A Rarity: Game Times In Advance

Only thing that will top 10 wins is 11 … or more

At this time last year, we knew the starting time for just two Temple football games, and those were the high-profile ones involving Penn State and Notre Dame.

Now we know five.

That’s a huge leap in an era where almost all of the game times are kept open due to the whim of various television contracts and a double-edged sword for Temple because it is a nod to the Owls’ 127th-ranked schedule.


I wonder if “Unfinished Business” will fit on this?

The Owls open the 2016 season at Lincoln Financial Field against Army on Friday, September 2 at 7 pm. (That’s good because any shore people can leave after the game and enjoy the Labor Day weekend of Saturday, Sunday and Monday.)

Temple’s game against Stony Brook, to be played on Saturday, September 10 at Lincoln Financial Field, will kick off at 1:00 p.m. and be televised live by ESPN3.

There is a huge favor in there, though, and that’s the dreaded Stony Brook game. Not because it is going to be Cupcake City, but because it is removed from “real television” which might be Temple’s biggest attendance foe.  We were able to research the attendance for the five Temple games which were off “real television”—meaning the television you can see on your TV set—versus the other home games. Temple home games averaged 25,985 between 2010 and 2015 when it was off the air; 17,675 for the games where Temple was on Philadelphia TV (this is taking out the ND and PSU games, which would have skewed the sample).

The evidence is pretty clear. Temple has a softcore fan group that only gets off the couch and into the car when all other options are exhausted. So the Owls need all the help they can get for to put fannies in the seats for Stony Brook, and it looks like the TV situation has helped immeasurably. That win should send a confident 2-0 Owl team into Penn State, a noon kickoff (Big 10 Network).

Other times set are:  at Memphis (Oct. 6, a Thursday night, 8 p.m., ESPN); home against USF (Oct. 21, 7 p.m., ESPN) and at UConn (Nov. 4, 7 p.m., ESPN2).

The championship game will be played on Dec. 3, hopefully at Lincoln Financial Field (noon, ESPN). There is no Navy game to worry about this year. That game with Army is Dec. 10 in Baltimore.

Wednesday: Going North to Go South


The Second-Easiest Schedule In College Football


Instead of heading to the beach or having a barbecue, I spent most of the entire Memorial Day evening watching guys a little older than me tell war stories.

The channel was 39, the PBS Channel in Allentown, and the guys were Vietnam Veterans telling stories about how absurd the rules of engagement were. One guy said that to break the boredom he and his buddies made up  a FKIA list. FKIA stood for “flies killed in action” and the guy who killed the most flies in a given week would earn the pot. As a lark, they included the FKIA list in with the EKIA “enemies killed in action” list and none of the superiors said anything about it. To make a long story short, the brass thought that FKIA and EKIA was  to differentiate between Viet Con and NVR troops and the killed in action lists eventually made it to the Walter Cronkite CBS News and Cronkite was reporting 100-1 kill ratios of Americans to bad guys.

As a result of the high enemy kill ratio, the GIs were told they had to get permission to return fire. In other words, if they were shot at, they had to call headquarters and ask to shoot back.

Absurd indeed.

The 2016 Temple Football schedule is a little like that FKIA list because it is the second easiest schedule in FBS. What does it all mean? It means in the absurd state of college football today, the Owls can go 13-0 and win the AAC title and quite likely not get a Final Four Playoff invitation, let alone play for the national championship.

Make that definitely not get a FF invite because the Owls’ strength of schedule is rated 127 of 128 FBS teams. As Temple fans, we would love to have that kind of problem.

While there are benefits of an easy schedule, the whole point of playing is to win and the whole point of winning is to compete for championships. That a 13-0 team would be left out of the national playoff picture is absurd.

Just like that FKIA list.

Friday: The Mystery Big-Time Team Coming To Philadelphia