Possible Dream Bowl Matchup for Temple

Screenshot 2019-12-06 at 11.25.26 PM

Temple QB Chris Coyer runs against Pitt in Temple’s last matchup.

About 3:29 p.m. today, I will roll up in front of the television and my attention will be on the Cincinnati at Memphis AAC championship game.

It will not be, as Rod Carey likes to say, “full attention.”

Half of the attention will be thinking about, “that should have been us.”

At some point, though, you’ve got to let it go and people who read this space will be able to tell you when it comes to Temple, it’s hard for me to let anything go.

That should have been us.

To me, Temple should have beaten Cincinnati in Cincy and it should not have been close. With Ray Davis and Jager Gardner and a good offensive line, the game plan should have been 26 runs in the first 34 plays and not the other way around.

Maybe … just maybe .. things change in the bowl game which brings us to tomorrow’s announcement. The scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing is Temple against Pitt in the Military Bowl and, to me, that’s the dream matchup. That’s what the uni is pushing for but since Mike Aresco and the AAC office assigns bowls, there’s been some pushback so I’m not getting my hopes completely up.

Since Miami (Fla.) is also available, some might say a Manny Diaz-Rod Carey matchup would be the dream matchup but I’m not thinking that right now because we will have that matchup early next year.

Temple may never get to play Pitt again so I say go for it.

The two teams have only one common opponent and that was Georgia Tech and the Owls won that game, 24-2. Pitt also beat GT, 20-10.


Tickets will probably set Temple fans back a little more than $1.14.

This would be a very competitive game and feature a number of interesting storylines. One of them would be at quarterback where Pitt is led by Kenny Pickett, who originally committed to Temple out of Ocean Township (N.J.), then reneged on that commitment to sign at Pitt. Temple also has a quarterback who reneged, Anthony Russo, who backed out of a Rutgers’ commitment to sign at Temple. Pitt has a player named Temple (Nate, a DE) and one of Temple’s greatest all-time receivers was named Pitt. (Err, Pitts, as in Wiley Pitts. Close enough). Temple has a transfer from Pitt (TE Tyler Sear).

Now watch the AAC
put the Owls in some
God-forsaken Florida
matchup vs. someone
like Marshall

Those are interesting storylines of varying degrees.

Another is the Pitt was player who helped Temple get kicked out of the Big East in 2003 and set the Owls on the path for football redemption.

Temple has been at least a good a program as Pitt over the last decade, maybe better. Pitt has had one 10-win season since 1981; Temple has had two 10-win seasons in the last five years and two eight-win ones.

Temple coach Rod Carey is smarting from his 0-6 bowl record and even mentioned it in his hiring press conference saying, “we’re going to have to find a way to do something about that.” The same day Carey met with team leader Shaun Bradley and got a promise from Bradley that no seniors will sit out a bowl game this season like two did last year, so that’s one thing.

The other thing is the in-state rivalry.

If the two should meet in a bowl game where several thousand Temple fans can make the short trip, the Owls could not ask for anything more. Now watch the AAC put the Owls in some God-forsaken Florida matchup vs. someone like Marshall, but we’re hearing the university is pushing for this dream pairing.

Manny Diaz can wait.

Monday: Fizzy on The Post-Fran Brown Era

Wednesday: Thoughts on the Bowl Matchup


26 thoughts on “Possible Dream Bowl Matchup for Temple

  1. I would welcome a Pitt Rivalry for Conference Realignment Reasons at a later time and place, even though this is not the or an AAC Bashing Forum. (IE UConn) I honestly didn’t mind Duke, but, the circumstances and Shreveport not taking a Deep South State Opponent for the Independence Bowl ruined the luster.

  2. Fran Brown heading to Rutgers
    No more recruits for TUFB

    • The significance of this can’t be overstated. Equivalent to another head coaching change.

    • A disturbing trend of Carey alienating guys with local ties (Foley, Brown) to import guys with Midwestern ties. If I’m Infante or ADM, I’d be worried. Hope Kraft steps in and protects their jobs. Yeah, I know this was Fran’s decision but when he stops recruiting (allowing Pena to go to Syracuse, for instance) for Temple a month ago and three weeks ago follows a number of RU administrators on twitter, that is as bad a sign of his displeasure with Carey as it is with a long-term goal of upward mobility.

      • Is anyone listening? I posted on this blog over a month ago Fran Brown stopped recruiting. I noticed this and I’m a continent away!

        How did Carey not notice? Careless Carey!!!

  3. Another story line is that their O-line coach is Dave Borbely……a coach on the Berndt staff that I respected. He went on to coach at ND, Colorado, UVA, Lousville, etc. A players coach that knows his shyt….good dude!

  4. Hello Coach Carey,

    Please take a few moments each day to think strategically. Are you holding a Coaches Clinic next Spring? What about Summer Camps for High School Student Athletes? The AAC is not the MAC.

    “On Saturday, April 2, 2016, Temple University will hold its first annual Football Coaches Clinic.

    The clinic is open to any high school or collegiate football coach.

    The 2016 Temple Owls will practice that morning and coaches are invited to watch the drills. Following a break for lunch (included), the afternoon and evening sessions will feature an educational clinic.

