In our last post, we’ve noted that ESPN college football analytics guy Bill Connelly is likely to stick a 6-6 prediction on the 2020 Temple football Owls.
After consecutive eight-win seasons piggybacked on top of consecutive double-digit-win seasons, that’s just another step back after a pretty good run.
From the perspective of this fan, it’s hard to argue with Connelly.
A lot of things happened since the end of the year, including four pretty valuable players with Temple eligibility left giving up that eligibility for, in no particular order, the NFL, the first Temple opponent on next season’s schedule, and Ole Miss.
It’s hard enough for a team to overcome expected losses (senior leadership) when you pile on top of that the four best juniors on the team.
When there are only 129 FBS teams and ESPN predicts you to be the 72d-best one, you don’t have to be Andrew Yang to know that you are closer to the bottom than the top. That’s a pretty bitter pill to swallow after 36 wins in the past four seasons so, yes, that’s a huge step back after steps forward.
On top of that, the head coach, Rod Carey, in a recent interview said nothing would fundamentally change in the offensive and defensive philosophy of the team. When asked in that same interview if he was concerned about the number of talented players jumping ship, he brushed it off by saying: “We want people who want to be here.”
Extrapolate that logic just a little bit by imagining this: If your entire first team left for “greener” pastures and the scout team wanted to stay, are you really better off?
For 2020 expectations to rise, the talent pool has to get better and the Owls went from an Olympic-sized one to a kiddy pool. An awful lot of good coaching will be needed to overcome those losses.
Monday: Possible Reasons for Optimism