5 CFB Pet Peeves



Anyone who has ever played the sport at some level will tell you about the butterflies.

To me, the excitement never was so bad I had to throw up before the game, but a surprising number of my teammates did.

As a high school linebacker, though, I knew all about the butterflies. You feel that queasy feeling in your stomach until the first hit and then you are fine.

It’s the way football works.

When I got to Temple, I was too short and too slow to play, but experienced the same kind of butterflies as a fan before the first game of the season.

Lately, though, the anticipation has waned because the game has changed a lot for my favorite college football team. Hell, it’s still my favorite sports team but I am more than a little annoyed at the changes in the game since I received my Temple sheepskin. In no particular order, they are these:


Helmet Targeting

I know this is a necessary rule but a nice clean hit is a football play. Lately, though, the line between clean and dirty has been blurred due to the targeting rule. I completely understand it with the CTE and all but it’s not the football I grew up with and too many players are thrown out of the game when the worst thing that should happen is a 15-yard penalty.

The Schism Between The Haves and Have Nots

There are 127 teams in the FBS and 64 of those teams—the ones in the so-called Power 5—are treated fairly the others are not. If one of the “others” (UCF) can win all of its games—including wins over the two teams eventual champion Alabama lost to—and not be given an opportunity to compete in the Final Four, college football has lost all sense of fairness.

The Bowl Situation

With 80 and soon-to-be 84 bowls, college football has turned into a reflection of sports in society as a whole where a lot of “participation trophies” are handed out. Back in the day, it was so hard to get into a bowl that the 1984 Temple team beat a 9-2 Toledo team, 35-6, and Toledo got to play in the California Bowl while Temple stayed home. In 1986, Temple beat another 9-2 team, Virginia Tech, 29-13, but stayed home while Virginia Tech played in the Peach Bowl. Now, 40 teams get a participation trophy.

Pilfering of Players

Back in the day, when a player made a commitment to Temple, the commitment lasted through signing day. Over the last decade, up to five players a  year have decommitted from the school and signed elsewhere. The most high-profile of those was Arkum  Wadley, who ended up at Iowa. What happened to “your word is your bond?”


Regional Rivalries

A short trip to Rutgers or Syracuse or Pitt used to be on the agenda for every other season. Now those teams are in far-flung leagues playing against schools they have very little in common with. On the other hand, Temple has to travel to places like Memphis and Tulsa. It’s just not the same anymore. Pitt suffers from losing its rivalries with Penn State and West Virginia more than Temple does with Rutgers and Syracuse, but college football is better off with those regional rivalries and it does not look like they are coming back.

Sadly, that’s the state of college football in 2018. While kickoff against Villanova will be exciting, the way the game has evolved is in the other direction.

Still, no better sport but the fact it was better in the good old days than it is now is something that can be viewed as objective, not subjective.

Wednesday: The Ideal Temple Uniform

7 thoughts on “5 CFB Pet Peeves

  1. The decision making by officials for helmet targeting is pretty much on a par with pass interference calls and blocking vs. charging in basketball. Even with reviews on replay, as you said, they seem to get it wrong sometimes.

    Another pet peeve (I’m sure you’ll get plenty of “anothers” here) of mine is when games are won or lost on bad calls or non-calls. 2 cases in point: 1) That game that Temple “lost” (Rutgers? during Golden’s tenure) when the replay clearly showed the TU reciever in bounds for a winning TD but the official called it out of bounds. 2) When TU “lost” to Iowa in the NCAAs on an obvious non-call push-in-the-back foul (against Obi) and the Iowa player gets the rebound and scores as the clock expires. My point is that when replays show a bad call that decides a win/loss situation and should be reversed on the spot but is not, it should be able to be reversed on further review later. It can make a huge difference in a team’s record (especially in football that has less games to make an impact), the coaches career and for the players who obviously fought a hard game and got screwed. Which, Mike, is another point for when you spoke about “fairness.” This refusal to change an outcome later has bugged me for a long time since TU has really gotten screwed several times – including as you said not getting invited to bowl games when they should have.

  2. PS: the football game example above certainly could have been reversed on further review. The basketball game example could not since Obi would have had to make at least one foul shot if the foul had been called to win it or it would have had to go into overtime, something that couldn’t happen later. So there should be some form of allowing arguement on the spot, but there isn’t.

  3. Pilfering of players is not a recent phenomenon. The only one I care about is the P-5-G-5 dichotomy. I blame the G-5 schools for that because they agreed to the current system. Little did they know that by doing so they signed their own death warrants. Lack of regional rivalries really doesn’t affect TU. Their primary rivals were Delaware and Nova through the seventies and early eighties. In fact, even with PSU on the schedule, Delaware with Tubby Raymond as coach was considered a bigger game when Hardin was here. I do miss PSU-Pitt though especially when they were both ranked in the top ten.

  4. Temple should play one of these three teams each and every year: Rutgers, Maryland, or Syracuse. We do not have a rivalry game. Those three teams don’t have a rivalry game.

    • Rutgers is a natural rival from back in the day. I don’t consider Penn State a rival since they beat us so many times nor Villanova a rival because of the FCS-FBS thing but the RU-TU series is generally even in the games played on the field (Temple, not the NCAA, forfeited the 86 win over RU and that was probably overly generous by PJL.) Would be great if we could get this game played every year, not just 20 and 21.

  5. Alabama only lost to Auburn. They would have not been in the playoffs with two losses.

    Those Delaware games were intense, especially for the Blue Hen fans. Recall 35,000 attendance for the first matchup at the Vet. But the Hens program has nose dived since D-1 transfers stopped finding their way to Newark.

    The Nitts I work with express unexpected intensity when Temple football is mentioned. Seems to be a thing for them, even before the victory in 2015. Might be Philadelphia envy from the Nitts not from the area.

    I always enjoyed games with Pitt. That seemed to be a very good rivalry, especially with Pitt having cast a vote to keep the Owls out of the Big East way back when.

    Well, if the ACC comes calling one day, Syracuse, Pitt, BC, VPI and Miami return to the schedule.

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