A few days ago, we checked a few of the boxes that we once did not think were possible for Temple football:
- Beating Penn State
- Two NFL first-round draft choices
- A National Player of the Year
- A league championship
- College football game day
A cynic might suggest there’s not much left to accomplish as long as this program has Group of Five status but the Owls can do something either this year or next that they haven’t been able to do so far:
- An AAC championship HOME game
- A New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
It certainly isn’t low-hanging fruit this year as both Cincinnati and UCF figure to be picked ahead of Temple. Even if the Owls won the AAC, scheduling Bucknell could prove to knock them out of an NY6 game–this year either the Fiesta Bowl or the Peach Bowl–just like the ill-advised Stony Brook game probably had a big hand in knocking the AAC champions out of the Cotton Bowl in 2016. Had the Owls then scheduled, say, an ACC team or another (good, not average) Big 10 team and beaten them, they would have had at least as compelling a resume as unbeaten Western Michigan did.
That’s probably the strongest argument for dropping all FCS opponents going forward, at least from Temple’s perspective and maybe the league’s as a whole.
Still, the Owls now have a coach who has beaten the Big 10 in four of the six games he has played them and more talent here than he did at his last stop so he should not be afraid of asking Pat Kraft to upgrade the non-conference portion of the schedule and that, combined with another AAC championship, is what this program should strive to accomplish.
If not this year, then certainly next when the Owls should be stronger and UCF and Cincy weaker.
Friday: Gauging The Competition
Sunday: Bulking Up a Position
Tuesday: Shot Chart