With each passing change of college football as we know it, you can excuse Temple sports fans not being overly excited.
As of yesterday, the NCAA adopted the latest reality: Name, Image and Likeness.
To me, it’s another in a series of changes that mean simply this: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
It makes sense that the teams with the larger followings, like Duke in basketball, and Alabama in football, will have players who rake in the money over, say, the Temple’s and the Cincinnatis.
An even playing field?
Giving everyone an equal chance to win?
Bleep that, says the NCAA, which has reluctantly joined the call for paying the players through this method.
One of the barometers for this is social media following and, just for an example, I can’t imagine Temple basketball ever having a larger social media following than Duke (see above).
Or Temple football against any P5 team.
That 2016 American Conference football championship that Temple had now seems so far away.
Can the Owls win another AAC title?
Sure, but expecting the “amateurs” to compete with the “professionals” in a playoff with be damn near impossible. That 2016 Owls’ team would have been a worthy foe for anyone in a 12-team playoff. It lost by a touchdown at Big 10 champion Penn State despite 130 yards in home-cooking penalties. Have a rematch in a bowl game on a neutral field and things might have gone the other way.
Especially if Matt Rhule saw a playoff game against his alma mater as a better reason to stay at Temple for one more game than a meaningless bowl.
It would have been a mighty blow for the G5 to have one of its champions beat the Big 10 champion in a playoff game. Maybe the biggest boost ever for the G5.
We will never know.
Now Temple faces huge obstacles in the transfer portal and this Name, Image and Likeness development.
If this NIL thing works out the way we think it will, it might just be time for the G5 to break away and form its own organization with its own playoffs. Give similar sized schools with similar followings (and presuming players benefit the same with pay) an even playing field. I had been against that because I always thought that Temple could join the P5 but it seems like the P5 doesn’t want to share its money with anyone.
Except the players who commit to those schools and that’s sad.
Monday: Temple 2021 Measurables