Temple bowl foes: The unusual suspects

Expect Morkeith Brown to be in the middle of the bowl celebration again.

All of this bowl talk reminds me of the shell game on the Jumbotron at Lincoln Financial Field.
You know the one.
Three Temple helmets and guess which one the ball is under.
That’s pretty much how it is today, about a week before the official selection Sunday.
Like that video game, there are too many moving parts to make a solid prediction but there are just enough moving parts to know it is a limited pool of opponents to chose from right now.
I’m pretty sure of two things. They are going to have a bowl selection party at the Liacouras Center and everybody is going to go crazy around Morkeith Brown in the center of the room.
Everything else is just speculation at this point. The real bowl is under one of six helmets.
What isn’t speculation is the number of teams are mostly unusual foes for Temple football. I like that aspect of the bowl games. Reminds me of the World Series before interleague play ruined that element.
Heck, I’m excited to be playing anywhere but I’m a little more excited about certain matchups.
The speculation:

1) Rutgers vs. Temple, Birmingham Ala. BBVA Compass Bowl _ Two sites have this has the possible matchup. This is very appealing to me for three reasons: 1) Temple is underrated and 2) Rutgers is overrated and 3) It would give Temple another chance to shove it in the Big East’s face. Put me down for this one. Army keeps coming up as a common foe. Rutgers beat Army, 27-13. Temple beat Army, 42-14. RU also beat Ohio at home, 38-26, while the Owls lost at Ohio. The Owls were struggling with QB issues vs. Ohio but got that ironed out by Army.

2) San Diego State vs. Temple, New Mexico Bowl _ Should be good weather for this one. The teams have one common opponent and that is Army. San Diego State beat Army, 23-20. Temple beat Army, 42-14. This appears to be more likely than the first one because it makes sense, geographically. San Diego State brings the crowd. Temple brings the East Coast TV ratings. If Temple fans want to go on the cheap, they can take scenic Route 66 out to Albuquerque. It’s only a three-day ride. I’ll have to thumb it because I can’t afford the gas money. Both CNNSI and CBS Sportsline have this matchup.
3) Western Kentucky vs. Temple, Kraft Hunger Bowl, San Francisco _ ESPN predicted this and it makes no sense to me at all. Not because Temple is there, but because Western Kentucky is there. Western Kentucky brings nothing to the table. No fans. No TV ratings. Western Kentucky is to FBS football what Villanova is to FCS football in terms of interest and that is no interest. Temple brings a big-time East Coast TV following. It would make a lot more sense if UCLA is able to obtain a NCAA waiver and compete in this bowl at 6-7. Either UCLA or Cal vs. Temple would be a bowl rematch and a great game.

4) Florida International vs. Temple, Beef O’Brady Bowl _ Plenty of Temple fans in the Clearwater/St. Pete, Fla. area because I run into them every March at Phillies Spring Training. Probably the nicest town (go to Ybor City for night life) and the best weather. I’ll take it over any venue but Birmingham. Don’t like the foe because beating FIU doesn’t do much to promote the Temple football brand. Both teams have one common foe: Akron. FIU beat the Zips, 27-17. Temple won, 41-3.

5) Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Temple, New Orleans Bowl _ Great town, not-so-great foe. See the note on Florida International as far as promoting the Temple brand. The teams have one common foe, Kent State. Temple beat Kent State, 34-16. Louisiana-Lafayette beat Kent State, 20-12. College Football News is reporting this matchup.

Temple fans are still thawing out from D.C. game in 2009.

6) Wake Forest vs. Temple, Military Bowl _ Affords Temple fans the short and relatively cheap Amtrak trip to Washington, D.C., just like 2009. Unlike 2009, it can’t get to be that cold again in late December. Average high in Washington that week is 48. Temple drew 20,000 fans despite wind-chills below zero and a real temperature of 11 degrees above zero. Both teams have one common opponent, Maryland. Not much to chose. Temple went on the road and won at Maryland, 38-7. Wake beat Maryland at home, 31-10. This would be a nice win for Temple in front of a big homefield advantage for the Owls. USA Today is reporting this matchup.
Listen, when you are in the MAC and you don’t take care of business in three league games, any bowl is a great bowl.
There are just some better than others and I’m rooting for the first or second matchup.
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13 thoughts on “Temple bowl foes: The unusual suspects

  1. Hey Mike, Should we be scared of Urban Meyer taking any of our staff to Ohio State with him? My guess would be Chuck Heater as the most likely to go. I think the rest are safe.

  2. Definitely my first choice would be Rutgers for all the same reasons, plus I can rub it in the face of all my Rutgers neighbors, but as you said, both teams bring the east coast market. Second choice for me is the Hunger Bowl if its UCLA or Cal. The rest are nice, but don’t give me the star power or name recognition opponent to make this a statement game about the program (good or bad depending on the outcome).The disturbing news on philly.com sports is that Addazios name is in the mix for the Illinois job. Not yet, please not yet! I feel confident he will do the right thing and stay 2 more seasons, but this is another reason to get this program into a REAL conference! I know I’m not as high on C-USA as most on here, and I still would like to see a strong push to the ACC, but in any event the clock is ticking TU, it’s time to make something happen, fast!

