown Jesus would probably look down and at least crack a smile if that happens.

We can pray Notre Dame does its part. The Owls will have to handle their part on their own accord by winning three more games than we predicted them to two days ago.

Can’t happen?

Yeah, probably, but as long as both teams are unbeaten (and both are now) we will dream our dreams and others are free to dream theirs.

Monday: Game Week (Can You Believe It?)

Tuesday: Enemy Territory


14 thoughts on “Eye Of The Needle

  1. My concern is the defense will force third and longs but then ND WR’s and backs have that little bit of extra speed to be able to break short tosses for long gains. ND being ND, they probably have some of that unexplainable luck stored that will result in a goofy play to decide the game. ND is so vulnerable this season. I can taste a Temple “W” like I did the last two Penn State games. And O-line, please remember the snap count, especially in the red zone.

    • A little extra speed over Mike Jones, Sean Chandler and Artrel Foster, who all run 4.4s or less? I doubt it. I think you are giving them too much credit because they are Notre Dame. I think they will find this is far, far, from the Temple team the Owls took to South Bend in 2013. Light years. Snap count may have been Matt Rhule’s fault for not paying attention to detail in practice the week prior, not the kids. How come Mike Pettine and Wayne Hardin teams never had problems with snap counts? Discipline. While Rhule was a great coach for Temple, he let a couple of things slip through the cracks and that was repetition in practice on things like snap counts and film study of opponents.

  2. Really agree with your last sentence Blaze. Discipline. Temple can’t shoot themselves in the foot the way they did at PSU last year if they want to win. The seeming QB quandry is hard to figure. Maybe CC is just messing with ND’s head? We’ll see. Go Owls.

  3. Even if Notre Dame does not do its part we could end up in a New Years Day bowl if we beat Notre Dame. That would exceed our wildest expectations, especially for those of us who followed the Owls through the dismal years.

    • Yes, but we get to dream for a week. Two weeks if the Owls beat ND and ND takes care of Georgia (and we, of course, pummel Nova). I’ll take seven weeks of one-loss ND and Temple being unbeaten if I can’t have all 14. Imagine Owls would be talked about in the national final four picture if both teams could hold on that long. ND is ranked No. 25 now and USF No. 21. Wins over both would put the Owls in the conversation.

      • Notre Dame is in the receiving votes section in the Preseason AP poll and would be #28.

  4. OMG MIke, My Catechism class finally pays off !!!
    A favorite Nun from many years ago, I think here name was something like ‘Sister Charles Bronson’, or close , explained to us the verse is ” Eye OF the Needle’ , which a a small door in the wall around Jerusalem, where large animals couldn’t pass thru, just a man stooping down, How about that.
    Is that good for days off in Purgatory ?
    Really thought, I am ready for Football, I see the single digits are given out.
    I anyone from the outside allowed see see practice and comment on QB play ?
    Bless this mess.

    • John Belli as an alumni football player is allowed to see practice and other guys like Sheldon Morris and Joe Greenwood and Mark Bresani, to name just a few, have given their opinions. From what I can gather, all four quarterbacks are pretty much equal and the alumni football players like the way Collins runs the practices better than Rhule. I hope this helps us avoid fiascos like the 120 yards in penalties against Penn State. I never recall a Wayne Hardin team getting more than 60 in one game and there’s no doubt in my mind had we had 60 or less against PSU we would have picked up a truly valuable win last season.

  5. Since we’re bring religion into it, I hope your words go from your mouth to God’s ears.

  6. Mike, are we going to have throwback Thursdays this year? I know some of the teams we play don’t have much history with us, but for those that do, it was fun to read your take on some our past games.

    • Reading my mind, Phil. I like the Throwback Thursdays to represent a game or a theme longer than, say, 10 years ago. So no Throwback Thursday for ND since we have no long history with them. But I will switch to a Tue-Thu-Sat pub schedule for TFF for the Nova game. Have to keep it to three days because it was interfering with the job that pays me actual money. This is purely a Labor of Love. On weeks we don’t face an opponent with a long history (say, Houston), I will switch back to a Mon-Wed-Fri sked.

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