When the time comes to say something meaningful at one of those post-game press conferences, Rod Carey seized the moment last week.
“It was a great win, but it wasn’t one-and-a-half wins,” Carey said.
That right there was the best quote of not only this season but the best quote of the last three seasons from a Temple head coach. Geoff Collins made a practice of saying words in those press conferences that really meant nothing.
Carey hit the nail on the head.
You have 12 regular-season football games and every single one means just as much as the last one or the next one.
The next one is this afternoon at Buffalo (3:30, ESPNU) and, as satisfying as the last one was over Maryland, it means the same as that one or next week’s one against visiting Georgia Tech.
In college football, they like to talk about “trap games” but, in a 12-game season, there should be none of those. The players work too hard the other 353 days of the year to throw one of a dozen away and Carey’s no-nonsense approach should serve Temple well.
Temple received seven points in the latest Top 25 poll and, if it beats Buffalo, it should receive more next week. That’s the way this thing should work although it didn’t work that way in the preseason poll. In that one, the Owls received two coaches votes and then beat Bucknell, 56-12. In the next one, they received zero coaches votes.
A 56-12 win dropped them in the eyes of pollsters? Should they have beaten Bucknell 79-0?
That’s what it seems like.
Beating Maryland got people’s attention, especially after the Terps beat Syracuse, 63-20, the week prior. No one knows what the score will be but how impressive from a national standpoint would it be if Temple was able to beat Buffalo by the same 45-13 score Penn State beat it by three weeks ago? Then, how far does Temple rise in the national polls with that victory piggybacked on a weekend where Maryland beats Penn State and Temple beats Georgia Tech?
Those dominoes have to start falling this afternoon, though.
Today, Buffalo is all about keeping people’s attention and that’s why the Owls have to play with the same fierceness and tenacity on the road that they did a week ago at home.
Survive and advance. A win today is as important as a win last week, not half as good or twice as good.
This Carey guy seems to say some pretty astute things. Hopefully, the kids are listening.
Picks: Iowa State laying the 19 against visiting Louisiana Monroe, Indiana laying the 27 against visiting UConn, Old Dominion getting 30 at Virginia, Wisconsin laying the 3.5 at Michigan, SMU getting the 9.5 against visiting TCU. Record last week: 3-3 overall, 1-5 against the spread (also the season record).
Tomorrow: Game Analysis