Temple is not getting much respect from the prognosticators.
Fanciers of sports talk radio pick up on the catchphrases of various successful hosts.
Mike Francesa of New York has “wait a minute, wait a minute!” but today’s signature that applies to the noon kickoff between host Temple and Maryland goes to another Mike, Missanelli, who says: “the line is telling me something.”
The opening line was Maryland favored by four.
It has since adjusted to around a touchdown.
Shocking, because after last week, I thought the line would open with Temple a mid-teen double-digit dog.
The line should be telling you that Vegas feels that Temple is a whole lot better than Syracuse–which was ranked No. 21 last week–but elsewhere the signs are that there is little respect for the Owls.
“Maryland travels to Temple
this coming Saturday before
a well-placed bye week ahead
of its first significant
test: a nationally televised
home game on Sept. 27, a Friday
night, against Penn State”
_ Ross Dellenger, National College
Temple NOT a test?
Bulletin Board material
Only Sports Illustrated said to jump on the Owls but that was to cover, not to win, and I haven’t found a viable prediction service who is picking Temple to win outright.
I won’t but I won’t pick Maryland to win, either, because I think there are too many variables going into this game.
First, Bucknell might be the worst FCS team in the history of college football and I don’t think that game adequately prepared the Owls for this one. That’s not on the kids or coaches but on the Temple administration. To me, even a full-contact scrimmage between the first and second Temple units under game conditions would have been a better way to prepare and certainly a game against another FBS team would have also been better. I’m still very concerned that not a single Temple running back was able to take a handoff from deep in his own territory and outrace that entire Bucknell team for a touchdown.
That’s one strike against Temple.
On the other hand, many of the key players who starred in last year’s victory for Temple–notably Kenny Yeboah, Anthony Russo, and Shaun Bradley.–have not gone anywhere and they all figure to be the same kind of a nightmare for the Terrapins that they were a year ago. Russo was great in his first-ever college start, finding Yeboah for a touchdown, while Bradley had a pick 6.
That’s one strike against Maryland.
The second strike could be coaching but that’s also up in the air. Temple should have an advantage there because Rod Carey entered this season with a 52-30 record as an FBS head coach while Mike Locksley entered this season as a 3-31 FBS head coach. Last week, Locksley had to outsmart only Dino Babers (19-20 as a head coach coming into this season). It should be tougher against Carey. Still, I have a question whether Carey is married to a read-option offense. If he is, that’s playing into Maryland hands by giving the Terrapins more possessions than they should have and, with that kind of speed, that’s a high hanging curveball. If he’s flexible enough to adjust to attack the Terrapins’ weakness–run defense–by establishing the run first and throwing off play-action fakes, that could be a home run for Temple.
This morning it’s the bottom of the ninth and one team is down to its final strike.
We won’t know who swings and misses until 3 p.m., but that’s what makes sports great and just maybe a big and loud home crowd becomes the kind of closer Mariano Rivera was.
Picks this week (record 0-0 against the spread, 0-0 straight up): North Carolina State laying the 6.5 at West Virginia, Penn State laying the 17 against visiting Pitt, Eastern Michigan getting 8 at Illinois, Iowa laying the 2.5 at Iowa State, Buffalo laying the 4.5 at Liberty and Georgia State getting 10.5 at Western Michigan
Tomorrow: Game Analysis