Saturday, March 9, 2013

A look at the new foes

New Opponent
Recent common foes
How Temple fared
Army, Navy

Army 16, SMU 14 (2010)
Navy 38, SMU 35 (2009)
Temple 42, Army 35
Temple 28, Navy 24 (2009)
UCLA 31, Houston 13 (2010)
Houston 30, Penn State 14 (2011)
UCLA 30, Temple 21 (2009)
Penn State 14, Temple 10 (2011)
Central Florida
Buffalo, Ball State
UCF 23, Buffalo 17 (2009)
UCF 24, Buffalo 10 (2011)
UCF 38, Ball State 17 (2012)
Temple 37, Buffalo 13 (2009)
Temple 34, Buffalo 0 (2011)
Temple 42, Ball State 0 (2011)
Wyoming, Bowling Green
Wyoming 40, Idaho 37 (2011)
Bowling Green 32, Idaho 15 (2011)
Temple 37, Wyoming 15 (2011)
Bowling Green 13, Temple 10  (2011)

Chart shows that, with the exception of Houston, Temple has done significantly better against recent common foes.

A couple of years ago, the Princeton football team was about six games removed from winning the national championship based on the faulty theory of transitive property.
You know, if Team A can beat Team B and Team B beat Team C, then Team A can also beat Team C.
By now, every fan who handed in a losing slip at the football betting window knows that way of gambling is Fool's Gold.
Still, transitive property is a useful exercise in getting a GENERAL idea of how a team might perform against another.
We all know about the Notre Dames of the world. The Irish just recruit in a

Bryant Rhule has a sister!
TFF congratulates
coach Matt Rhule and family
on the birth
of a new daughter
(below) football scoop
seemingly has
every scoop
ever uncovered
different stratosphere than Temple.
That one is going to be a rough go for the Owls, even if Khalif Herbin switches to running back and Kevin Newsome becomes a strong safety in a couple of weeks.
Cincinnati and Louisville also figure to be tough,
but I'm not conceding Rutgers.
I don't think Matt Rhule is conceding any loss,
either, but beating a regional rival like RU on the road would be a nice statement well within his reach.
Temple returns everyone and Rutgers was relatively wiped out on both sides of the ball.
Had Steve Addazio used the pass the way it was meant to be used, even the young Owls would have been a lot more competitive against Rutgers in the second half and might have pulled that one out. A week later, Kent State showed what an effectively-coached team could do against Rutgers.
To me, seven wins against this schedule (Idaho, Fordham, Memphis and Army as the givens and three of the other eight) is realistic and attainable. (Army has had a more recent history of success than Memphis has had and Temple has handled the Cadets pretty easily.)
The key to the season is how the Owls do in the so-called America 12 toss-up games and, while teams like Houston, UCF and SMU have had more success in the past couple of years than Temple has, the Owls have not embarrassed themselves against common foes.
Rhule is guiding the program based on the principles (or core values) of Al Golden, not Steve Addazio.
Addazio was stubborn and Golden was flexible.
So that could mean switching a guy like Matty Brown to running back from slot receiver or switching a guy like Kee-Ayre Griffin from running back to cornerback. In Rhule's case, it could mean Herbin to Brown's role and Newsome as an upgrade over departed starter Justin Gildea at strong safety.
Nate L. Smith, the best playmaking defensive back in Pennsylvania high school football for Archbishop Wood two years ago, finally gets on the field at free safety and with Newsome and NLS back there maybe the secondary finally starts to make some plays.
It could also mean getting the team's other best playmakers (linebackers) on the field by going from a 4-3 to a 3-4.
That worked for those guys and expect similar adjustments in personnel this spring.
While you can't win them all, you can at least try. Things won't be perfect when practice starts in 13 days, but you can rest assured they will be tweaked in that direction.
Let's put it this way: Spencer Reid is a nice kid and a credit to the program, but I don't expect to see him get 17 carries in the spring game again this year.