Not much news is ever made on AAC Media Day, but at least AAC Media Eve gave us this interesting tidbit: Temple is negotiating a home-and-home with Penn State.
This is interesting for at least three reasons.
One, Penn State has never given Temple a home-and-home.
Two, I never thought we’d see PSU again after Temple beat them by two touchdowns and a field goal in 2015 and lost by a measly touchdown the next year.
Three, this confirms my last conversation during a recent tailgate with Dr. Pat Kraft, still the athletic director at Temple University.
“We’re not giving anybody 2-and-1s anymore,” Dr. Kraft said.
“Even Penn State?”
“Even Penn State.”
Well, there goes the chance of ever playing Penn State again, I thought.
If Kraft is able to pull this contract off, it’s a major coup for his tenure. Heck, THE major coup for his tenure.
Little do people know another tidbit: Joe Paterno originally wanted to play this game in Philadelphia every year “as a gift to our Philadelphia alumni.”
That all changed after the 1976 renewal of the series (the first game since 1950) when the Owls out-gained the Nittany Lions from scrimmage, 371-120 yards, but lost a 26-25 tilt when the special teams could not cover a kickoff and a punt return. That game was more like a Big 5 basketball game than a college football one, with 30,000 fans waving Cherry and White pom-poms on one side of the field and 30,000 fans waving Blue and White pom-poms on the other. (“After that game, I played my starters on special teams,” head coach Wayne Hardin said a few years ago.)
The opening play from scrimmage–a 76-yard run for a touchdown by a Temple sprinter named Bobby Harris–elicited the loudest cheering I’ve ever heard at a Temple football game, including the 2015 win over PSU. You’ve got to remember that Temple was coming off a couple of years of 9-1 and 8-2 teams and a nation’s-best 14-game winning streak so the Owls had a significant fan base in Philadelphia established.
Afterward, Paterno withdrew the offer of returning to Philadelphia the next season and took the home game and renegotiated a deal that would give PSU 3-2s and 2-1s going forward.
While the ink isn’t dry yet, the news that negotiations are moving along is good news, even if the first game is 2026–two years after the Owls play Oklahoma. Right now, almost too good to be true.
Friday: Unpacking Other Media Day News