Backroom Jockeying and Bowl Bids


This is how the Temple team reacted when UCLA came up as the 2009 bowl opponent on the TV screen in the lobby of the Liacouras Center.

Speculation is running rampant about where Temple’s football team will end up in a bowl game.

The Inquirer’s Mike Jensen said it best: “Temple vs. Baylor in the Armed Forces Bowl. Make it happen.”

That would be the ideal storyline, maybe of this entire bowl slate outside of the NY6 games. Matt Rhule versus his old school, versus one of best friends, a guy who he helped get the Temple job. Who would Matt Rhule’s son, Bryant, root for? (Hint: he watches all of the Temple games on TV and runs to his dad jumping up and down when Temple wins.)  Philadelphia, the nation’s fourth-largest TV market media, would slobber over this storyline, as would the fifth (Dallas-Fort Worth).

Other than that, the only matchups that appeal to me are Temple vs. Miami (the real one, not the fake one, Independence Bowl) or Temple vs. Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl. Temple vs Georgia Tech? That’s so next year, not this one. Temple vs. Vanderbilt? Been there, won that (37-7). Temple vs. Boston College is out because bowls do not do mulligans of that year’s regular-season games. Temple vs. Penn State? The Lions are headed to a NY6 bowl.

The idea of a Baylor-Temple matchup has been pooh-poohed by some party poopers (“not likely,” according to a source earlier this week). Yet it makes too much sense for the powers-that-be (Baylor AD, Temple AD, Big 12, AAC). Good storylines mean good ratings.

Bill Bradshaw, the Temple AD in 2009, made an ideal matchup happen and Pat Kraft can do the same.


The Eagle Bank Bowl, then in Washington, D.C., had no affiliation with the PAC-12 or the MAC, but Temple and UCLA became partners there thanks largely to Bradshaw. Then, as now, the matchup called for a military school to play an ACC team but, when Army failed to upset Armed Forces Bowl-bound Navy, the EBB committee turned to the “most local” eligible team, Temple. Bradshaw wanted a high-profile opponent and convinced the MAC and EBB officials to help Temple get the Bruins instead of an ACC foe. UCLA, which was 3-6 at one time that season, finished with three-straight wins and became eligible.

Bradshaw wanted high-profile and UCLA fit that order and “made it happen” by some backroom swapping. Bradshaw delivered the bowl 20,000 needed fans.

Baylor fits that order now for Temple now. It won’t be easy, but Kraft in concert with commissioner Mike Aresco should be thinking of ways for the AAC to swap bowls and make backroom deals to make an Armed Forces Bowl or Frisco Bowl game with Baylor happen.

Even though Temple has been bowl eligible the last few seasons, there was never a celebration of facing an opponent like the one at the Liacouras Center when the name “UCLA” came up on the TV screen next to Temple at a live screening of the bowl selection show in 2009. The place erupted.

Toledo? FIU? Even Wake Forest?

Not so much. More like yawns than yells.

Baylor would cause the place to erupt on Sunday night.

As Mike Jensen would say, make it happen.

Hopefully, Pat Kraft is trying to make it happen for Temple in 2018 the same way Bradshaw made it happen in 2009.

Saturday: Temple football’s Version of Allen Iverson

Monday: Bowl Selection Reaction


27 thoughts on “Backroom Jockeying and Bowl Bids

  1. Didn’t Bradshaw overplay his hand in 2008 and the Owls ended up not going to a bowl? According to Jerry Palm, Army could end up with 10 wins and stay home this year because of primary and secondary bowl affiliations. Could it happen to TU again if we try to negotiate our way out of playing Ga Tech in the Military Bowl if offered? Army would seem to be a very attractive team in something called the military bowl. And they have a nationwide following for tv rating purposes. And didn’t USF beat Tech and TU beat USF? If that bowl matchup is offered to TU, man up and take it. I’m seeing other projections with TU against Ohio U and FIU. So let the kids get into a bowl that they howl about.

    • Army and GTech are very similar and would present match-up nightmares….., Temple matches up best against pure passing teams..,

      Gasparilla Bowl vs Duke would be a very hard game, but it is a winnable game…,

      there is no way Temple could stop GTech or Army who are ranked 1st and 2nd in rushing offense. BTW Temple is ranked 91st in rushing defense.

      • Ironically, that’s exactly where UCF was in rushing defense before Temple played them. Owls should have pounded the rock (pun intended) behind a fullback, tight ends and a host of thousands but Patenaude being the stubborn guy he is refused to attack the weakness of the defense he was playing. Thirty-four first-half points turned into six second-half ones. Run the ball and Patenaude would have had 28 in each half and UCF probably would have had a lot less than 52 due to clock management.

