Temple football: Follow the money

Temple took a gamble by making the Sept. 17th game with Rutgers homecoming rather than the more winnable UMass game a week later. Temple has not had less than 32,000 for a homecoming game in any non-Covid years for the last decade and the gamble is a win over RU would make those fans come back for a Homecoming-like crowd against UMass.

Anyone who followed those great detective shows of the 1960s can relate to this way of solving a crime.

Some police Lieutenant, say Columbo or Kojak, would put the clues together like a puzzle and the final piece would be revealed in the final act pointing to the killer.

Often, but not always, money was involved.

Nobody knows how this Temple football story currently being written by the staff of new head coach Stan Drayton ends but the pieces in the puzzle are pointing in the right direction.

Drayton has upgraded the Owls’ talent by way of the transfer portal in a way not even Matt Rhule was able to, let alone Steve Addazio, Geoff Collins or Rod Carey did.

Definitely, the stock of the franchise is up but, just looking at it from a money perspective, Temple football has appeared to have flatlined over the last decade or so. Does that mean the Owls have peaked? No, because there is more money coming into the program.

If Temple had been able to sustain this average after 2015, we’d be talking about the Owls in the Big 12 and not, say, Houston.

Shawn Pastor of Owlsdaily.com did the most impressive digging we’ve seen since the TV series Six Feet Under to come up with how much the football program has made over the last decade.

Not surprisingly, the Owls had a good year in the Big East, raking in $5.3 million in 2012-13. That year was highlighted on the field by a 17-14 win at 5.5-point favorite UConn and not much else.

Since then, though, the numbers have been surprisingly consistent in the American Athletic Conference years:

2013-14: $4.8 Million

2014-15: $3.4 Million

2015-16: $4.6 Million

2016-17: $4.9 Million

2017-18: $5 Million

2018-19: $4.5 Million

2019-20: $5.9 Million

Those above numbers reflect Temple’s cut from the conference alone. Gotta think the 2015 games against Penn State and Notre Dame enriched the coffers even more and, to be fair, the Owls probably lost money by Pat Kraft’s decision to bring Wagner here. Looking forward, though, somehow, with the $54 million settlement the AAC has made with the three departing schools–Houston, Cincinnati and UCF–Temple and the leftovers are in for somewhat of a windfall making this upcoming season the best for football revenue ever.

Now it’s up to the university to spend the money wisely. Spending money to make money probably is the way to go with an aggressive advertising campaign designed to put butts in the seats.

More butts in the seats mean not only more money flowing into the coffers but a signal that the product is worth buying. The best way to put those butts in the seats is to win and, at least so far, all the clues point to Drayton handling that end well.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a detective to figure that out.

Monday: Temple on TV

4 thoughts on “Temple football: Follow the money

  1. While a homecoming game against Umass would be more winnable as you say Mike, the game with Rutgers is likely to bring a fair amount of Scarlet Knight fans to the Linc, certainly considerably more than might show up from Amherst. Even though the Owls will likely be a considerable underdog, I think Rutgers is a reasonable choice for this game, the two schools being located in such close proximity to each other. Of course, you would hope to see more folks on the home side than on the visitors side. But after last season’s Temple fiasco, who knows? A win against Rutgers would obviously go a long way! And like you, I think we have a real good one in Coach Stan Drayton!

  2. Rutgers play Iowa and Ohio St in the weeks after coming to Temple. Perhaps we can catch them looking ahead? I think the Owls will be decided underdogs, but this game is not out of reach.

    Can the Owls open the season at 4-0? Why not dream a little bit?

  3. Isn’t the money from the departing schools payable over a number of years? Those programs could slowly pay their fee rather than strap themselves for a season. Would they do that?

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