Right now, if Fran Dunphy is taking his new role as a new athletic director seriously, he’s sitting down at his kitchen table in Avalon, N.J., trying to get the Temple football Owls four football dates.
That’s because the AAC has shown no signs of joining the Big 10 and limiting games to conference ones only. Independents like UConn and UMass will probably have to join the Ivy League and cancel schedules entirely. The strong rumor is the ACC will soon join the Big 10 and go conference only, too, so that leaves three games Dunphy has to tentatively replace:
- Sept. 5, at Miami
- Sept. 12, Idaho
- Sept. 19, Rutgers
- Oct. 10, UMASS
If Dunphy attacks the position with zeal, he was sitting at the kitchen table yesterday with the 2015 Temple-PSU game on in the background (ESPU, noon) with printouts of the composite 2020 FBS college football schedule trying to replace those dates. Hopefully, he has the phone numbers of the other 126 FBS athletic directors.
Sure, it would be contingent upon several things (like the season being played for one), but what would Dunphy and Temple have to lose by scheduling games based on contingency?
To me, it’s the wise Owl thing to do right now.
The Miami game is probably out even if the ACC decides to play its nonconference games. Miami practice has been suspended due to an outbreak of the virus on that team and no one knows if the Hurricanes will be able or even allowed to compete.
Assuming the ACC and Big 10 are out, on Sept. 5, that gives the Owls an attractive group of opponents to select. Villanova, where Dunphy has a home the other six months a year, is a possibility. The CAA has canceled its season but Villanova has indicated that it will look to fill its entire season with an independent schedule. Good luck with that. My choice for Dunphy is West Virginia. Florida State would not go to West Virginia but Temple will.
Rutgers has to be replaced (Sept. 19) as well.
The Owls also have to have contingencies for the independents, UMass and Idaho. The Sept. 12 game with Idaho can easily be replaced with BYU, which is probably the only independent other than Notre Dame that will be able to get games. BYU was scheduled to play a home game against Michigan State, but that’s out. Temple could easily replace the Spartans on that date.
The final date for the Owls is Oct. 10 against UMass. If UMass can’t play that day, Villanova should be available. (I realize there is a group of Temple fans who don’t want to play Villanova but with a competent FBS head coach, which Geoff Collins wasn’t on the day he lost to the Wildcats, Temple should never lose to Villanova. Say what you will about Rod Carey, but’s it’s indisputable he’s a competent FBS head coach.)
Of course, Dunphy could have been doing other things yesterday like taking the Catamaran for a spin around Townsends Inlet, but we can only hope for Temple’s sake that he is on the job now.
If he didn’t do it yesterday, there’s always next weekend.
Friday: Our Annual Week of Vacation begins (July 24-31, best of TFF runs on Friday, Monday and Thursday)