    • 2008 we were 5-7. Had no shot at a bowl. Bradshaw knew a lot of other ADs and conference heads and made things happen for the Owls. While I love Pat Kraft, I think he’s more inclined to go where Aresco tells him other than to go the extra mile to put Temple in a better spot. Still waiting for the Stony Brook game (2016) to be canceled and still waiting for him to get both Idaho and Bucknell off my schedule. Thank God I’m not holding my breath or I’d turn blue. Confident that Bradshaw would have given those two schools buyouts and gotten P5 games for the Owls instead. I hope Pat proves me wrong this bowl season, though.

      • Hate to be sitting in the same spot UCF is now next year, on the outside looking in to the playoff picture if by some miracle we go unbeaten. They’ll say: “But Temple played Idaho and Bucknell” and we will have no answer. I’d rather play two less home games, beat four P5 schools and give the committee no choice but to put the Owls into the playoffs. Since Bucknell is 8/31/19 and Idaho is 9/12/20 that would be one less home game each year. Gotta field a mid-range P5 team (I like the Louisville example) that plays on those dates and swap out some games to make it happen. Doubt it because for two years prior to Stony Brook on this site I screamed get them off my schedule and we ended up playing them anyway. Had we beaten a big-time foe (remember we lost to Big 10 champion Penn State, 34-27, that year so we could have beaten a high-profile team), it might have been us in the Cotton Bowl against Wisconsin instead of Western Michigan. Penn State beat Wisky by the same seven points that year they beat us by so I think we would have given them a much better game than Western Michigan did.

  2. everybody plays an FCS opponent;

    next year the schedule sets up great w/Bucknell, Maryland, Buffalo, and GaTech out of conference, and seven home games including Memphis and UCF.

    Unbelievable but UCF may be better without Milton, their new QB has “it”.

    the 2019 TUFB team needs to find an all-conference RB, and a pair new above the line DLs.

    Answer to #1, put a touchdown waiting to happen in the backfield, he is the diamond in our own backyard.

    Answer to #2, steal a few JUCOs who can play now on the DL

    put a walking boot on the OC’s mouth, and redshirt him for 2019

    • First point is the long-planned topic of Saturday’ s post and the last point is exactly why it won’t be a disaster if gc leaves. I don’t see him getting rid of Patenaude on his own

      • and just because “everybody” plays a FCS opponent, don’t agree that schools like Temple and UCF have to … the only way to break this system is to go unbeaten and have 4 P5 wins under your belt. I bet Danny White (the ucf ad, not the former Cowboy quarterback) is kicking himself for not scheduling eight P5 teams over the last two years. If he had, he’d probably be in two playoffs now. If you are in the AAC, you absolutely cannot afford to schedule FCS teams if you really believe “greatness doesn’t quit.” Otherwise, change the phrase to “mediocrity doesn’t quit” because, by playing FCS teams, you are quitting.

  3. Scheduling FCS Villanova and Delaware if you can, makes a lot of sense. Beyond that, don’t bother with FCS teams. If I’m the AD, my first priority is getting either Penn St or Pitt if not both on the schedule every year. I want a shot at bragging rights for Pennsylvania. Ideally getting them on an even and away split would be great. But if you can’t get the even split, compromise if enough games are negotiated. If you can get PSU with a 3 away 2 home split, take it. If Pitt can be scheduled for a 4 away 3 home game split, take it. No better way that the better AAC teams can make a statement of their playoff worthiness than demonstrating the conference’s best teams are as good as the P5 teams in their respective states. Arguably Houston, Memphis, UCF and Temple were the best teams in their states at least once over the recent 5 years. ECU is a big underdog against NC St this weekend, but they have the NC win earlier this year. And if it means only 5 home games some years, so be it.

  4. Totally agree with Mike about Bucknell and Idaho. One of the Kraft apologists on OwlsDaily said you have to schedule those kind of teams to get to six wins and a bowl every year. My thought is that if you have to beat those teams to get to six wins you don’t deserve to go to a bowl. With Temple’s recruiting footprint, the Owls should be able to win six minimum in the league alone and their goal should be to win games against a couple of P5 teams every year. If you have to schedule four P5 games to win two, so be it. Love to be able to raise Temple’s national standing by 2-4 P5 games a year.

    • Thanks. The Phillies have a marketing slogan “Be Bold.” Temple’s scheduling philosophy since Bradshaw left: “Be Timid.” Or at least use the same scheduling formula other AAC schools have. I say win the league and go for the gusto by overscheduling P5 schools. Not saying Bama and Clemson but at least schedule the Louisvilles, BCs, Marylands, Virginia Techs, Pitts and Syracuses. That puts some juice in the schedule and gives you a chance … CHANCE .. to get in the playoffs if you have that magical year like we did in 2016. Right now, magical year means no chance for greatness for any AAC team because they refuse to use those four non-conference spots to “be bold.”

