On or about the time Temple was flirting with the Top 10 in the 1979 season, a reporter once asked Wayne Hardin why the Owls were still playing teams like Delaware and Villanova.
“I believe in playing Delaware and Villanova and beating the crap out of them,” Hardin said.
It wasn’t very politically correct and probably didn’t play well with large groups of local fans, but it was his mantra and it was Temple-centric.
Usually, he did.
It helped having a Mensa IQ of 159 that translated to outsmarting just about every coach he ever played, but having the talent advantage helped even more.
Hardin won seven of his last nine games against legendary Delaware coach Tubby Raymond—father of the first Phillie Phanatic—and beat Villanova, 42-10, that year on the Main Line.
I thought about coach Hardin when reading a large sentiment on social media of current Temple fans’ opinions on this series.
“We have nothing to gain and everything to lose by playing Villanova.”
“It’s a no-win situation.”
“If you win, meh, but, if you lose, it’s a disaster.”
Around and around that goes and where it stops defeatism knows.
Last year’s 16-13 game
was a complete disgrace
and hopefully put as bad
a taste in the players’
and coaches’ mouths as
it did with the Temple fans
Coach Hardin was right. Temple SHOULD be playing Villanova and Temple SHOULD be beating the crap out of them. First, even though Villanova has contributed only about 2-3,000 fans to the last three games (all over 30,000), the game does get Temple fans motivated to put down the remote and potato chips and get to a game in person. Temple should never be “scared” to play Villanova in football.
If you are scared get a dog.
Fortunately, head coach Geoff Collins—who is a little more politically correct than Hardin was—has the dogs of war to beat the crap out of this team.
Do you think Villanova basketball goes around worried about playing Temple?
No. Villanova basketball is, for all intents and purposes, a Power 5 team now playing Temple, a mid-major basketball name.
They just go out and beat the crap out of them.
The roles are reversed in football with Temple being the FBS school and Villanova a FCS school.
It is high time Temple football fans got the same level of satisfaction out of this meeting the Villanova basketball fans routinely get. They got that during Hardin’s years and during the two Daz years (42-7 and 41-10). Last year’s 16-13 game was a complete disgrace and hopefully put as bad a taste in the players’ and coaches’ mouths as it did with the fans.
Now it’s just a matter of restoring the normal order of things.
Friday: Seeing The Forest Through The Trees
Sunday: Game Analysis