A New Year: High Hopes

Maybe Geoff Collins is right and I am wrong.

High Hopes was the song Harry Kalas popularized with the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies and it became the team’s unofficial fight song through the 2008 World Championship season.


Philly guy Ed Foley adopted the song for Temple football and, as Collins said, after the Gasparilla Bowl, “can we sing our song?”

High Hopes indeed because that’s how high Collins has set the bar for this 2018 season. Collins says Cotton Bowl and I will sign for that right now.

As we enter the New Year today, that is my most fervent wish for my favorite sports team: The Temple Football Owls.

In the pre-game game prep for the Gasparilla Bowl, Collins mentioned to both announcers that the goal for 2018 for the Owls was the Cotton Bowl. I can only assume that’s where the NY6 game involving the G5 “champion” is located.


To me, the minimum way to achieve that goal would be to appear in the AAC title game for the third-straight year and win it for the second time in that limited frame and hope somebody like Boise State has a less impressive season than the Owls do.

Personally, I don’t see it but Collins is closer to the team than I am so I yield to his expertise in that area. The recruits appear to include a handful who will challenge for starting spots, so maybe Collins figures he has plugged all the holes. Recruiting is the byproduct of a charismatic staff and a great school in a World Class city that appeals to more students than ever before. In 2017, Temple went over 40,000 students for the first time. Young people find Temple a very exciting place to be and it’s no surprise that some of those young people are great football players.


Nick Sharga’s final message to the team

As followers to this blog have learned over the last decade, we tell it like it is—good, bad or indifferent and, as much as I’d like to be sitting in the Cotton Bowl one year to the day from now (perhaps even beating, say, a Penn State), I do not see it happening. Not after losing the entire defensive secondary—except for its best player, Delvon Randall—or losing its two best edge rushers, two great wide receivers, a solid left offensive tackle and the best fullback in the country.

That’s a lot of losses, even more impactful than losing a first-round NFL edge rusher (Haason Reddick) and a four-year starting quarterback (P.J. Walker) from two years ago.

The positives are that the Owls have found at least one quarterback they can win with, Frank Nutile, and Ryquell Armstead and David Hood are big-time running backs who should both be fully healthy after injuries this season.

To me, getting back to seven wins would be more realistic and everything on top of that would be gravy.

Since I like gravy, I’m stashing away a little money each week so I can pour it on my crow and eat it exactly one year to the day from now in Texas. If high hopes are achieved, these wonderful ants will prove they can move a pretty big rubber tree plant.

Wednesday: Stadium Thoughts


18 thoughts on “A New Year: High Hopes

  1. We lose to UCF, but should be able to beat every other conference foe. We NEED to split UMD and BC.

    • We won the AAC title and hired an unproven coordinator (unproven as a head coach) and UCF won the AAC title and hired an unproven guy as its head coach. Maybe they win again, but I think their chances would have been a lot better if Frost dethawed and remained in Florida. Never know what these unproven guys are going to do.

  2. The only way we can do better than the Cotton Bowl is if we go unbeaten and Maryland and Boston College win their respective P5 leagues. The chances of a meteor hitting Lincoln Financial Field are greater than that happening but I’m rooting for the meteor, at least the figurative one.

  3. Focusing on individual positions, the thing with Sharga and Ritrivato is curious to me. Sharga was way underused. Why? 2 possibilities. The O schemes didn’t use the blocking fullback as you think they should Mike and though Ritrovato had more snaps he wasn’t used as much or in the same way as Rhule used the FB. In addition, I have a sneaking suspicion that there was something going on behind the scenes between Sharga and the coaches and or that the coaches wanted to play younger guys. I think it possibly helped in losing some games. That’s a position to observe next season on the use of the fullback. Hopefully Sharga will get a shot at the NFL.

  4. UCF so far playing well. If they beat Auburn, it will expose the hypocrisy of the P-5 G-5 nonsense. Nevertheless, it will mean that an AAC team beat a team that schooled two of the teams in the playoff. At a minimum, it will provide a rationale for expanding the playoff to eight teams that includes two or three G-5 champions.

    • slipping away. I’ll take Milton as my qb any day of the week. Huge drop by one of his receivers.

    • Frost showed class, skill, and persistence that we haven’t seen at Temple. He finished the job.

      • Frost said he talked to Dave Dorean, who went from Northern Illinois to NC State and Dave said his No. 1 regret as coach was not coaching his NIU kids in the bowl game. Frost said that played a big part in his decision. Hopefully, Rhule will have the same regrets some day.

  5. Recruits realize that opportunities abound at TU.
    The Owls need depth and starters. Most of all, they need a superstar to the make the Cotton Bowl. Another kick-ass RB like Bernard Pierce or LB like Matakevich is my New Years wish.

  6. I hate seeing 2 SEC teams in the championship game. That conference plays the weakest OOC schedule. And 75% of what OOC games played are at home with a lot of FCS games at the end of the schedule. Hope the TV ratings stink.

  7. It’s pure BS that UCF was kept out of the top 10 with the only undefeated record. The AAC did real good with a 4-3 bowl record and knocking off Auburn.
    Power-6? This year yes.

  8. Saban has pushed SEC to add a ninth conference game so as to be similar to other leagues. Other coaches are resisting. OOC games this year among the SEC teams that count: Bama-FSU (before FSU lost Frenchie), Auburn@Clemson, UGA@ND, A&M@UCLA, Ark-TCU are some that come to mind before rivalry games are added (UGA-Tech, FSU-UF, USC-Clemson).

    TV ratings will be bad as focus is on two adjoining states in one corner of the country.

    And Auburn is a different team on the road than they are at home.

    • That megalomaniac Saban also wants to pas a rule prohibiting P-5 schools from playing G-5 schools. Luckily, I think coaches in the middle of their P-5 conferences will never go for it because it would mean that half those teams would not become bowl eligible and it would cost those coaches their jobs. He also is against the early signing period because it means he can’t just come in and swipe kids anymore or screw kids he already orally committed to but no longer wants because he swiped a better player. He is bad for college football.

  9. I graduated from Temple in 1981 and attended the Garden State Bowl, on that cold Saturday in 1979. My girls both graduated from Penn State and I always wanted to attend a big-time bowl. This year the stars aligned and we went to Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl. The venue was terrific, the fan support (from both teams was outstanding) and the game was very entertaining. I did feel a little guilty watching the Temple game on TV, however the empty seats and a season of frustration prevented me from considering a much more affordable trip to Tampa. I do wonder if Temple will ever achieve the goal of being invited to a big-time bowl. I thoroughly enjoyed the 15 and 16 seasons. Winning a Division, one championship and beating PSU was a great feeling. Competing with ND was a great night, after hosting College Game Day. Was this lightning in a bottle? Or did we step to the next level and created bigger expectations?

    I have come to accept that competing and being bowl eligible is a much better place than the pre-MAC days. Actually, the MAC days felt a bit like playing a I-AA schedule. Finishing 8-4 and not receiving a bowl bit was not a good place to be. While I would love to have an invitation to the ACC, I wounder if the trade-off of being a doormat in a P5 league is worth the price of entry.

    Let’s enjoy being competitive and building a sustainable program in a league that seems to be somewhat stable.

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