A Homecoming Formula that might work

Atari was just launched. New York City had a blackout that lasted 25 hours. Elvis Presley died.

Before the last two Homecomings, yes it had been that long (1977) since Temple hosted a winning team on Homecoming Day.

A lot of losing foes visited Temple on Homecomings before the last couple.

Two times the visiting team was Rutgers. In 2021, it was Memphis. Last year, the Scarlet Knights came in with a 3-1 record. They didn’t finish with a winning record but they escaped Philadelphia with a 16-14 win when E.J. Warner was just getting used to the speed of college football.

Before that, the Rutgers’ team that Temple beat in 1977 was the only other winning team that came to town for Temple’s Homecoming. Temple won, 24-14, that day and RU finished its season at 8-3 with the other losses coming to 10-1 Colgate (yes, Colgate) and an 11-1 Penn State team.

There are reasons for that and the scheduling philosophy not only at Temple but at “most” schools is to schedule a so-called cupcake so that all of those alumni who only come to one football game per year could depart with a feel-good win and maybe some incentive to come back for another game or two that wasn’t Homecoming.

Temple athletic director Arthur Johnson bucked that trend last year by scheduling a Big 10 team and he is apparently bucking it now.

The reasoning seems to be that since this is Temple’s biggest home crowd of every season–there are usually roughly 10,000 or so Temple fans for that game than any other home game–is that the reward is greater than the risk.

That thinking comes into play this year as well. First-year AAC member UTSA is coming to town as one of the league favorites with one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Frank Walker.

If a big crowd helps boost the Owls to a meaningful league win, all the better.

Even though the Owls lost to Rutgers last year, Temple’s reputation on the national stage was served well by that game. The stands looked pretty full and it was apparent that the Owls had the big advantage in the number of fans and the loudness of the crowd. Rutgers’ fans admitted as much.

All that was missing was the win.

IF the Owls can pull of the upset of UTSA on Oct. 7, give a large part of the credit to Johnson.

Friday: What The Eagles Draft Taught Temple


7 thoughts on “A Homecoming Formula that might work

  1. UTSA comes into the AAC as one of the favorites. They have out recruited the remaining conference teams the last three yrs.

    Choices. However, UTSA could easily be the best 1-3 football team heading into Philly. They play Houston, Tenn away, and an always tough Army team before TU. Facing a desperate team nobody has heard of before an empty house is dangerous.

    Could they start 4-0? Everybody in the conference will be pulling for them to upset Houston and Tenn. UTSA has the depth and the sideline savvy to do it. Facing a Top 20 team on Homecoming is daunting. Choices.

    Time for Drayton to look in the mirror and acknowledge he is the best recruiter on staff. Yes, O.K., the “process” is working, albeit very slowly.

    TU does not have the luxury of time. Shrug the HC cap for a cycle and go find the next Ezekiel Elliott.

    • Hoping for Smith to have a breakout year as a true freshman is a reach. Dae Dae Hunter is still sitting in the portal. Wish Stan would go get him. I don’t see Kyle Williams (this year at least) as anything but a third-down back and the ceilings of Hubbard, Wilson and Saydee aren’t very high. Getting a back LIKE Hunter (it doesn’t have to be him) gives us a better shot of beating UTSA than sitting back and doing nothing.

  2. Here we go again…, AD needs to fire the DL coach now, and not a few weeks before fall camp.

    They are going to string this out for what? What is the impact on hiring a capable replacement, recruiting, maintaining momentum from last season?

    Stupid!! You don’t lose your best DL player and DL coach, and expect to achieve the same results…., oh, the DC also left

    Why are we waiting?

    • Great point. It’s not like coaches are in the portal and you can grab one. Temple probably should be scouring the FCS ranks for a promising guy who fits the same defensive system now. Don’t care about his age.

  3. The bar on offense is ridiculously low — Temple hasn’t ranked higher than 88th in offensive SP+ since 2018 — and if Warner keeps developing, the ceiling should eventually be quite a bit higher than that. How much development can we expect in 2023?

    Zero development w/o an infusion of NCAA level talent at RB. And, the WR position is thin. When is the last time Mathis played 4 games in a row w/o injury? Never

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