Preseason magazines clueless about Owls

  Both Athlon and Phil Steele have the Owls in the basement.

In the same category of a somewhat older guy playing fullcourt basketball with 20-year-olds, falls the wisdom of putting too much faith in preseason college football magazines.
Both are pretty dumb.
I learned the former the hard way on Sunday shooting around on the neighborhood courts. I’ve always been able to shoot a basketball so every so often I like to take that skill for a spin around the block, like an cherished antique car sitting in the driveway, in order to keep the battery charged.
This Sunday, on the court next to me, there were seven 20-year-olds shooting around. They stopped to watch me as I hit nine three-pointers in a row.
One of them said they needed me to go a full four-on-four.
Against my better judgment and all the good voices inside my head, I said OK.
Shirts and skins, the oldest rivalry in sports. For mostly aesthetic purposes, they put the “old head” on the shirt team.
Since I’ve been running five miles a day this summer, I thought I could handle it. And I did for three hours of pure fun. I felt fine afterward, fine going home and fine going to bed.
The hard pounding and stopping on the basketball court took its toll and by 3 a.m. the next day, I could not get out of bed. Result: Knee injury.
Common sense said I should have told the kids no, but my pride said yes. Pride goeth before the fall, they say.
Same thing with college football magazines.

Local edition of Lindy’s has Silas Redd on cover.

Every time I see one at the local Giant Super Market, I pick it up with the intent to buy it. I look for the Temple references. Giant had Lindy’s and Athlon (both $7.99) and a much thicker Phil Steele Yearly ($8.95). One of them, the Lindy’s edition in the store (not the one pictured left), had Silas Redd on the cover in Penn State uniform.
I know the Redd thing is a deadline issue, but it was still clueless to put him on the cover knowing that Penn State was hanging under a very dark cloud by presstime.
Just as clueless, they all say Temple is going to finish last in the Big East and they all point to the loss of the starters on both sides of the ball.
None of them say that, in many cases, the replacements are better. Sean Boyle, in my mind, is a better center than John Palumbo (no offense intended, Mr. Palumbo).
They all mention that Bernard Pierce is gone. They just give passing reference to both Matty Brown and Montel Harris, who could be (and empirical evidence shows is) better than Bernard Pierce. None of them mention that Brown was Temple’s No. 1 all-purpose runner last year (and Pierce was No. 2 in that category).
They all mention leading tackler Stephen Johnson leaving. None of them talk about his replacement, Nate D. Smith. I’m going out on a very strong limb here and writing that Nate D. Smith will have an outstanding year at MLB for the Owls. If he doesn’t lead them in tackles, it will be because all of the Big East running backs will be tackled by the linemen before they get to the linebackers.
None of them mention the Owls know what they are doing on offense this year, running a true spread with three true spread quarterbacks, after fumbling around a year trying to find an offense that best suited the needs of two QBs with limited skill sets.
None of them mention that the Owls have a great kicking game, with maybe the best punter and placekicker in the nation (Brandon McManus). None of them mention that Chuck Heater is considered among the best defensive coordinators in the country, which he is. None of them write that a great running game, quarterback and defense and kicking game are prime ingredients for championship teams. The current Owls appear to have all of those ingredients. A running game shortens the clock and a kicking game wins the battle of field position and maybe steals a close game or two with a long FG.
I know the Owls will be way better than last place in the Big East. I’m hoping for first. If they finish second, it will only be behind Cincinnati, not preseason favorite Louisville. I don’t think they will go any lower than that. Pride says I should buy the magazines and shove it in their faces at the end of the season.
Common sense says I should leave them on the rack.
This time, I listened to common sense.
I should have done that Sunday.


4 thoughts on “Preseason magazines clueless about Owls

  1. Mike: great work!!!! The fact of the matter is this: the Big East is not a substantial upgrade from the MAC conference. Let's not forget that MAC won all but one of its bowl games last year. The only loss it suffered was a close game and I believe as a conference the MAC had 2 or 3 blowout wins. I honestly believe that the writers from these publications simply don't know the team and don't know the depth our players on defense, the strong running game that we have and dynamic special teams. I honestly believe that we will be competitive in every game we play and may potentially upset Penn State and Louisville which everyone seems to believe are the two toughest teams in our schedules. I must state that I like the fact that we are under the radar. Coming in under the radar will create more good press for the football team and help expand our fan base. I predict that another 2 years of winning football, prime home games against Boise State, Notre Dame and Penn State plus the Eagles continuing to raise its ticket prices will result in us playing in front of 45,000 to 50,000 per game.

  2. 7-4, or 6-5 is probably realistic at this point…we'll know more about this team after the PSU game

  3. 7-4, or 6-5, we'll know more after the PSU game

  4. Not to defend the preview magazines, but Athlon also puts each teams' overall ranking in the preview. Temple was ranked higher than all but Ohio and Northern Illinois as I recall. I think that sounds about right in the Mac (if Temple were still there).I do agree that last in the Big East sounds a bit low though. Non-Conference:Villanova – WinMaryland – Win (likely)Penn State – Loss (just going with history. There is a mental block that Temple has in beating Penn State and that showed last year)USF – LossUConn – WinRutgers – Win Tough one but I can't see Temple losing such a meaningful game)Pitt – Loss (Temple will win one of the two games against Rutgers and Pitt. This is my pick)Louisville – Loss(not as much of a guarantee win for the Cards as they would think though. The Cards are picked to win the Big East, however, they will be in a LOT of close games. They are not far and away better than everyone. Just well coached)Cincinnati – Loss(Just don't see it. Even at home)Army – WinSyracuse – WinLooks like we will make a bowl game and be 6-6 according to my calcs.

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