Here’s one way to look at the 2019 season: It’s a chance for Temple football to measure up against Penn State. No, not on the field. At least not yet. That doesn’t come again until 2026 when, hopefully, Rod Carey has recruited enough talent to win his fifth game in seven tries against Big 10 teams (if the Owls don’t face one before that).
The measuring this year stick is in a very important area of TV ratings.
Very rarely has Temple gone up against Penn State at the same exact time on local TV, but that’s going to happen twice this season when it matters.
Forget about the Bucknell opener because the Owls’ starting time is 3 p.m. (and Penn State is 3:30) on August 31. That’s not a fair fight because the Owls are on ESPN+, which is just a step above the old MAC dial-up internet days and Penn State vs. Idaho is on the Big 10 network.
A fairer (but not “fairest”) comparison comes on Sept. 14 when the Owls host Maryland at noon on the CBS Sports Network while, at the same time, Penn State hosts Pitt on Philadelphia powerhouse No. 1 station 6abc.
Not all of the times have been announced, but there are other opportunities the two programs are on Philadelphia TV at the same time so we shall see. (Interestingly enough, the Owls and Nits have common opponents in Maryland and Buffalo this season.)
Temple has done very well against Penn State in the past, though, when the teams are on more equal footing. Temple’s 2015 home game against Notre Dame was an ABC national game and drew an 18.1 rating, which was the No. 1 rating in the history of a Philadelphia game on ABC. Temple was ranked No. 21 in the country at the time and ND ranked No. 9. By comparison, the 2007 ABC game between No. 5 PSU and No. 13 ND pulled in only an 11.5 in the Philadelphia market, also at the same 8 p.m. slot. One can only reach a conclusion that “Temple” was the X-factor in this equation on Philadelphia TV ratings since Notre Dame and Penn State have been on Philadelphia TV hundreds of times and not brought in those kinds of numbers.
In 1985, Temple played at Boston College on KYW-TV 3 at noon while Penn State traveled to Maryland on Sept. 7 on WPVI-TV 6. Despite 6’s status then, as now, as the No. 1 station in the market, the Temple-BC game (a 27-25 Owl loss) drew an 11.3 to PSU’s 20-18 win over Maryland (6.9).
There can be no question Temple is the No. 1 TV school in the Philadelphia market, pretty much by a longshot, but if the Owls can beat the Nittany Lions on an obscure channel like CBS Sports, that would open a lot of Power 5 conference eyes.
Wednesday: Let’s Go to the Tape
Saturday: Archiving Temple’s Past
Wednesday (6/19): Bulking Up The Lines
Saturday: (6/22): Magazine Season
Wednesday (6/29): A partnership that worked