Watching the so-called “Spaghetti plots” over the last few days that plotted the projected path of Harvey, one of them had the storm directly over Indiana by “Saturday PM.”
Temple and Notre Dame both seemingly have dodged a bullet because subsequent plots have put the remnants closer to, say, Philadelphia than South Bend.
While rain is considered the great equalizer on the football field and a nightmare for Las Vegas, if Temple would be fortunate enough to win on Saturday in a monsoon the narrative would have been it wasn’t a fair fight and the Owls won due to the elements. This is like one of those old Spaghetti Westerns, so named because they were mostly made in Italy. They all had a simple plot. Good guy versus bad guy and a lot of action with a satisfying result at the end.
Call this a Spaghetti Midwestern, where the bad guys depend on which side of the economic tracks you are on in today’s modern day college football reality. It’s really hard to imagine that, unless you are Irish, Catholic or a Notre Dame fan for life why you would be rooting for anyone but Temple in this one.
People who follow this blog usually know in this space the day before a Temple game we talk about the matchups, how the Owls should attack and expect to be attacked.
In all honestly, we don’t know Jack this year. New quarterbacks, mostly new coaches, new coordinators for both teams. Of course, the returning head coach, Brian Kelly, presided over a 2016 team that lost to a Navy team that could not get within a sniff of Temple in the most important game of both team’s seasons. (Apologies to Navy, but winning the AAC title game is still more important than an Army game that you’ve won 10-straight times.)
This we do know: Temple has a GREAT defense and will smack you in the mouth. Whether those body blows result in a TKO or Mayhem turns into touchdowns the other way, we will find out Saturday. In this space, and at this moment, we will focus on the larger picture.
Certainly, all of the Group of Five schools will be rooting for Temple. They’ve been dealt a bad hand by the BCS Power 5 schools who have engineered a hostile takeover of college football and dictated to the NCAA what the rules are and who should be in their title game. They have made it a virtual impossibility that any G5 school ever make it into a championship.
Fortunately, the basketball side of the NCAA has avoided that doomsday fate but the P5 is certainly positioning itself for a hostile takeover of that wonderful tournament as well.
A win for Temple in this game will not cure all of those ills but would certainly be a step in the right direction. Certainly there have been other high-profile wins by G5 schools over P5 schools, with Houston beating Oklahoma last year, Memphis beating Ole Miss in 2015 and Temple beating Penn State in that same year.
None of them have moved the needle closer to fairness because those schools are still have-nots in a sport of haves. A win here would be slightly different in that the Owls would do this in the first week of a long season before a national television audience and, if they were to keep the momentum for as long as they did in 2015, they would have to be mentioned as a possible playoff team by the highly paid talking heads. One of those talking heads this year is a Temple grad, Kevin Neghandi, who will run the college football show for ESPN this fall.
That kind of platform is not available for any other G5 school and Temple will at least build the stage with a win on Saturday. It is helpful that Hurricane Harvey does not make a visit to throw a caveat into what would be such a glorious victory.
Sunday: Game Analysis
Tuesday: Above The Line
Thursday: Throwback Thursday