To me, a Saturday without Temple football is a Saturday without sunshine.
This time, figuratively and literally as the rains will be pouring and the winds will be howling in Philadelphia–which would be a terrible time and place to host a home game today.
Call it a blessing in disguise.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything on the line today for the Owls in AAC football.
On the surface, you might say root against all of the AAC East teams in action today–specifically, Cincy and USF–but I’d say hold on a minute.
If you are Temple, you’d WANT Cincy and USF to beat the two Texas teams, SMU and Houston and here’s why: If Temple is able to beat UCF next week and South Florida on Nov. 17, it will have beaten three ranked teams in four games. If Cincy beats SMU, it also has a chance of getting ranked again. Houston, even with a win over USF, will probably not crack the rankings.
Temple controls its own AAC East destiny and if this truly is going to be a great season (or a “ridiculous” team as Geoff Collins called the Owls before the start of it), you’d want the best possible resume at the end. Because with wins over UCF and USF, the Owls will hold AAC East tie-breakers and a berth in the title game. Even a loss to Houston could be absorbed in that scenario. Temple has to beat both the Florida schools anyway so go Florida schools.
That said, I think USF’s unbeaten season ends today.
Here is our six-pack (home teams in caps):
HOUSTON 21, Usf 10 _ The host Cougars easily cover the 7.5 spread. They have speed to burn and may end up as the overall league champion.
Cincinnati 35, SMU 20 _ Cincy will find the crowd noise not as loud in Dallas as it was in Philadelphia so there will be no snafus with the snaps and the Bearcats will easily cover the eight points.
NC State 24, SYRACUSE 17 _ ‘Cuse changed quarterbacks from Eric Dungey last week and that indicates a level of panic in upstate New York. This game went from a pick to ‘Cuse being a one-point favorite to now the Wolfpack being a two-point favorite. The movement of those points tells me something.
BYU 20, Northern Illinois 10 _ Somewhat surprising that this is only a 7.5 line because NIU is a run-of-the-mill MAC squad and BYU was good enough to beat Wisconsin.
VIRGINIA 24, North Carolina 10 _ Virginia has been an up-and-down team, but UNC has been mostly trending down. Cavaliers should easily cover the nine here.
MISSOURI 42, Kentucky 19 _ While UK has shown some life this season, it is still a basketball school. Missouri sold me with a 66-33 win over a halfway decent Memphis squad last week and should easily cover the modest 6.5 spread.
Next week, we get to go to Parx Casino and put real modest money on the non-Temple slate, even though the house and the farm remain off limits.
Last Week: No Picks
Monday: The Fan Experience