The Temple fans made LFF a house of horrors for Penn State in 2015.
The first time I ever heard the phrase Al Golden uttered it a few years into probably one of the most impressive rebuilding jobs I’ve ever seen:
“Temple Nation needs to show up,” Golden said.
The coach really was four years into the rebuild and the place to show up was Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, D.C. for the Eagle Bank Bowl in 2009. It was the school’s first bowl in 30 years and it was against a marquee opponent and since one school was 200 miles away and the other 3,000, bowl organizers were counting on a big walk-up from Philadelphia.
If Temple Nation needed to show up then, it certainly needs to show up even more now. Full disclosure: This post wasn’t scheduled to be published until Thursday but we felt this plea was important to make early in the week to set the wheels in motion in the school and in the alumni ranks for a big home crowd against Maryland (noon, Saturday).
I don’t know what the crowd is going to look like but if the Owls got a legitimate 35,004 against Army in 2016 (and they did) and a legitimate 35,786 against Tulane in 2015 (and they did), and a legitimate 33,026 for Cincinnati last year (and they did), they are going to have to move that needle close to the 40,000 range for Maryland.
The stakes are that high.
The Owls–who received two votes in “others under consideration” in the Top 25 coaches preseason poll–can crack the Top 25 with a win over Maryland on Saturday. It’s not all that outrageous that a win puts the Owls there. Last week, Maryland was outside the Top 25 when it beat No. 21 Syracuse. This week, Temple is outside the Top 25 when it hosts No. 21 Maryland.
People have to get up on whatever equates to a soapbox at the Student Activities Center, the Bell Tower, the Olympic Complex or whatever place on campus to get a significant portion of the 40,000 fulltime students to attend on Saturday. A solid representation of the 279,000 alumni–almost 200,000 who live within an hour’s drive of the stadium–have to be accounted for as well.
If it can happen for one school, it can happen for another.
I never heard of the concept until two weeks before that Eagle Bank bowl. Hell, Temple isn’t a state or a city let alone even a nation. Yet whatever Temple Nation was responded to that call when an estimated 20,000 of the 23,000 fans in the old baseball stadium cheered their throats out to see the Owls lose to 30-21 to UCLA.
“There were so many Temple fans here I really hated it,” a UCLA vlogger said afterward.
A year ago, Temple handed both Maryland and Cincinnati their first losses of the season. It didn’t need a home crowd to beat Maryland, but it did need a very loud one to beat Cincinnati.
“I couldn’t hear because of the crowd,” Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ritter said after fumbling a key snap in overtime that allowed the Owls to win.
The Owls will need that crowd again on Saturday and it will have to be loud and involved to help them crack the top 25 this early for the first time ever.
Even if it’s a mid-size nation, it can still make an impact on the college football globe in a few days.
Saturday: Game Day