New Site For Spring Game?

 

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The new Temple soccer stadium (drawing here) is fully completed.

Buried in a roundup of AAC spring football games was tidbit: “South Florida held its spring game at its soccer facility before 3,500 people.”

Funny, because that the exact number Temple estimated that was squeezed into the Edberg-Olson Football Complex for its spring game.

The USF game comfortably sat 3,000 people in Corbett Stadium with very few people standing. The Temple spring game had a couple of hundred people sitting in portable seats brought in the for occasion, with the rest of the fans trying to move their heads to get a few of the action.

USF soccer stadium. Tampa, Fla. Sept. 6, 2012.

This USF soccer stadium was the site of school’s spring  football game.

That all could change by the middle of next April as Temple will also have a soccer complex that seats 3,000 people. In roughly the same amount of square feet the university plans to build a football stadium, it will open a soccer/field hockey complex in the middle of next month. Both will have separate seating of 3,000—a nod to the Title IX regulations that call for equal facilities for men and women’s sports.

Still, if USF can hold its spring game at a soccer facility, so, too, can Temple.

The people who tailgate will just have to move to closer open lots, but the people who come to see the football will do so with an unobstructed view of the action. It will be a stopgap for the spring game until the school can build a football stadium, if indeed it ever does, but it will represent a considerable upgrade of the spring venue Owl fans have been used to for the last decade or so.

Nothing has been decided, but moving the game a few blocks seems to be a no-brainer.

Monday: What The Eff?

The Washed Masses

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The Sporting News has the Owls’ No. 1.

 

One of the benefits of Temple blowing the doors off Penn State and hanging with Notre Dame until the last play is a renewed respect for the program.

While you might have fans on other websites with a superficial knowledge of college football and not an insider’s view of the Owls saying the team “will take a step back,” journalists who do some real research have picked the Owls to finish in first place in the American Athletic Conference.

Call them the “Washed Masses.”

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SB Nation says title goes through Philly.

This post is to give both The Sporting News and SB Nation props for giving the Owls that kind of respect.

These are just two, although we saw one other preview that had the Owls finishing No. 22 in the country. I’m sure there will be more when the magazines with later deadlines hit the stands.

For now, though, The Sporting News is picking the Owls to win the AAC and SB Nation simply says that the road to the title goes through Philadelphia.

Aside from personnel issues (which we covered in Monday’s post) that seem to indicate that the Owls will be strongest in the areas where some of the best players have left (linebacker, center, wide receiver and cornerback), the schedule falls into place perfectly for the Owls. The toughest conference team on the schedule, South Florida, is home and it doesn’t take an overly sharp memory to recall that the Owls handled South Florida, 37-28, the last time they made it to Philadelphia.

UConn, Memphis and Cincinnati should also be tough, but the Owls beat UConn, 27-3, last year—at a time they were in a freefall—and Memphis has a new coach who probably will have growing pains. Cincinnati comes to Philadelphia and that should also make a big difference.

Now they just have to do it. September cannot come soon enough.

Friday: New Site for The Spring Game?

The Unwashed Masses

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Sean Chandler could get a lot of interceptions playing safety.

When it comes to expectations or lack thereof about Temple football’s 2016 season, there is a loud murmur going around on the internet about “Temple not being as good because of all the graduation losses.”

Usually, you find those remarks on other fan message boards like Rutgers, Penn State and Pitt, people who think they know more about Temple football than they really do.

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Avery Williams, one of three returning starting linebackers.

