The $2 million question that wasn’t really answered last week could be today.
“How good is Temple?”
It used to be a $64,000-dollar question in the 1950s (the name of a game show back then) but, due to inflation and the amount of money Temple coach Rod Carey is making, we’ll arbitrarily set it at his $2 million annual salary.
All that said, comparative scores are just speculation but it’s fun speculation and transitive property means little later in the season let alone this early …
I must admit despite the gaudy 56-14 score and the No. 1 national ranking in overall offense, I was a little leery about the win over Bucknell in that I thought Temple would have laid the kind of beating on the Bison that Maryland did to Howard (79-0) and Penn State did to Idaho (79-7). I thought Temple got first downs on too many third downs and not enough first downs after first downs. Bucknell’s tackling surprised me in that I did not think it would be able to tackle or get off blocks at all.
It may just be overreacting. It may be just because Carey is a “nicer guy” than Maryland’s Mike Locksley and Penn State’s James Franklin but part of my concern is that I think Howard and Idaho are better teams than Bucknell.
Certainly, Howard did something recently (two years ago) that Bucknell has never done and probably never will: Beat an FBS team in the P5 and G5 eras when it went out to UNLV and won. That year, UNLV followed up that 43-40 loss to Howard by beating Idaho (44-16), San Jose State (41-13), Fresno State (26-16) and Hawaii (31-23) so the Running Rebels were no scrubs.
Bucknell travels to Sacred Heart (6 p.m.) and if it struggles against that team on a 56-12 level, it’s not a real good sign for Temple.
Howard, on the other hand, travels to FCS power Youngstown State and, if the Penguins are able to hang a big number (maybe not 79-0) on Howard, it indicates that the Maryland win is less impressive than it was a week ago.
Those are just a couple of clues.
We really won’t know how good Temple is until next week when it hosts Maryland. Today, the Syracuse at Maryland game is one to watch and the Owls might as well root for the Terrapins because a Temple win over a team that beat Syracuse will be that much more impressive.
Buffalo at Penn State (Fox, 7:30) is also a game to watch. The Bulls were really hurt when quarterback Tyree Jackson left school a year early to pursue an NFL career and found himself on no roster after being cut by his hometown Buffalo squad. Let that be a lesson for any quarterback coming out. If you are not a first-round pick, it’s not worth it. I think Buffalo will be able to give PSU a better game than the 29.5 spread, something like 34-14 and could be a tough foe for the Owls in a couple of weeks.
Then there is another clue game in South Florida at Georgia Tech (2 p.m.) If South Florida (which got rocked by Wisconsin) is able to give GT a good game or even win, that bodes well for Temple at the end of the month because I think TU is significantly better than USF this season.
A game to watch with absolutely no impact on Temple is freaking East Stroudsburg at Wagner (6 p.m.). Wagner lost to UConn, 24-21, last week. If ESU beats Wagner, you might be able to make an argument that Bucknell is better than Uconn.
In the end, it’s the Owls who have to take care of their own business but stock in that business could go up or down depending upon some of today’s results.
Sunday: Temple knows the way to beat Maryland
Tuesday: Temple Nation
Saturday: Gameday Thoughts