Getting a kick out of game-by-game predictions

Cap Poklemba kicks game-winning FG at West Virginia in 2001.

Listen to sports talk radio in Philadelphia and you’d think the NFL Eagles played a 365-game schedule.
Even with the Flyers involved in an exciting playoff series with the Penguins and the Phillies’ offense more impotent than a North Korean rocket, I would say at least 33 percent of the airwaves were devoted to a game-by-game breakdown of the recently released Eagles’ 2012 schedule.
Each caller would call out a game and give a “win” and a “loss” and come up with a figure.
I got out of that business a long time ago because there are too many variables involved.
When it comes to this season and Temple football, I’d like to think that the high end is 11-0 and the low end 8-3 but I simply don’t know.

Five games nobody thought the Eagles would win with a backup QB, but they did.

If, say, Brandon McManus goes down in the first game, I could see 3-8 as well. Field position would be terrible and the Owls would not have a reliable field goal kicker.
This isn’t like the NFL where you can get a good Canadian or Arena League kicker off the waiver wire. Toledo’s Todd French comes to mind.
This is Temple where the only backups are ex-high school kickers or guys from the lunch room in the Student Activities Center.
Typically, there is a huge drop in talent between the first- and second-team kickers at Temple. The only time I can remember two good kickers on the Owls was when Cap Poklemba and Jared Davis were on the roster. Davis was the “Chester Stewart” of Temple kickers. Great in practice, terrible in games. Poklemba was the Adam DiMichele. OK in practice, great in games. Poklemba was an All-Big East kicker. As good as Poklemba was, McManus is better. Knock on wood, he will be the BE first-team punter and placekicker.
Wayne Hardin had success recruiting guys off Walt Bahr’s soccer team at Temple like Don Bitterlich and Nick Mike-Mayer. But that was when Temple soccer was good.

What I don’t buy is this specious argument that if Temple can’t win the MAC, the Owls won’t be able to compete in the Big East.
I completely reject that argument. Last year, Temple, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Ohio would have done very well in the Big East.
The MAC was an underrated conference. The Big East was overrated.
This won’t be as difficult a transition as many think.

Nothing proved the “game-by-game” predictions more ridiculous than the Eagles’ 2006 season. Back then, even going in with a healthy (and, at that time, rather productive) Donovan McNabb, most observers picked the Eagles to lose four out of a tough five-game stretch to end the season.
Then McNabb got hurt.
What happened?
Backup Jeff Garcia led the Eagles to five straight wins over good teams and the Eagles won the NFC East.
Go figure.
Or don’t figure.


11 thoughts on “Getting a kick out of game-by-game predictions

  1. I agree its ridiculous to do game by game breakdowns for exactly those reasons. However, just like preseason rankings, they are meaningless but give the talking heads to talk about and it is all subjective and based on the past. I think this year it is possible to win every game on our schedule or lose every game on our schedule. We were a better team that PSU last year but could not pull it out, however, we also played down to bowling green and lost. statistically, the offenses last year of the Mac's top half were better than the Big east. and Temple's defense last year stacked up statistically with every team except Bama and LSU. That is why I get so frustrated with Big East Fans when there comments to Temple articles are "welcome to the big leagues" and "I don't think Temple will win any league games but they may squeak out 1 or 2"I can't wait for the season to start because I'm tired of Temple's early 2000 perception of being a bad football team. We all know that this team has the potential to compete with everyone on our schedule. But I tired of hearing about how we will be lucky to have a winning season and would much rather watch us open some eyes in the supposed "big leagues"

  2. I hear you, Tom.All you have to do is look at that photo.Too many of the BE fans I've talked to or read about think they are getting the 2004 version of Temple and give the Owls no credit.We Temple fans know better.All you need to do is look at that photo.That Temple winning at West Virginia could not compare with this Temple team. Not even close.Yet Temple won at West Virginia, 17-14, the very same year West Virginia beat Rutgers, 80-7.Temple will do just fine this year, but it will need the same relatively injury-free season it had in 2011.

  3. Isn't Holland a pretty good punter? The one kid punter they "kicked off" the team was a head case, but had a great leg. Trying to predict football games in April? Some folks have too much time on their hands and not much in their heads.

  4. I went over the high school careers of Holland and Tyler Mayes. Mayes, the backup placekicker, went 51-52 in PATs at Downingtown East but did not have a whole lot of field goals in high school. Holland is not a great punter from what I can see. In pre-game practices last year, McManus was booming them 20 yards farther than any other Temple punter. No lie.We need to recruit a big-time kicker. We've got a few months to do that, though.

  5. As far as the predicting games in April, I think the producers at WIP and 97.5 tell them to talk Eagles every day because it ups the ratings. That day I was listening was the day the NFL sked was released.

  6. Hi Mike, This question is little off topic but do you have any idea how the TU president search is going. It has been extremely quiet, I couldn't find anything on internet. There is only about two months left, this could have huge impact on TU athletics. Thanks

  7. Thanks, Clyde, for bringing that up.That was a major topic of conversation at C and W Day.I'm hearing that some backchannel discussions have gone on between BOT and Rendell and Rendell has shown SOME interest, but is inclined to continue what he's doing.So the question becomes whether or not BOT should do a "fullcourt blitz" to borrow two words from separate sports.I think it should.Just like I think the BE and Temple were meant to be together, Ed Rendell was meant to be president of Temple University.If he needs only a little arm-twisting, we should get somebody to twist it.He knows how to get money from Harrisburg. He knows how to schmooze with big donors and would double the Temple endowment.He knows how to put the Temple name from and center of the Philly sports (and every other kind) of media.He would do a great job.

  8. err, front and center, not from and center. Blogger should allow you to edit a comment. Ugh.

  9. Kenneth Starr, who was a political hatchet man, is now the president of Baylor University. They are under investigation for a several violations. Ironic poetic justice.Rendell would be perfect. Maybe Addazio should give him a pep talk.

  10. Please Please Please no Rendell. He is too much of a lightening rod on both sides. Yes he is a supporter of Temple athletics, but not sure what he brings besides that. The Harrisburg schmooze factor works when states have money. That train is or has ended on that front. I think Eddie likes his law firm gig (Ballard Spahr)and his appearances on CNBC and MSNBC. A TU presidency would make him work (too hard).

  11. I agree that Ed likes his law firm gig and probably would not take the TU job. I also agree that TU should at least make a hard run at Ed.I was shellshocked once by a David Adamanay type. I don't want the next guy to be so inclined.

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