Temple Football: Great, Not Just Good


Paging through the comments of some of the stories on Temple building a football stadium, I came across these two gems:

“Their football team isn’t even good.”

“Temple should drop down a division like Villanova.”

Hitting the reply button in both cases was too temping to pass up.


The point is, to both of those people, the first by a woman and the second from a man, ignorance is bliss and perception of a decades ago reality is something they chose to hold onto.

The current reality should be the only thing that matters and that is in black and white for all to see.

Unless you are Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma or Clemson, very few teams have carved out a higher profile than Temple recently.

Of the last three years, Clemson and Alabama—with two 14-win seasons—certainly is at the top of college football’s food chain.

Ohio State and Oklahoma are part of that next rung averaging roughly a dozen wins over the last three years.


Then there’s Temple, which belongs to a very successful “Group of Seven” schools within the 63-team Group of Five.

Of the Group of Five (G5) schools, the Owls are “not even good” because they are close to being great. They are one of only four teams—Houston, Toledo and Boise State are the others—who have either won or been to their league championship games twice over the last three years.

Arguably, the Owls are in the Final Four of that group if you use the current (three-year) sample. Of the teams who have won at least 27 games, only four have been to two league championship games and Temple is one of them.

Their 27 wins of the last three years puts them right there with teams like San Diego State (32), Boise State (30), Toledo (30) Houston (29), USF (29), Memphis (27), Navy (27) and ahead of teams like Ohio (25), Brigham Young (22) and UCF (19).

Even if you limit your sample to just G5 teams—and in many ways that is the fairest comparison, Temple is in the top 10 percent of the most successful college football teams in the nation.

It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to figure that if this edition of the Owls is “ridiculously good” (as head coach Geoff Collins has said), they can move right up to the top of that class.

The people who think the football team representing the school “is not even good” are probably right. By any standards, a three-year run that puts you in a cumulative top four of a 63-team group qualifies for greatness.

The Cherry (and White) on top of all this would be a NY6 win and that has to be the next step for this program.

Wednesday: Camp Haul

Friday: Color Bearers

Monday: Matchmaking




10 thoughts on “Temple Football: Great, Not Just Good

  1. Those people are the same ones who say the neighborhood around TU is still horrendous. They’re basing their opinions on decades-old information. Time for them to update they’re information.

  2. Crimson Tide also had two 14 win seasons in the last three.

    As for the commenters you reference, neither of them would even consider going to game. Unfortunately, their comments get as much of a view as those encouraging a stadium.

  3. Mike, the people you referenced are out of touch. However in all honesty, as good as their conference is, TU gets some help from being in the AAC. By comparison, even Vandy which is an SEC bottom dweller in the toughest conference in America gets into bowl games, which begs the question of how well would TU do in the SEC year in and year out? I really don’t think TU would fair as well as their statistics now show in a few of the P5 conferences. That’s not to say they aren’t a good team. But they need to beat mediocre P5 teams like BC and Maryland this year to prove it. Or could they play Ohio State close like some MAC teams have, and Navy has and TUs recent games with PSU? And I realize some AAC teams have done really well and TU competes well with them. All are indicators of how good they are, but then they got walloped by Toledo and lose to WF recently.

    I think maybe my reflections of the past color my confidence of how good they are, regardless of recent statistics. Maybe it will just take awhile of seeing more consistent success for me to not question their quality.

    Please explain further your paragraph about fairly limiting the sample to G5 teams but they’re in the top 10% of all schools? I’m not sure I get that or how that is possible.

  4. Top 7 of 63 (G5) and top 27 of 127=top 10 percent. Any organization in the top 10 percent of anything is a very successful organization.

  5. Will a good history equal a bright future? MR was able to parlay two great back to back recruiting classes (indispensable), steady play from the QB position (most important), and commitment to Temple Tuff (identity) into national recognition and relevance. Also, MR had a proven DC and the guts to switch his OC.

    Can Collins bring College Game Day back to Philly? Can he string two consecutive great recruiting classes? Is he committed to Temple Tuff? Will any of his QBs make an all conference team? Collins does not have a proven DC and his OC is a bitter pill.

    What exactly does he bring to the table? Didn’t every recruit last year red-shirt for the first time in TUFB history? Why is he sticking with Patenaude?

    What I’ve seen so far is an overmatched coaching staff with plenty of energy. Can Collins out-coach Daz? We will know much about Collins early on this coming Fall. The two huge indicators will be, how many/if any of this year’s recruiting class make it above the line, and can Collins beat BC and/or Maryland.

    If we redshirt another entire class and go 0-2 (BC/Maryland) we’ll know that a good history does not equal a bright future.

    • KJ,

      Hate to say this , but based on the ranking of Collins 1st two recruiting classes, I’m not impressed . His first recruiting class was ranked near the bottom of all D1 football. This year’s recruiting class was ranked mediocre at best . In fact most polls ranked this year’s class 6th in the American Conference. That’s not a good sign.

  6. Anyone saying the Owls are not good are probably Lurietrolls with one hand on the keyboard and another in taxpayers pockets.

  7. Thanks for the explanation Mike. It gives me more confidence in just how good the program is. I do know I’ll be following them no matter what and that this is definitely a high water mark period for TU football – maybe the highest?
    KJ, don’t forget MR did all what you mentioned AFTER 2 miserable seasons to start off and lost us 2 bowl games, missed breaking the wins record, etc. during those 2 really good seasons. To me he’s still a split decision as a coach because of all that. At least CC, in his first season, ended with a winning record and a bowl win. But I agree, his future is still up in the air including this season because he could go the way of Daz (who ironically was lured away by a P5 program after a losing season at TU). I just hope CC kicks Daz’s ass!

  8. Owls got verbals from 4 players Saturday and only one of them (MJ Griffin) has been graded. He’s a three star and the other three kids have no stars. This can’t be a good thing.

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