One of the really small signs that Temple football’s profile nationally has been raised could be found in the back of the newspaper in that small type called agate.
The team’s schedule was updated a week ago with times added where the ever-popular TBD (to be determined) or TBA (to be announced) were posted previously.
Six times have been announced.
Checking our archives of the last three years on June 1, the Owls had exactly 1, 2 and 1 dates announced. Six times etched in stone in this era of TV-dictated starting times is really a lot and realistically all fans can hope for in this day and age.
Small type progress in small type.
Progress, certainly because it means the networks—specifically, ESPN—want to lock the Owls in now and much of the AAC schedule around them later.
By far, at least from a fan standpoint, the “preferred” starting time by a wide margin has been 3:30. That has been substantiated by data compiled from the university’s athletic department via fan surveys for at least a decade. It’s easy to understand. From a working fan’s standpoint, they have to roll out of bed early five days in a row before that to get to work Monday-Friday and don’t look forward to setting the alarm early for a football game on Saturday. From a student’s view, Friday night is a drinking and party night and a significant minority of the kids are looking at a hangover and not an alarm clock on Saturday morning. Retired people are probably just too tired to get up. So there’s a trifecta at work against noon games.
So, while the starting time of noon for a game against hated rival Villanova on Labor Day weekend is far from ideal, look at it from this perspective: The Phillies have a home game with the Cubs starting at 7 p.m. that day. No Phillies fan is going to show up for tailgate at 9 or 10 in the morning, so the likelihood is that all of the Phillies Lot K tailgating spaces will be taken before the first fans arrive well after kickoff. Hell, Lot K might be closed by then. Lot K, in addition to being the top Temple tailgating lot, is also the big tailgating lot for Phillies fans.
The fact that a FBS/FCS game gets on an ESPN Network, even ESPN News, is a plus as well. Usually, those sorts of games are relegated to ESPN3. That honor goes to Buffalo the next week as well as a more palpable starting time for Temple fans.
Plus, the Big 10 network gets a boost by going into the nation’s No. 4 TV market (Philadelphia) and No. 7 market (Washington, D.C.) with the Temple at Maryland game on Sept. 15 (noon). It won’t be the only game on BTN at the time, as Ball State at Indiana and Troy at Nebraska kick off at the same time and get targeted for more regional audiences. Most Big 10 sets, though, will be getting Temple-Maryland.
The times we know so far are:
Sat Sept 1 VS Villanova 12:00 ESPNNEWS
Sat Sept 8 VS Buffalo 3:30 ESPN3
Sat Sept 15 @Maryland 12:00 BTN
Thur Sept 20 VS Tulsa 7:30 ESPN
Sat Sept 29 @Boston College TBD
Sat Oct 6 VS ECU TBD
Sat Oct 13 @Navy 3:30 CBSSN
Sat Oct 20 VS Cincinnati TBD
Thur Nov 1 @UCF 7:30 ESPN
Sat Nov 10 @Houston TBD
Sat Nov 17 VS USF TBD
Sat Nov 24 @Uconn TBD
Wednesday: The Rest of the AAC
Friday: Could This Be The One?
Monday (6/11): Immediate Needs
Wednesday (6/13): Road Trips
Friday (6/15): Early Recruiting Rankings of Note
Monday (6/18): Birthday Wishes
Wednesday (6/20): When No News Equals Bad News