We who follow the team more closely know better. Just what are these “graduation losses” anyway? The Owls lost linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the national defensive player of the year, but they lost someone at a position where they already are strong because three linebackers—Jared Alwan, Stephaun Marshall and Avery Williams—return with 41 college football starts under their belts. They also lose a great tackle in Matt Ioannidis and a really good corner in Tavon Young, but the trade off is a four-star recruit Alabama wanted (Karamo Dioubate, who took a phone call from Nick Saban minutes before committing to TU) so the upside is there. It’s a question of how quick the learning curve is. With guys like Averee Robinson and Freddy Booth-Lloyd, the Owls have enough bodies in the middle to get by. As far as corner, the Owls have a few guys earned a lot of playing time (Artrel Foster and Nate Hairston) and, if either one of them falter, they can always move Sean Chandler back to corner. I think Chandler is primed for a big season of interceptions playing in the middle of the field. On offense, losses of talent like Robby Anderson and Kyle Friend can be mitigated by experience returning at both positions.

So maybe “all of those graduation losses” will not have a significant impact on the record.

As someone once said more than 2,000 years ago, “Father forgive them for they not know what they say”. Call them the “unwashed masses.”

People who know this team know it is going to be very good this season. The only thing debatable is how good. The lowest bar among those in the know is 8-4, while the highest one is the sky’s the limit. How high is the sky? I think this team has a real shot at the school record of wins, especially with the 126th-rated FBS schedule. Of course, winning the championship should be the goal.

Wednesday: The Washed Masses

Friday: New Site For Spring Game?

Monday: What the Eff?

Wednesday (8/3): Temple’s No. 1 Foe Is Not on Schedule

Friday (8/5): Thoughts on Summer Camp Opening

 

 

Temple Wins The Internet

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According to SI, the most popular team in Pennsylvania is .. Temple

We are now just about a few hours removed from the resolution of the strangest mid-summer controversy in the history of Temple University, the ouster of President Neil D. Theobald.

A couple of things came out of that settlement, one was that the Chairman of the Board, Patrick J. O’Connor, said the forward momentum of the university would keep moving forward in this letter to the Temple community (not to be confused with the North Philadelphia community):

letter

Not in the letter, but something O’Connor made clear to Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was that the stadium project will move forward and Theobald being gone won’t impede progress in that area.

That’s interesting because Temple has had momentum recently, with a hard-fought win on the field against Penn State. The football team also “beat” Penn State in the offseason, winning a Sports Illustrated mention as the most popular team in Pennsylvania.

Keeping that momentum will require another win in State College this fall but, as of now, it was nice to see Temple dominating that state map.

Monday: The Unwashed Masses

Wednesday: The Washed Masses

Friday: New Site For Spring Game?

Owls: Recharging The Batteries

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The team that toasts marshmallows together wins championships together. 

One of the fathers of the players mentioned to me a few years ago that being a Division I football player was a 365-day-a-week job.

As someone who took the Fox Chase Regional rail into Center City for many years past the 10th and Diamond complex, I nodded affirmatively. All of those years, mostly Al Golden ones, I marveled how the players worked out in the elements, be it snow in January, driving rain in April or 90-plus degree heat of July. In none of those months did the Temple Owls have a scheduled game.

I believe grind is the word we’re looking for here.

That same grind did not exist with Bobby Wallace, who lived in Gulph Shores, Alabama for two-plus months in his time at Temple coach. Not coincidentally, with Wallace gone and Golden here, the grind turned into winning and it was all worth it.

Even with a tough taskmaster like Golden, though, he understood that the grind needed to be interrupted by recharging the batteries from time to time. Golden did it on site with things like Youtube singing videos and having the team go over to the Student Pavilion for some full-court basketball. Golden had a Masters in Sports Psychology at Penn State, so he was applying what he learned.

Recently, though, Matt Rhule took it to another level when the Owls went upstate for some camping. How does this help the Owls beat, say, Penn State? Simple. The team that bonds together off the field sticks together on it.  From all reports, the Owls bonded nicely on the camping trip and extended the bonding to the numerous Community Service duties they have done since.

The grind is real, but mix in a little bonding with the grind, and that cannot hurt. As always, we will be able to tell for sure by December.

Friday: Temple Wins Internet

Englert: The Andres Blanco of Temple

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Richard M. Englert usually can be found in the middle of Temple crowds.

