A sucker bet or a sure thing?

This is how far we’ve fallen in six years.

One of the popular topics over on the OwlsDaily.com message board is about the over/under win total involving our very own Temple Owls.

The 2.5 wins posted by Vegas seems an insult to a lot of Owl fans used to winning (pre-pandemic) an average of over eight games for the previous decade.

Yet some of the responses are sad and amusing in a way.

One of the fans said: “at 2.5 I will make a small wager” and another said “four wins is doable.”

I had to shake my head. That’s the kind of stuff I’m used to reading on the Rutgers’ board over the last decade or so, not the Temple one.

This is what Temple football has become, perception-wise, after two Rod Carey seasons.

Even the Owls’ own fans have some doubts and the expectations of even the most optimistic are rather low.

I hit the 2-4-3 trifecta on the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and came away with a paltry $43. The same winning $2 bet in 2019 (thanks to a tip from The Daily News’ Dick Jerardi) cashed me $637.50. (The difference being eight horses vs. 18 and only five good ones among the eight.)

I’ll stick with the horses.

Temple winning three or four games holds no particular appeal to me, not after being so close to a couple of 10-win seasons.

Talk of the “hope” of winning four games reminds me of the Bobby Wallace days and I so wanted to forget about them.

Temple’s expectations should be much higher than that.

I’m not even sure Carey or his staff have high expectations because I have not read a single quote from either the head coach or any members of his staff even mentioning a winning season or a championship. All I’ve seen from Carey is that we want to “field a team that plays hard that our fans will be proud of ….”

That’s pretty damn vague and designed to tamp down any expectations.

I’m sure a lot of 1-11 Temple teams played hard in the past but didn’t have the, err, horses.

As far as the bet itself, I don’t see–at least at this juncture–Temple being favored in any game other than Wagner and Akron so that’s one good reason to stay away. Put it this way: Temple was an inexplicable unforced error away from being 0-7 last year, lost 15 players and gained nine and more of the 15 were proven than most of the nine coming into the E-O.

It’s neither a sucker bet nor a sure thing but low expectations should be have been a thing of the past century, not the current one.

Friday: Opening Clues

10 thoughts on “A sucker bet or a sure thing?

  1. Mike,

    The following is a reply from Chris Vaninni, CFB writer from the Athletic site. He was responding to a question from a subscriber regarding the creation of a new Power5 Conference.

    Very sad that Temple is not even on the radar. Temple football has dropped back into being completely irrelevant. Do we really have any hope that Carey is the guy to bring us back?

    Appalachian State
    • Boise State
    • Buffalo
    • Cincinnati
    • Houston
    • Louisiana
    • Marshall
    • Memphis
    • San Diego State
    • SMU
    • UAB
    • UCF

    I didn’t include independents, but I would add BYU if so. Liberty might be a close call. Navy was also a difficult evaluation. I’m considering a combination of factors including recent football success, historical football success, financial investment and facilities.

    • Very little to no hope because a Temple winning season really depends on D’Wan Mathis being better than P.J. Walker and Anthony Russo combined and the other P5 transfers having big seasons PLUS Carey’s systems working like they did in the MAC championship seasons. Carey has no (zero) personality or appeal with recruits nor does he have even a rudimentary understanding of the formula that made Temple great under Rhule=solid running game, play-action passing, great defense, great special teams. All that said, Temple will give him this year to prove his methods are right and the doubters like me are wrong. I hope I’m wrong and he’s right because a 2-3-4- or even 5-win season holds no appeal to me. Six might get me mildly interested and eight would open some eyes.

    • Liberty football hasn’t been around long enough or frankly good enough to be considered for P5 status. It’s ashame Temple is right back where they were years ago in terms of consideration.

  2. That says it all. If that comes about, gives BOT ammo to pull the plug. If not, USF, ECU, Tulsa, Tulane, Navy, and Temple need a home. With a schedule like that, a couple sets of bleachers at E-O would suffice.

  3. Pretty good indicator on the state of the program: Oddsmakers see no better than 3 wins and the number of ESPN Plus games on the schedule. It’s a tragedy to see how rapidly this has deteriorated.

    Carey is betting heavy on the portal. He’s got to hit large on most of these transfers. Are we upgrading from the players that have left? He surely has not upgraded from the coaches that have moved on.

    Can he upgrade his own coaching performance? Even better talent cannot overcome poor coaching.

    This is the least excited I have been since the dark days from 1989 to 2005.

  4. Maybe Temple’s just announced new president can turn things around. Aside from an excellent academic background, he was a member of Stanford’s football and track teams. Hopefully he will take a look at the situation here and find solutions for our faltering sports program (primarily football and basketball) and maybe reinstate some of the dropped sports. And who knows about an OCS?! As usual for Temple, we’ll see.

  5. A sleazy politician once said. “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Move Temple Football program to the suburbs. Philadelphia is corrupt, so move the program to greener pastures.

    • Does it matter if they stink in the city or the suburbs? Are more going to buy a ticket to see a bad team play if they do move? Gives on-campus residents a good excuse not to go.

      Move the coach, not the team.

      • Pretty much agree but getting out from under the LINC/Lurie deal would be worth it if for no other reason. A small but nice stadium would suffice considering TU’s overall football situation no matter where it is located. I still think that keeping and renovating old Temple Stadium would have been the best and least expensive thing to do – bad decisions everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s