Temple vs. Duke: Made For TV


Watching ESPN talk about 4 teams for the first hour was a little like this yesterday.

Not having watched many bowl selection shows (but just about every March Madness one), I figured the program for the day would go something like the basketball one.

You know, the brackets get released, comments are made, and the show moves along at a brisk pace.

The football version was like four hours in a dentist chair.

shreveport - Copy

This is the stadium the Owls will be playing in, once known as “State Fair Stadium.”

Beat the same dead horse about the relative merits of the top six Power 5 teams for over an hour, rehashing pretty much the same arguments that we’ve heard over the last month or so.

As Deion Sanders might say, “C’mon Man!”

This was my favorite tweet at the time:



A better show would have been to build up to the championship talk by listing every non-NY6 bowl game and keep the thing moving along. People would have waited for the Final 4 discussion later on and teams like Temple and Duke would have got the information they wanted up front.

I put down the remote at about 1:05 and headed for the gym, periodically checking my phone for twitter updates.


Owls finally get the bowl bid they lost out on in 1990 when Louisiana Tech tied Maryland, 34-34

The winner for the first “Temple vs. Duke” pick was college football reporter Brett McMurphy, who tweeted that Independence Bowl matchup at 4:38 p.m. The first Owlscoop.com tweet confirming that came across at 4:51.

As far as the game itself, it will be a made-for-TV affair on Thursday, Dec. 27 (1:30 p.m. kickoff). The only people in bars watching it will be fans of either team who took the day off or just plain alcoholics who occasionally look up at the TV while passing out at the bar.

Not very many Temple fans will be able to make it nor should they be blamed for it.  There are no direct flights from Philadelphia to Shreveport. The cheapest indirect flight I could find was $700 with a layover in Atlanta.

No thanks.

Temple would have drawn roughly 6-10K real fans to the Military Bowl, but because that bowl did not want any repeat teams from the last three years they picked Cincinnati instead. Cincy won’t bring more than 1,000 to D.C., if that. VT will pack the place so the MB probably won’t need Cincy’s fan support.

A lot of Temple fans would have been willing to spend that coin for a flight to Texas to face Baylor in the Frisco, Texas or Armed Forces Bowl but that opportunity went out the window when Oklahoma made the playoffs. The Big 12 didn’t have enough teams to fill their bowl affiliations and that was that.

As far as the game itself, Duke is a team to be respected but I expect Temple will be a slight favorite. Duke lost its last two games and was beaten, 59-7, by Wake Forest in its last game. Still, the Blue Devils beat two ranked teams–Army and Northwestern–and that’s one more ranked team than the Owls were able to beat.

Beat a team that beat Northwestern and Army and the Owls will take a lot of momentum into the 2019 season so coach Geoff Collins’ goal should be to go light on the air hockey, beach volleyball and bowling and heavy on the game prep.

After all, Duke did beat Baylor, so beating Duke would be the next best thing and give the Owls transitive property bragging rights when Collins gets on the horn with Matt Rhule.

The Baylor fan base looks a little less diverse than ours. 🙂

Wednesday: Atlanta Closure

Friday: The Elephant In The Room

Monday: An Argument That Cannot Be Won

Wednesday: Comparing Seasons

Friday: Swapping the Bowls Out Fidrych-Style


17 thoughts on “Temple vs. Duke: Made For TV

  1. Outside of the playoffs and NY6 bowls I look at pretty much all the other ones in the same vein, made for TV. If our bowl game isn’t an NY6 or one I can drive to an back in the same day, like the Military Bowl, I just have the time in my schedule around the holidays. I’m glad were going up against a P5 team with a winning record and a chance to end 9-4 with 2 wins against P5 and a win against a ranked team. I’m most interested in who will be on the sidelines in Shreveport with Georgia Tech rumors. Speaking of which I can’t believe there are some folks over on the FB page who mention Patenaude and TU head coach in the same breath

    • Err, no. I’ve talked to Pat Kraft and without telling tales out of school I can say with 100 percent certainty he’s not a big Patenfraud fan.

      • Thank goodness…!!

      • Thank Goodness I was kicked off that board for having a “civil” disagreement with the Pravda editor (who was as much in the wrong as I was). I would go ballistic if I saw that speculation.

