Monday, November 22, 2010

Miami: The most important game so far (seriously)

Temple quarterback Mike Gerardi discusses the Miami game.

You hear it all the time.
"This is the most important game of the year."
Usually, it's hyperbole.
Not this year. Not with Temple.
The next game is always the most important because it's the next game but Temple has had more games that were "most important" for other reasons, too, than any season I can remember in my 30 years of following the team.
Against Villanova it was the most important game because you could not retain any credibility in your hometown by losing to that school again.
Against CMU it was most important because it took down the reigning MAC power.
Temple at Miami (O)

Records: Temple, 8-3 overall,
5-2 Mid-American Conference;
Miami, 7-4, 6-1.
Series: Temple leads, 3-1.
Against UConn it was most important because it send a message to the Big East flirting with Villanova that, hey, there was a better-looking girl on the same block.
Against Penn State, it would have been a statement game nationally for the program.
And so on and so forth ....
It was true last week against Ohio and it is true Tuesday night at Miami.
Each game was and is more important than the prior game.
Here's the reason why Tuesday night's game with Miami is the MOST important:
Last week, Temple AD Bill Bradshaw sent out a questionaire to Owl fans about which bowl they consider most appealing to travel to, listing Boise, Mobile and Detroit as possible destinations.
My strong educated guess is that Boise was a runaway winner _ for last place. There will be no fans (other than athletic support personnel and parents) going to that game. Maybe the Boise alumni club (one person) will arrange a trip on a motorscooter.
Go to Mobile or St. Petersburg or Dallas and there are likely to be thousands of Owl fans, who will be watching tonight from home or area P.J. Whelihan locations where there will be organized Temple viewing parties. All locations will be having viewing parties with the biggest one at Blue Bell in Montgomery County.
Those fans know if the Owls don't win in Miami (Ohio) tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2), they are likely ticketed for Boise.
Or worse.
That's where it stands right now.
Even though head coach Al Golden assumed that the Owls were going bowling for the second straight year in the post-game press conference after the Ohio loss, a closer examination of the available data indicates that Temple could be left on the outside looking in with a loss.
That's because it's a 50/50 shot that all of the bowls MAC teams are listed as backups will be filled with primary conference tie-ins.
Win, and it's impossible to keep a nine-win Temple team out.
Lose, and it's a 50/50 shot at no bowl at all.
So this is the most important game of the year.
Until the bowl game.