Wednesday, March 7, 2012

TU football is in the BE to win

*Tentative TUFB schedule:
@ Penn St
@ Louisville
@ Pitt
South Florida
@ Army
*Need 1 more game
I was somewhat dismayed to read a distinct minority view of Temple football from a former Temple basketball great.
Now that the Owls are officially in the Big East (noon today), you are going to get naysayers from throughout the league but I thought our own people knew better.
The guy, who shall remain nameless but shares the same first name as I do, posted on his Facebook page:
"What if Temple doesn't make a bowl game for seven years in the Big East?"
"Huh?" I wrote back. "Have you seen a Temple football game in the last three years? Temple's chances of making a bowl increase, not decrease, in the Big East."
"I don't see how you come to that conclusion," he replied.

We are now officially a BCS blog.
 The Big East has more (and better) bowl tie-ins than the MAC and a 6-6 BE team is guaranteed of going to a bowl. An 8-4 MAC team is not guaranteed of a bowl game, as we're all painfully aware of here.
Then there is the competition element.
Even with Penn State in a "down" year like it was last year, do you see Rutgers or Cincy or Louisville giving the Nittany Lions the kind of game Temple did last year?
Had Temple played Chris Coyer, MVP of the New Mexico Bowl and 5-0 as a Temple starting quarterback, in the PSU game, the Owls win that game by double-digits.
There is no doubt in my mind about that.
The Owls have Coyer for two more years.
West Virginia, which had been the flagship program of the Big East for a long time, struggled to a 37-31 win at Maryland.
Temple went down to Maryland, took a 31-0 lead at the half and coasted to a 38-7 win. Had Steve Addazio not subbed his third-team defense in, Maryland would not have scored on its final drive. Had Addazio not taken three knees inside the Maryland 1 to close out the game, the final score would have been 45-0.
Yeah, 45-0.
That's the kind of guy Addazio is. He won't rub it in the noses of a defeated foe (unless that foe is Villanova next year; he gets a pass on that one).
Rutgers and Army fought tooth and nail to a 6-6 tie at halftime before the Scarlet Knights pulled that one out, 27-13. Temple had a 32-14 lead on Army at halftime and won, 42-14. The Owls also took knees deep in Army territory to avoid the half-century mark in that game.
Ask the Army players if Temple is ready for the Big East.
Temple has a national championship SEC coaching group, led by Steve Addazio, who was head coach (that's right, head coach) at Florida (for three months) and an SEC defensive coordinator in former Florida DC Chuck Heater, who was 11-0 at Utah as a DC and had the Owls ranked only behind Auburn and LSU in scoring defense last year. Both Addazio and Heater were high-level coaches on Florida's last national championship team.
There's enough empirical evidence out there to suggest Temple is Big East ready. Ready enough to win a Big East championship right away?
Too early to tell and the answer to that question could depend on a number of factors, including injuries at key positions.
Still, if you don't think Temple can't at least compete and win in this league RIGHT NOW, you don't know football.
Right now is the time to make money off the doubting Thomases and other-named folks who don't think Temple can make a bowl game out of this league right away.