      • Mike is missed on that page. The quality of the dialogue there has declined massively this year. TFF is the place to be. The posts are great and the commenters have impressive knowledge.

      • Mike, join the club. The guy that runs it is an ahole. I was kicked off for merely responding to a jerk who disagreed with what I wrote. Those folks are delusional. Let them stew in their bubble world.

  2. A few years ago I had to take a 5 day business trip to Shreavport. Whenever I go away on business I always try and find free time to explore the are I am in. Shreveport had to be the most boring town I have ever been in. Sadly, I am not exaggerating. The only thing I remember of interest was passing the stadium. At night the only thing the hotel said was available for entertainment was the casino. However I usually do not gamble. If I were going to the bowl game I would probably stay in Dallas and drive the three hours on game day.

    • Of all the bowls, probably the hardest place to get to from Philadelphia. Still, I like the matchup. Owls are 3.5-point favorites over a team that beat Northwestern, Baylor and Army (actually pounded Army pretty good and that’s saying something because Cadets took Okie to OT).

  3. Mike, what I think would really make you go ballistic is that persons selective use of statistics with no context to make his point. For example

    “Let’s not let facts get in the way of an old, tired narrative. Could throw a lot more stats at you, but here’s another: Temple has gone for more than 500 yards in a game just 34 times in its history. It happened three times this year alone.”

    If I recall, of those 3 games we lost the most important one, UCF and of the 2 we won, pretty much everyone gashed UCON for 500+ yards and 50 points a game. I just read that stuff and given the “touchiness” of the Pravda gang on that page don’t even bother to make a counter point.

  4. This is a genuine stay at home tv bowl.
    Tell the truth , it’s nice but doesn’t get me all excited you know.
    I’ll be at my shop working then, hope I can live stream it into my PC, IF it’s a cable channel I subscribe too.
    I would guess about everyone here has the same ideas (or lack of initiative and or desire to go to Shreveport La).
    Still proud of our Owls.
    Mike , do you think u or ur buddies might get a heads up on coaching moves thru yea ol’ rumor mill.
    What’s that pop song about 5 -10 years ago, words as : “Should I stay or should I go ?”

  5. the P5 is absolutely crazy…, GaTech is ready to offer CC, if it hasn’t already.

    well.., let’s hope the OC goes with him if he goes…,

    next up? who knows…, how many of the Temple current recruits will stay committed? the norm is the loss of two recruiting classes for every coaching change (year of hire and year of departure)

    UCF is the only school in the AAC to break the norm

    • I would say take both coordinators, keep Foley, Panagos, Wisehan, DiMichele. Aside from the recruiting issue you point out, my attitude if Collins left is “meh”. He did an ok job, “underwhelming” job where I thought this team should have won 1-2 more games each of his 2 seasons. Just looking at wins and losses right now he is basically a little better than Addazio, 15-10 versus 13-11 records.

  6. GC is too ambitious to jump to GTU, where coaches go to retire. Independence Bowl will have great TV ratings. With oil at $50 a barrel, locals will fill the stadium.

  7. If GC isn’t offered the GT job, I wonder how much of a blemish the Villanova loss will have been on his record. My guess is he stays. Until he gets to a 10 win regular season and either a team that at least gets to the AAC championship and/or an impressive bowl win over a P5 team, he’s not that attractive of a candidate for a P5 job. Having said that, the announcement that he’s accepted a P5 HC job will come in a few hours from now. But if he stays at TU, it will be interesting to see if any staff changes will be made by GC knowing “bad” losses by poor coordinator game planning might be career limiting to him.

    • The notion that the loss of Collins by Temple is really misguided. There are PLENTY of head coaches out there who would love to coach Temple who are BETTER than Collins. Kraft just has to find one of those and steer clear from the Bob Diacos of the world.

  8. *notion that the loss of him would hurt Temple

    • CC and staff should be out recruiting their butts off.., btw his silence on the GaTech job is super loud..,

      this better not turn into a distraction, we lost a recent bowl game due to HC distraction drama..,

      Stay focused on The Priorities:
      1. Go find two of three recruits capable of starting next year
      2. Beat Duke and put another piece of recruiting hardware in E-O
      3. Replace the OC

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