Loving The Schedule on Valentine’s Day

temple

Over the next few weeks, fans are going to be hearing a lot about Quadrant 1 and 2 wins.

It’s a new way for the NCAA to determine the at-large teams in the 68-team men’s basketball field and assigns weight to each win based on a formula of RPI, the strength of schedule and home or away.

Fortunately, college football fans don’t have to worry about that.

Every win is just as important as the rest and that’s why I have never understood the phrase “trap game” or “letdown.” When you play only a dozen regular-season games, there should be no trap games or letdowns. You work your tail off for 353 days and get to show the fruits of that labor on the rest of the days so every Saturday should be showtime.

Penciling in wins and losses this far away is a fun exercise fraught with dangers. In Temple football history, there have always been unexpected wins and losses and that’s every year, not just every few years. The only outlier was the 1979 season when the Owls won every game they were supposed to win and reached up and upset a team or two on the way to a 10-2 season.

cupid

Cupid loves this Temple schedule, with the exception of the Bucknell game.

Still, the season can somewhat be broken down into quadrants. The technical meaning of a quadrant is four quarters of a circle.

In college football, that’s three games apiece.

Coming out of the first quadrant, the college football “world” probably expects Temple to come out 2-1 with wins over Bucknell and Buffalo and a loss to revenge-minded Maryland. Temple fans know better. I have to like the Owls’ chances at home in that one. Bucknell is a given and pretty much this same team (minus Rock Armstead) was able to thrash Maryland on the road last year.

So that’s a 3-0 quadrant in my mind.

The second quadrant is a little tougher with a home game against Georgia Tech, a trip to ECU, and a home game against Memphis. In my mind, any time you take Dave Patenaude off Temple you give the Owls an extra seven points. When you take him out of Temple and give him to the bad guys, that’s another seven points for the Owls. So that’s a win.

ECU will not be a 49-6 cakewalk that it was last time because Mike Houston is a far better coach than Scotty Montgomery. Memphis has had four solid recruiting years and seamless coaching so that’s a tough one, even at home. We’ll give that quadrant a 2-1, leaving the Owls at 5-1 at the midway mark.

Owls should win at SMU to kick off the third quadrant but UCF will be tough. That game looked winnable when Milton McKenzie–easily the single best player who faced Temple last season–went down with a broken leg, but UCF went out and replaced him with Brandon Wimbush. So that game suddenly becomes more problematic than it already was and, realistically, a loss. Owls bounce back at SMU. Getting a week off before traveling to USF for the next game should help so we will make that a 2-1 quadrant for a 7-2 record.

Owls finish off with home games against Tulane and UConn sandwiched around a tough trip to Cincy and 2-1 would be a decent way to finish up that quadrant for a 9-3 season.

Of course, you always hope for 12-0 and a league championship but, given these quadrants, signing for 9-3 right now would be a nice consolation prize.

Saturday: The Alliance of Football and Temple

7 thoughts on “Loving The Schedule on Valentine’s Day

  1. I too was thinking 5-0 going into Memphis. With a bye early on we might take the Tigers down too. 9-3 would be very nice. With this new coaching staff I’m real hopeful, but with Temple, we’ll see….

  2. having seven home games is a huge advantage and boon for a first year head coach. game on if Temple beats Maryland.., although, the biggest game of the year may be Tulane.

    Why? According to 247Sports, Tulane has out-recruited Temple the last three years, has more talent, and enjoys a stable coaching staff. With a loss to Tulane, Temple could go 1-4 over the five game Memphis, SMU, UCF, USF, and Tulane stretch.

    The bowl game hopes will be on the line against Tulane.

  3. They also play AT Cincinnati the week after the Tulane game. It could easily be a 1-5 stretch if things go wrong. If they start off the season with a stumble, we could be lucky to finish .500

    • Generally I’d prefer to have a P5 game rather than a Bucknell opener. But the more I think about it, maybe not this year. As noted above in some of the other comments, some teams might be tougher opponents than many of us think. With a new coaching staff and facing 2 P5 teams and a MAC team that beat us last year after the season opener, the need for a confidence building win that first game is critical.

  4. I wouldn’t count Maryland as a W.
    The program is not the mess it was last year.
    They have a solid team , and had a great recruiting class. They just managed to flip a 4 star safety, Cross, from FSU.

  5. Making predictions this time of year is precarious at best especially because of the change in head coach. No one knows what Carey is going to run on offense and injuries to TU and other teams could change matters in a heartbeat. A couple of years ago Maryland had to use their 4th team qb. I think that a fact based prediction can only be made after the first two weeks after TU and its opponents have played a couple of games.

  6. Forgot we played Maryland the second game. That game will be the litmus test and will be the game that will best foretell the rest of the season.

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