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