Saturday, November 5, 2011

Root for Air Force and Troy today

This video is like that jigsaw puzzle game, where you pick two shots that don't match. My favorite is the Ryan Alderman catch at the sticks (2:09 time stamp), the ridiculous spot, and the criminal call of a catch (6:45) when the ball clearly hit the ground that gave Ohio the game. You can probably pick out 10 more mismatched calls, all against Temple.

When I was a kid working my way through college at Temple University, I was once assigned to write about an Overbrook at John Bartram high school basketball game in the hood.
I was literally the only white guy at this game (including refs, administration and security) and a little after the start, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Who you rootin' for?" a fan about two years younger than me demanded.
"I'm not rooting for anybody, I'm here to cover it for the Philadelphia Bulletin."
"Bulletin? Put my name in there. It's Winston. That's W-I-N-S-T-O-N."
"Yeah, OK."
Winston never got his name in the paper, but I never went back to John Bartram.
I think about Winston every time I watch college football on a Temple-less Saturday.
Since the only bookie I ever trusted moved to Utah some 15 years ago, I haven't placed a sheckle (or a dime) on any sporting event since and I really don't root for anybody but Temple.
Temple's bowl hopes
While Temple has to win three games it will be favored to win, Army has to win three of four and Navy has to win all four to get the Owls' most likely bowl slot.
Army Remaining:
@ Air Force
@ Temple

Navy Remaining:
@San Jose
Source: emh55

Now, though, because Temple needs some help, I'm forced in a position where I have to root for somebody.
Temple's season could be helped immeasurably by an Air Force victory over visiting Army (TV, Versus) and a Navy loss to Troy (TV, CBS college sports network) today.
Navy is an eight-point favorite.
If both Army and Navy lose, that could open up a spot for Temple in the Military Bowl. Temple is now coveted by the Military Bowl after Owl fans saved its bacon in the 2009 game, bringing 20,000 of the 23,000 fans to the game against UCLA.
Right now, other than Navy (which has to go 4-0 to earn a spot), Temple would be a great get for the Military Bowl because of its nearby fan base. (Army, though, might be able to bring 15-20K on its own.)
The MAC is a backup option for that bowl and the Army/Navy/MAC team will face a team out of the ACC, which, at this point, figures to be Miami (Fla.).
What a story that would be, Al Golden vs. Steve Addazio in D.C.?
Talk about TV ratings and building the Temple brand nationally, nothing would do it like a win over The U in D.C. on national TV.
Temple has to hold up its end and needs only a little help to make it happen.