UCF was 0-12 just one year before losing this exciting game to Temple in 2016. The Youtube channel PCS Highlights called the final touchdown here “the most iconic play in Temple history.”
Reasonable people can take a look at a set of facts and come away with a different conclusion.
The college football world seems to have Temple football pegged to finish last in the 11-team American Athletic Conference standings.
There are two ways to look at it.
One, the college football world is looking at the results of the last two seasons and plugging Temple in to finish about the same way and a lot of weight in that conclusion is based on the past. Plus, that world is centered in Las Vegas where the current over/under has the Owls at 2.5 wins.
Two, a new coach and new energy surrounding the program–plus an influx of pretty good talent from the transfer portal–probably means more than the three wins the team was able to accomplish in a toxic oxygen-deprived atmosphere a year ago.
We’re looking at it the second way and, if history is any indication, a new coach with new energy can bring positive results to difficult situations right away.
You need look no further than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a good example.
In 1997, Pitt had a new coach, Walt Harris, brought in because the Panthers won a total of 12 games the prior four years. All Pitt did in Harris’ first season with pretty much that same talent was win six games and earn a Liberty Bowl spot. (One of the five regular-season losses Pitt had that year was to Temple.)
Temple, on the other hand, has won 20 games in the last four years, not 12. Plus, the transfer portal did not exist as a tool to upgrade the talent then and it does now.
You can offer your opinion that Temple can’t win at least six in Stan Drayton’s first year but you can’t argue with the fact that it has been done in the past on multiple occasions with programs that have performed worse than Temple in the immediate past, too many to mention here.
One example of this quick fix happened in the league Temple currently competes. UCF turned an 0-12 season in 2015 quickly under first-year head coach Scott Frost, winning six games in 2016–again without the benefit of a transfer portal.
Call it a new attitude, better coaches, whatever, but examples abound everywhere that things can transform pretty quickly in one year and, from what we’ve seen so far, Temple appears to be headed for a Pitt/UCF kind of transformation.
It’s just not logical that a lesser talented Rod Carey-coached Temple team can outperform a better-coached and more talented coached Temple team.
Two-point-five wins is really easy money but we’re looking at more than double that. The fact that it has been done before under more difficult circumstances means that it can be done again.
Friday: AAC Media day.