If the BOT moves at the same glacial pace to replace President Neil D. Theobald as it did when the subject of the stadium was given the “done deal” tag five years ago, Temple University should have a new President by, oh, say, July 20th, 2025.

So get to know Richard M. Englert, the Andres Blanco of Temple.

If the name sounds familiar, it should. Like Blanco with the Philadelphia Phillies,  when the lead guy goes down and Temple needs a capable fill-in guy, Englert seems to do the job. The last time Englert did the job—bridging the gap between Ann Weaver Hart and Theobald in 2012—the university was so impressed it gave Englert the title of Chancellor.

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Dick Englert

That title is not dispensed casually as only Peter J. Liacouras and (surprise) David Adamany have been named Chancellors in the long history of Temple. A very good President, Marvin Wachman, wasn’t nor was any of his predecessors.

Englert is probably highly thought of because he has in the past implemented the outline the Board of Trustees gave him. From a sports standpoint, he is pro-stadium and pro-football and seems to have a good relationship with Matt Rhule. One thing he has in common with Theobald is that he does not seem to have the connections in City Council or the community to get the stadium project done. Maybe the next President will (hint, hint).

As far as minor sports, do not expect volleyball to be cut during his tenure. He is a bigger fan of Temple women’s volleyball than he is of any other Temple sport. Meanwhile, he has been here since 1976 so he should be a familiar face in the tailgating crowd. If not, get to know the face at the top of this post.

He should be here for awhile and, if he can hit like Blanco, they might decide to keep him right where he is.

Wednesday: Recharging The Batteries

Ed Rendell For President (of Temple)

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Patrick J. O’Connor has turned to Ed Rendell before.

By the end of this month, they will be packing away the last folding chair at the Wells Fargo Center signaling the end of the Democratic National Convention.

It will also signal something else: Ed Rendell, the DNC Chairman, will need a job.

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Won’t need directions to get to TU.

As good fortune would have it, Temple has an opening that Rendell, the former Governor of Pennsylvania, would be perfect for: President of Temple University. Russell Conwell, the founder of the university, liked to talked about finding Acres of Diamonds in your own backyard and Rendell is that gem a stone’s throw away.

This is not about Temple football, or sports, because even if Temple was New York University and had no sports, Rendell would be perfect for the position because he checks off all the boxes:

1) He’s balanced big budgets before

Rendell served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011) and oversaw a budget of $28.3 billion as the chief executive of the nation’s 6th-most-populous state. As Governor, he successfully cut wasteful spending and improved efficiency leading to savings of over $1 billion. During his two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), Rendell eliminated a crippling deficit, balanced the City’s budget, and generated five consecutive budget surpluses.

2) He’s a people person

Let’s face it. A lot of the President’s duties are largely as a figurehead with a heavy dose of fund-raising and pressing the flesh. Rendell has a lot of experience in that area. He will raise the endowment of the university to a respectable level.

3) He’s well-connected in state and city government

He’s more likely to get big projects through the City Council, whether it is another campus high rise or a stadium, than Neil D. Theobald was. He knows the landscape and he knows how to twist arms and get things done.

4) He’s an academic

He currently is a Professor at Penn, teaching two courses.  Rendell being perhaps the best education Governor the Commonwealth has ever had, securing more funding for the state’s three major institutions (Temple, Penn State, Pitt) than five of his predecessors combined . He has a Bachelors from Penn and a Masters from Villanova, just like his future boss and former classmate, Patrick J. O’Connor.

As you can see by the photo at the top of this post, O’Connor has turned to Rendell before. It is now time for him to turn to Rendell again. Temple has what Rendell needs, a job, and Rendell certainly checks all of the boxes for Temple’s needs now.

Related:

Ed Rendell For President of Temple (Facebook page)

Rendell on Temple Stadium

 

Monday: The Andres Blanco of Temple