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.
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
matchup vs. someone
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