Ranking Temple Schedule: 1-12

Temple fans know Daz is susceptible to a trick play. Watch the center here.

Everyone on the campus of Temple University and the extended family wants to hand Sgt. Slaughter a loss.

The man who currently is head coach at Boston College deserves his fate as the most-disliked coach on the Temple schedule in 2018.

Despite proclaiming his love for the university and “South Philly ravioli” and wanting to be “the head coach for life here” Steve Addazio skipped town after two years.

In retrospect, it was the best thing to happen to Temple football. Most at the time did not know it but me, pounding the steering wheel with unmitigated joy upon hearing the news on the car radio, knew that the Temple football program had dodged a huge bullet.

Daz wanted to run off tackle on seemingly every first and second down, passing only if it was third-and-long. That got him (and Temple) a lot of bad-end sacks. Daz staying here would have retarded the development of the program. In a way, hiring Matt Rhule was a two-step forward move without the one-step back.

Daz last season was 4-7 and, if Temple acted like a “normal” school, it would have fired him. At Temple, though, the commitment of the school is for life—or at least the full term of the contract—even though the commitment by the person on the other end is not.

All of the above being true, the Owls’ test at Boston College in late September ranks as their second-toughest of the season.

Here are our rankings of the 12 toughest Temple games, from 12-1:

12) Villanova—Beating this team “only” 16-13 was an unmitigated disgrace last year. Elon and Rhode Island had an easier time with the Wildcats. It’s high time that Geoff Collins finds the find print in his $2 million-per-year contract that dictates blowing this team out is a must.

11) UConn—The Owls have pummeled this squad in two of the last three years but last year’s 28-24 fiasco was probably the worst-coached Temple game of the last decade. Got to think that game got into Collins’ gut and he wants to throw up. Blowing this team out in East Hartford would be the perfect bromide.

10) East Carolina—The Owls won at this place, 34-10, last year with a FCS-level quarterback and a backup fullback as the featured tailback in the second half. At home, with a FBS-level quarterback and both Ryquell Armstead and Jager Gardner healthy, got to figure that the Owls could do even better this time.


9) Buffalo—the last time Al Golden played this team at Lincoln Financial Field, he came away with a 37-13 win. As someone on one of the other boards said recently, Collins gets paid the big bucks to beat the crap out of teams like Buffalo. The only online computer simulation of this game has the Owls winning, 30-7. I think that SHOULD BE about right.

8) Tulsa—Temple won in Oklahoma, 42-22, last year with the key plays in the game made by returning Temple starters. Got to figure the Owls repeat that in the friendly confines of the Linc.

7) Cincinnati—Despite some pretty good recruiting by Luke FIckell, he is far from a proven game-day coach. The Owls won the last two games with the Bearcats pretty easily and should win this one at home.


6) Navy—This is probably the best-coached team the Owls will face all year. That said, Temple broke a nation’s-best 15-game home winning streak there in the AAC championship game last time simply because  the Owls were able to bring as many fans to the game as Navy was. If Temple fans bring the noise again, they should win this one.

5 South Florida—The Owls won the last LFF meeting between the two teams, 46-30, and USF is not nearly as it was in 2016 (now without Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack) and the Owls might be as good as the squad that handed out that 16-point beating.

4) Houston—In Texas, it starts to get tough for the Owls against Major Applewhite’s squad. The Cougars have the best player not only in the league in nose tackle Ed Oliver but the best player in all of G5 football. Still, it’s high time for Temple to beat Houston in football, something it has never done.

3) Maryland—Owls won at Maryland, 38-7, the last time they visited but last year’s Maryland team won at Texas and improved the defense with the hiring of Chuck Heater as co-coordinator. This is a game the Owls could win, but will probably not be favored.

2) Boston College—Plenty of reasons for Temple FANS (see above) to want to win this game but that’s tempered by the knowledge that no current Temple player ever met or was recruited by Addazio nor does Collins, who also was a coordinator at Florida, has any animosity toward him. Plus, Daz has recruited many “dudes” so whether his “dudes” are tougher than our dudes is yet-to-be determined. Still, on May 8, I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream that had the Owls winning, 42-14, and Daz refusing to shake Collins’ hand afterward because Temple was throwing touchdown passes in the fourth quarter (true story). That was my favorite dream of the year and I hope it comes true.

1) UCF—Any team that goes 13-0 with a national championship (at least in the minds of the fair-minded) deserves mad respect but remember that first-year head coaches (who have not been a head coach anywhere else) not named Tom Herman struggle in the AAC and that’s the best hope Temple has of winning this one on the road.

Wednesday—Our annual one-week vacation begins but we will be running surprise “Best of TFFs” starting on this day and returning to fresh perspectives on Wednesday, July 25



13 thoughts on “Ranking Temple Schedule: 1-12

  1. I’d put Buffalo ahead of Tulsa and Cincy, they’ll be a really well-coached team with a handful of NFL Prospects.

    • I agree 100% . Buffalo is predicted to win the MAC East and have a great big QB , Tyree Jackson, and most of his receivers are back. This team also has a lot of depth. this game can be early season upset.

  2. Do you honestly think UCF last season could beat Clemson and UGA in successive games?

    • I’d like to see them given that chance and that’s why the word “fair” is the most important in that sentence. Certainly, they had a much-easier time with Auburn than Alabama did.

      • A depleted Alabama team when they played Auburn. Different team when they got players back and the committee viewed it that way. Their thinking was validated.

  3. Aren’t we going to win them all and be in a New Years Day bowl? Isn’t that what Coach Collins predicted?

  4. No steps back with Rhule? With all the great forward steps there were several steps back and I don’t need to list them. There could (should?) be 8 regular season wins, maybe more. Real nice article and predictions Mike.

  5. Sgt. Slaughter for Daz is similar to the designation of former Tenn coach Butch Jones as Sgt. Carter.

  6. Mike, I was at the UCONN game and the Villanova game. Against UCONN, Logan Marchi stopped two of our good drives by throwing two pick sixes (alright, one only got down to our five yard line). He was awful and clearly cost us a convincing win. He also looked very bad in the Villanova game. Our rookie linebackers also looked lost in the second half. Neither of those situations will apply this year. Look for Wright to run wild against the Wildcats and for Nutile to pick them apart. Putting Marchi as starting QB was the worst choice Coaches Collins and Patenude made last year. I think we have that situation straightened out now. Rabbi Dick White

    > WordPress.com

    • Don’t forget Marchi turned a first and goal from the six in the Houston game into a 3rd and 36. It could be argued that it cost the Owls the game. Marchi was slow, threw erratically, and made bad decisions and the coaches allowed it to happen and likely would have continued to start him had he not gotten hurt. . Still, I don’t blame the kid because the coaches put him the position to fail.

      • coaches picked the best practice qb and ended up regretting it. I’m sure his injury wasn’t that severe and it was blown out of proportion to nicely bench him.

  7. MIke, the Neg thought I have here, how many times in last 25 years of TU FB games I attended , did I see a player have a good or great couple of games, only to never see it again in future years.
    Our QB Mr F. ‘Juicey’ Nutile need to perform with talent and mucho-lucko to get us to 8 wins.
    Our Runners need great improvement and luck this year.5
    Here’s hoping for the best.

  8. team strengths: QB, RB, Special Teams, DL, LB, and Safeties
    weaknesses: depth on OL, depth at RB, CB, and our OC

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