Temple-Tulsa: Heartbreak Ridge?

CapperTex is to college football computers what IBM’s Watson was to Jeopardy.

When we last saw the Temple football Owls on national television, the university’s reputation in the sport took a beating in a 70-13 loss to UCF on ESPN’s primary channel.

This should be the standard Temple home uniform. Way better than the black ones.

Same old Temple under Stan Drayton that existed under Rod Carey, the nation said, and the guys who play for Drayton gave little reason to argue with that assumption.

Now that the Owls are on that network’s secondary channel, ESPN2 (tonight 7:30), two major computer simulators have the team garnering respect but not the ultimate prize: A win.

The top NCAA football simulator has Tulsa winning, 24-21, generated by CapperTek. For those not aware, the top “human” handicappers against the spread usually rate in the 67-70 percentile. CapperTex’s artificial intelligence model has a 79 percent success rate.

If it is right and the Owls lose by three, that sets us all up for a heartbreaker. Tulsa opened as a 13.5-point favorite and the “wise guys” bet that down by a whole point over the last two days.

Can an Owl brother get a win here?

Possibly, because as good as artificial intelligence is, it does not account for the occasionally tipped ball interception or the stripped sack fumble.

The same model predicted Virginia would beat three-point favorite Georgia Tech on Thursday night, 31-27. Virginia won, but by 16-9. Maybe Tulsa wins by three more points than the computer expects, but maybe the Owls can do something about it.

Another model also has Temple covering the spread by losing “only” 38-26.

This CBS projection has the Owls covering the 12.5 spread by the slimmest of margins.

What does this mean?

Of all the remaining games on the Temple schedule, this is the Owls’ best chance for a win. There are a few reasons for this.

Our picks this week. We’re playing these separately for blog purposes but if all hit on a $10 parlay investment, $2,936.43 is the ROI.

Tulsa struggles in the run game, getting only 25 total yards rushing in a 53-21 loss at Navy.

That means the Hurricanes will be forced to pass against an Owls’ defense that has been very good against the pass in five of their first six games.

The game will simply come down to this: If the Owls can just do a decent job against the pass and the same kind of job Navy did against the run, they will keep it close.

If they can force a couple of interceptions against quarterback Davis (an odd first name, no doubt) Brin, they will post the upset.

Tough task?

Certainly.

Impossible?

No.

They will need to take the ball away twice to get the win. One fumble, one interception or two interceptions will do the job. On its end, Temple will have to protect the football.

If both teams play a clean game, Tulsa wins.

You read it here first.

At least now the Owls know what they have to do to avoid a broken heart. Knowing it and doing it is the difference between winning and losing.

Picks this week: In the graphic near the bottom of this post. Thought long and hard about the UL-Monroe at Army game but Army’s beatdown at the hands of an average Georgia State team convinced us that ULM can cover the 6.5. That’s the key play. San Diego State’s four-point win over a truly horrific Hawaii team convinced us that Nevada can win outright at home against SDSU. The Rice Owls are the best Owls playing college football this year (unfortunately) and should beat Louisiana Tech by a touchdown.

Update: Not a good week, won on Western Kentucky, Kent State, Rice, Louisville and Wyoming but lost on ULM, ODU, Texas State, UCF and Nevada. 5-5 for the week and now 22-18 on the season.

Tomorrow: Game Analysis

Monday: Excuse or Opportunity?

4 thoughts on “Temple-Tulsa: Heartbreak Ridge?

  1. Take the Owls and the points. IMHO this dude Drayton is more passionate about TUFB than anyone since AG.

    MR was a Philly butterfly, DAZ was a great pretender, and Carey was a cultural outcast. For him, it wasn’t worth even trying to assimilate.

    Drayton WANTS to be No Philly, he’s arrived at destiny.

  2. TU started the game 126th (out of 131 teams!) in total offense. They will most likely move DOWN after another dismal performance.

    Again, how long must this BS go on? Wait until the offense is ranked dead last? If I’m a High School star in a skill position, why choose Temple with this OC? What’s his record, what has he done at Temple? C’mon already, open the aperture and look at the OC from the perspective of a High School star RB/WR..,

    • Enough of Warner. To win in big-time college football, you need a dual-threat guy. Quincy Patterson is our only dual-threat guy who can hold onto the football. Let’s go with him.

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