    Temple’s coaching staff – Matt Rhule, Ed Foley, Phil Snow, Glenn Thomas, Francis Brown, George DeLeone, Frisman Jackson, Elijah Robinson, Mike Siravo, and Chris Wiesehan – football coaches will present and will be joined by additional guest speakers including New York Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles, Philadelphia Eagles’ QB coach John DeFilippo, and Rutgers’ head coach Chris Ash.”

    • you are right KJ, I remember you writing about this….this is serious. Who will be recruiting local players? Will this be MAC east now? Serious questions….on this Mike?

      • Yes, on it. This site will scrutinize this recruiting class like none other before. Carey better get me a couple of 4-stars with a heavy dose of 3-stars or he will be roasted here. Let your top two recruiters (Fran and Foley) walk out and don’t give me a bunch of 2 stars from the midwest and say that’s OK.

  5. Coach Carey,

    Stuck in the 80s is a choice. The New World will embrace if you choose to adventure.

  6. This off season will tell us if Carey is more like Fran Dunphy or MR. TUFB can ill afford to wait three years for the answer.

    • As I said before, I think he is trending toward a Fran Dunphy type future. If I am correct, this is very depressing.

  7. Mike, Carey didn’t let them walk. They walked on their own. We know that Brown was not happy he didn’t get the head coaching job and Foley took what happened to him as a demotion, which would only be the case if his pay was also cut. Unless or until Brown gives an explanation about his reasons for leaving we’re stuck with pure speculation. If Carey were smart he’d hire someone well versed in PA-South Jersey talent. Time will tell if this matters. Don’t forget that the SMU and UCF losses primarily fell on the secondary. I’m much more concerned with whether Carey implements a scheme on offense that better suits Russo’s skills. What’s perplexing is that Russo showed some quickness and elusiveness on his TD run. Why didn’t he show that more often?

    • I know Carey didn’t let them walk but is it possible that he made the work environment for them so toxic (in their minds, as Foley indicated by his refusal to go off the field) that they had no choice to leave? I think there’s plenty of evidence that Carey has coddled his NIU guys and been not so friendly with the Temple guys. I think he should have made an extra effort to make them feel welcome.

      • I bet Brown’s salary doubled. As part of the signing of Schiano Rutgers added millions to the assistant coaches’ salaries. If there was a toxic environment, it would have leaked or there would have been resignations.

      • You are absolutely right there Mike this guy will be a disaster for Temple football talk to me three years now I make it two years . I know my buddy John thinks this guy is good. Talk to me in two years .

    • John, most sensible comment I’ve read regarding Foley and Brown leaving both here and on the Facebook page. Pure speculation on my part but I’m wondering if there were some kind of “handshake” agreement with Diaz and Brown which obviously changed when Carey came on board. The move to Rutgers is more money and a P5 gig, but Brown still has the same title as here. Folks on FB trying to make the case “co-DC” is the norm, to that I say BS, if Schiano thought Brown could run the defense he would have named him DC. 3 teams in 3 years same position says something. With Foley I’m wondering if there is more to this story that isn’t being shared.
      Agree wholeheartedly about Carey bringing someone into the staff who is knowledgeable in PA and NJ. Also would like to think Infante could start to take on a bigger role recruiting this area. Have to think this was kind of a transition year for him and his initial focus was getting acclimated to the FBS environment, learning the current roster, etc.

      • JD: If TU cannot sign at least one of the super players from St. Joe’s Prep and a couple from the Catholic League, Infante is useless as a recruiter. Owls had Blair Thomas of PSU and Frankford fame on the staff for seven years on Bobby Wallace’s staffand he got very few kids from the Philly area. Why St. Joe’s running back, a Rock Armstead kind of player, is going to Buffalo just mystifies me. Hardin recruited the heck out of the Philly area and those guys were always well prepared and technically skilled because of the great high school coaching in the area.

      • John, great points and totally agree regarding Infante, my assumption is that is one of the reasons Diaz hired him. If we hold onto McCargo I think he is as good a back as Burrell plus no player is really committed until 12/18 so maybe we’ll have some pleasant surprises. But to your point if he can’t get any of the Prep players or kids from the Catholic league then he better be the best Xs and Os guy out there.

  8. As much as the coaching resignations are the big concern right now, for me the biggest issue for TUFB is where is this team going to play in 2020 and going forward. If we end up playing at Franklin Field or that soccer stadium in Chester then I really don’t care if Carey is trending towards a Fran Dunphy type, Fran Brown takes his recruits along with his bag of cash and the NIU guys keep getting coddled, because that shows me the admin really doesn’t care about football. Sure the loss of Brown may have a negative impact on the immediate recruiting cycle but that can be overcome and I know I’m in a minority but I think Foley up and leaving was not as devastating as so many are making it out to be. This kind of stuff happens all the time in college football. The real 500 pound gorilla in the room is a long term home field for TUFB.

    • Soccer field only holds 18 grand so I don’t think Owls can play there so it’ll be Franklin Field if a deal for the Linc can’t be finalized.

      • Didn’t realize it was that small but at least I could pop over and play some craps at Harrah’s after a game 🙂 I just can’t imagine a deal won’t be finalized for the Linc, for me personally Franklin Field is just a non-starter.

  9. Heard TU is in the Military Bowl against UNC. Memphis got PSU and I hope they can beat them. The coaching change at Memphis is a killer as we all know altho UCF beat Auburn after Frost announced going to Nebraska. .

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