Good News for Owls: More Bowls


If the AAC can get a tie-in to the new bowl in Arizona, Temple could be playing in Tempe.

Anytime someone moans and groans about there being “too many bowls” I say there are too few.

After being hit with a “are you crazy?” stare, I mention two things:

  • Temple’s 2010 team
  • Cornhole Championships

By now, the story of the Temple 2010 team is well-known, but it’s certainly worth repeating.

Those Owls finished 8-4 and pummeled a team, UConn, 30-16, that made the Fiesta Bowl. The Owls being denied when the Huskies, also 8-4, were accepted (via being in a BCS league, the Big East) was widely regarded as one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in recent sports history.

Besides some mentions on the afternoon ESPN talk shows, Temple got nothing out of that bowl season and, the day after head coach Al Golden held a meeting to say: “Guys, we’re not going anywhere” he announced he was taking the head coaching job at Miami.

Talk about a punch in the gut one day followed by a kick in the nuts the next, that was it for Temple football.

Cornhole championships come into play simply because that—and poker and bowling—are staples of the ESPN programming after the bowl games are completed in January. If two or three extra bowl games take cornhole, bowling and poker off television that’s not only more palatable to me but for ratings in general.

Anything that gives an 8-4 or a 6-6 Temple team a greater chance at bowl exposure is good news, not bad so that’s why Brett McMurphy breaking the story of more bowls starting with the 2020 season is encouraging.

Chicago and Myrtle Beach, S.C., are locks to host two of the three new bowls. Phoenix, another attractive site, is rumored to be leading for a third bowl.

Meanwhile, from an American Conference perspective, the league is musing a permanent invitation for its champion to play in the Liberty Bowl, if the champion doesn’t make the NY6 game. That’s a good idea because the Liberty is a tier above the current places where the second-place team usually goes (Military, Boca).

All this should be officially announced on July 1, which is less than one week away.

Anything that’s good for Temple and bad for cornhole is OK in my book.

Wednesday: Stadium Delay

Friday: The Alternatives

Monday: Under Pressure

Wednesday (7/4): 5 New Arrivals To Watch

Friday (7/6): How New Rules Impact the Owls



Cherry and White Bowls Matter

NCAA Football: Military Bowl-Temple vs Wake Forest

These are the disturbing images Owls have seen walking off the field the last two seasons.


The next time someone tells you a bowl game is a meaningless post-season exhibition game, tell them the story of the last two Temple football seasons.

Each time, the Owls flushed down the toilet the priceless ring of a Top 25 finish by losing to underdogs.

That meant that Vegas had faith in the Owls—1.5 favorites over Toledo and 12.5 favorites over Wake Forest—but that circumstances prevented the Owls from winning and appearing in the Top 25 for two straight seasons. Vegas is usually right, so something went terribly wrong for the Owls at the end of the last two seasons.

If that weren’t enough in and of itself (it is), consider this: Top 25 voters the next year, for the most part, are lazy journalists who just list the teams who were from the Top 25 the year before. Those teams have a built-in advantage over the rest of the other 102 FBS teams because, once in that Top 25 club, you have to play your way out. It is much harder to play your way in from the outside.

That’s the way college football works.

Had the Owls, No. 24 in the CFB poll, beat Wake Forest, they would have likely risen above fellow state school Pittsburgh, the No. 23 team, that lost to Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl. Had they beaten Wake Forest coming off a win over Toledo the year prior, they would have established themselves as a more permanent Top 25 presence and that perception in a pro town like Philadelphia would have been invaluable.

We now know why that did not happen. The Owls went heavy on the fun and sun in Boca two bowls ago and, this year, the entire defensive staff missed eight practices leading up to the bowl game.

A Temple program that hemorrhages coaches out the door of the E-O is doomed to this fate, unless new coach Geoff Collins sticks around for a few years. He almost certainly is assured to be here through a bowl game next year and this is where the Owls must make their move for 2018, by establishing themselves in the Top 25 with a bowl win and setting themselves up for upward mobility a year after that.

The Owls should be in a bowl next season and, once there, the entire Temple community from the Board of Trustees to the football element must realize how valuable it is to win this time. That should be the “unfinished business” Collins makes sure is transacted next year under, hopefully, a new and more original slogan.


Wednesday: Waiting For A Puff of Gray Smoke

Friday: God And The Power 5

Sunday: Threading The Needle

Beyond Unfinished Business

The linebacker corps is in good hands with 3 returning starters.

The bad news for all but one of the 127 teams is that nobody is going to win the national football championship like our neighbors, who shall remain nameless, won the national basketball title.

All but that one team, of course, and, at this point, it doesn’t look like it will be Temple. (However, if you want a nice $10,000 return on a measly $10 investment and believe in the Owls, sportsbook is taking bets.)

When the Owls made “Unfinished Business” their team slogan this year, they probably did not mean winning the national championship but the good news today is there is a whole list of ancillary goals that would finish the business.


AAC bowl tie-ins this season.

It starts with the American Athletic Conference championship, which is well within reach. All the Owls have to do to secure home field, presumably against Houston, is to run the table in their seven home games and not be upset on the road. They will probably be favored at Memphis and at UConn, two of their tougher road games. They can even afford a loss at Penn State and still achieve that goal. Home field should beget a win over USF (hey, it did in 2012) and a crowd of 40,000-plus rabid Temple fans in the AAC championship game could be the difference.

What about Beyond Unfinished Business?

Even if the Owls do not reach their No. 1 goal, there are a number of ways the business conducted this season could be better than the work done last year. Winning a school-record 11 games is within reach and that’s some nice work. Beyond that, though, the AAC has seven bowl tie-ins and the team’s (and especially the administration’s) goal has to be to get the Owls in a bowl game against a Power 5 team. Last year, Owls Daily editor Shawn Pastor reported that the administration was offered the Birmingham Bowl against Auburn and a bowl in Louisiana against Virginia Tech, but turned down both offers to play near a large alumni fan base in Florida.

Big mistake.

This year, “Unfinished Business” also means taking care of business once those offers are on the table. That means no “turning down” any of these three bowls should the Owls be offered one:

Birmingham Bowl Dec. 29, 2016

Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC

St. Petersburg Bowl Dec. 26, 2016

St. Petersburg, Fla. – vs. ACC

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman Dec. 29, 2016

Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC

The other bowl tie-ins are the Miami Beach Bowl and Bahamas Bowl (both versus MAC foes),  and the Boca Raton Bowl vs. Conference USA. Thanks, but no thanks. Been there, done that.

While winning the national championship would be nice, and winning the AAC the real deal, getting those 11 wins and beating a Power 5 team in a bowl would also qualify for Unfinished Business and be more than acceptable consolation prizes.

It all begins in a little over two weeks against Army and the focus then and every week hence is going to have to be laser-sharp, but  this is a business deal that should be profitable.

Monday: The Next Big Red One