      • you guys are right.., play the cards you are dealt. we are in the AAC, and we do not enjoy the luxury of playing FCS schools. UCF should have been bolder

      • Two years in a row UCF had games against P-5 schools cancelled. Last year it was Georgia Tech and this year North Carolina, schools they would have beaten and upped their standing. .

  5. Every time I see someone mention Bucknell I think they’re playing for one of those trophies other schools play for yearly like the Old Oaken Bucket. I call it the Old Leather Shoe game because the scheduling Bucknell is so anachronistic and ridiculous. Bucknell hasn’t been relevant in 70 years. By the way, no P-5 school will ever play for the national championship as long as only four teams are selected. There will always be some lame excuse to keep them on the outside looking in. The only way a G-5 school makes it is if every P-5 school has 2 losses and one of the losses is to a G-5 school. OSU has no right to be in the discussion and yet they are ranked 6th. Barely beating Maryland and a bad loss to Purdue disqualifies them from the discussion and yet they are sixth, ahead of UCF. Just shows you how corrupt and biased college sports are.

  6. Until Temple is in the P5, schedule the best of the best. That is what Chaney used to do with Basketball. Play anybody, anytime anywhere. Unless it is Boise State or a hot Army team stick to P5 even if it means a trip to the west coast to play a PAC 12 school. If we are Nationally ranked against a top schedule, even a game against UConn will bring a large home crowd. Alabama can afford to play a 1AA school because they are Alabama. Pete Liacouras used to say Temple Owls are everywhere. Our Football team should be able to play everywhere.

    • Totally agree, Robert. Chaney put Temple basketball on the map with that philosophy. The only way Temple football goes on the map is to follow the same blueprint that their conference mates are too timid to follow. Everybody wants to do what everybody else does. The Temple way has always been to blaze the trail.

      • According to Pat Kraft, he’s tried to get P-5 teams in the middle of the pack to play TU and they refuse to do so unless TU gives them 2 home games, which he says he won’t do. I see his point, but on the other hand, if he wants TU to be considered a P-5 team he may have to concede. Playing Bucknell and Idaho does no one any good.

      • I’d take two less home games to get those two off the schedule. One each year. Bucknell is 8/31/19. Let’s find them a game for that date (somebody who is playing Louisville, cuse, Indiana, Northwestern, Pitt, etc.) and go play one of those teams. Not saying Temple will beat all of those teams but it will be a helluva lot better game than Bucknell and IF .. IF .. Temple wins will buy the Owls back a lot of the street cred in Philly we lost at the beginning of this year and pump our attendance up for the rest of the season. Same thing for I’d The Hoe (9/12/20). Help find those Vandals a game and get them off my schedule (and my LFF lawn). 🙂

  7. I heard today it is either Shreveport, Birmingham, or Annapolis.

    • I think Shreveport against Miami is the best we can do. If Texas upsets Okie I hear we have a 50-50 shot to play Baylor in the Frisco bowl…army does not want to give up armed forces.

  8. I guess everyone here is reading the blogs on coach Collins being considered by the big schools ? Always wondered if any truth to these type stories or just ‘click bait’ to get attention and revenue by these ‘sources’.
    I hope our AD is getting ready for the ol’ “Exit, stage Right ” . And if so please take Snagle-Pat.

    • Since he would undoubtedly take Patenfraud with him, good riddance. I’d love him to stay if he would promote Foley or ADM to OC but I don’t see it happening. Any sane coach would look at Temple’s talent and Anthony Russo and say: “This is a Pro Set team with a Pro Set quarterback.” Trying to make Anthony a read-option quarterback is a complete waste of a terrific talent. That said, he slides a lot better than Carson Wentz ever did and is a better open-field runner for Temple than he was at Wood (partially because Steve Devlin had him in a pro set).

  9. PS. Mike, most importantly, I DO NOT want coach G COLLINS to Leave us.
    I forgot to add that in previous post.
    I think he is a good coach that needed time to get the vision right.

    Even if OC Pat stays, it’s OK as long as G Collins can get us to play the old ‘smash-mouf’ offense a bit more.
    And I hope G Collins can find happiness here for a few more years at least.

    • The only way he’ll stay if he’s blocked from the GT or UNC jobs and I think he will be. Jeff Monken (Army) is a far better fit for that spot than GC is and Mack Brown already got the UNC head job (and he’s older than Bruce Arians). Don’t see a job other than those two that GC would really like. Louisville? Maybe.

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