  3. I think we have to look at bowl tie ins. MAC has a contract to be the backup for both the BBVA and Hunger Bowl. That would be the 4th and 5th MAC teams. BBVA is already in play because SEC doesn't have 9 teams eligible.(2 teams will go to BCS) Hunger Bowl is more interesting, it all comes down to the Hawaii-BYU game. If Hawaii wins they play in their own bowl and Nevada goes to the Hunger Bowl. If BYU wins Nevada goes to play in Hawaii and Temple or another MAC team goes to play in San Fran. All the other games would be as an at large team. New Mexico makes sense as the last team picked to be in a bowl. New Orleans doesn't make any sense unless there is a trade (which is allowed)with a big 10 team going to San Fran and Temple going to New Orleans. My pick is Temple to the Hunger bowl to play UCLA. All indications are UCLA's waiver will get approved because the PAC 10 doesn't have enough teams to fulfill their bowls. Temple vs. UCLA is the game I am looking forward to on New Year's eve.

  4. Philly.com does the laziest reporting I've ever seen. They google a Chicago Tribune speculation piece about Addazio and they run with it like Illinois is really looking at him.Duh?Correct me if I'm wrong but he took Big East-level talent and lost key games to Bowling Green and Ohio.Neither team have anywhere near Addazio's talent.Let's not get crazy here.Addazio has a lot of work to do at Temple.

  5. yes, we should be scared of Heater leaving. Heater is a God in my eyes and not much less in Urban Meyer's eyes since he called him "Mother Theresa" as recently as last year.Maybe near-God status.I LOVE Heater.That's why I hope Urban goes after Teryl Austin, his other co-defensive coordinator from last year with Florida.Heck, I hope he hires all his old Bowling Green coaches and stays away from his Utah/Florida connections.

  6. potential Temple bowl opponents is a great conversation to be having, especially compared to last year….,let's hope for an early January or late December game..more time for Coyer to recover and more practice time. a month of extra practice is invaluable for the O-line of 2012 and the offense in general….., if we don't match the OSU offer to Heater then we'll know TU isn't serious about big time college football….

  7. good point, Northern VA football owl …my only caveat is that Daz is making $825K a year from Temple.Meyer will be making $4 million a year from OSU.D'Onofrio made $325K as Golden's chief assistant.I'm sure Daz got Heater and Loeffler $400K each.Now both of Urban's coordinators are going to be making $1-2 mill a year (let's say $1.5 million each).Does Temple match OSU offer and pay its DC twice as much as head coach?No.Temple is serious about football, but not THAT serious to get into a nuclear arms' race.I highly recommend Meyer hire Teryl Austin as his DC.That's our best hope to keep Heater.Of course, I could win the $47 million tomorrow night and become the Robert Burton of Temple football myself and make up the difference, but that's not likely.(I would throw in $5 million to sweeten the Daz/Heater/Loeffler pot if I had it but only Cos has it.)

  8. Why would Daz go to Illinois? He would have to compete against Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, and Penn State. The chances of being successful are far less than at Temple. If he was going to UCLA or Arizona State, I would understand. Outside of Oregon and USC, there is not much there (Stanford will probably come back to earth after Luck leaves).As for Bowl games, lets stay away from the New Orleans Bowl. It has the lowest payout and is a no win situation. If you beat LA Lafayette, nobody cares because it is a Sun Belt team. If you lose, then the program takes a hit for not being able to beat a Sun Belt team.Probably impossible, but the best case scenario is the Pinstripe Bowl. Easy travel and a payout more than 3 times that of New Orleans Bowl.

  9. I hope it does turn out to be the BBVA vs. Rutgers for two main reasons…the 1st echoing Mike's reasons being a former Eastern rival, bringing a solid Phila./NJ viewership, etc.However, the 2nd reason is strictly because the game is 1/7. I view this as getting invaluable extra practice time, specifically for those underclassmen that are in reserve roles whom can get many additional practice reps. Since Spring ball is more abbreviated, it offers less quality practice time to prepare for the fall season. This additional practice time is big for preparing for the 2012 season.

  10. Great point about the timing of the game. It'll be like having two spring practices. Additional time to get the redshirts up to game speed and it would help Chris Coyer as well. Win/win.As far as Daz and Illinois, he is sitting on a Gold Mine at Temple. Gold.He sits in the geographic center of 50 percent of the nation's population. He not only has Philly and the suburbs to chose from, he's got all of NJ, NY, Maryland and a good chunk of Virginia.If he really is the three-time national recruiter of the year, he should be able to convince 25 great players a year to come to Temple. Not the 25 best, but 25 great ones.

  11. GREAT news, multiple news sources say that Urban is going to keep Luke Fickell (current interim coach) on staff. All sources indicate that he will be paid $700k/year and return as Defensive Coordinator… "Mother Theresa" stays in the 215!

  12. At this point, I don't see Daz leaving. I believe him when he says the Temple can be the Boise State of the East. Daz & Heater are slowing creating a program which people are taking seriously and high school athletes are listing as their first choice. Big Bucks will come to them as the program rises. This bowl discussion stuff is great! I can't wait until Sunday to watch the bowl selection show!

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