Scotty Hartkorn’s brilliant Temple trailer is worth watching more than once.
|A hot forecast for what could be an even hotter season for Temple|
As a 30-year season-ticket-holder (and Temple football fan long before that), I can say one thing clearly and unequivocally:
THIS IS THE MOST-ANTICIPATED TEMPLE SEASON OF MY LIFETIME.
Will it be the best-ever?
That is yet-to-be determined, but I will write this down now for the historians and the pundits to revisit come November:
Temple will not finish last in the Big East this season. In fact, the likely landing spots are either No. 1 or No. 2. I refuse to go any lower.
There is not a team on this schedule Temple can’t beat. Conversely, there is not a team on this schedule who can’t beat Temple. I like that because of the focus factor. No games off, no plays off.
That’s where Temple’s edge, toughness, comes into play. This is a very tough, proud team who will play the whole season with a huge chip on their shoulder.
If it was a tough team without talent, that would be one thing. This team is every bit as talented as any team they will play.
Heck, the 22 starters on this Temple team are as good as any 22 starters on any Temple team I have ever seen and that includes the 10-2 Temple team that was only 17 points (split between two losses to Penn State and a 10-9 loss to No. 1 Pitt) from being 12-0.
Yes, that’s how close Temple was to being a national champion in 1979.
In almost all areas, I like this Temple team better than that one and this schedule is easier than the one that team faced.
As good as Brian Broomell was then, Chris Coyer has shown flashes of being a better quarterback now. Broomell called the greatest audible I’ve ever seen a Temple QB make. It was in the 1979 Villanova game at that tiny high school stadium they still have. Broomell went up to the line and saw that Gerald “Sweet Feet” Lucear was being single-covered. Without saying a word, Broomell pointed to Lucear, pointed to the end zone, tapped the center on hip, took the snap and threw a perfect 70-yard strike for a touchdown.
Temple 42, Villanova 10.
Coyer has the same kind of intelligence and skills, but they have better communication methods now. I see him doing the same thing with, say, Jalen Fitzpatrick.
It’s not even close between the Montel Harris/Matty Brown hybrid and a great running back named Kevin Duckett.
Not close because Duckett wasn’t good but because Harris and Brown are great.
I have to take Mark Bright over Wyatt Benson at fullback only because they gave Bright a chance to carry the ball. Bright was a great blocker. Benson is a better blocker. Both were/are team-first guys. Give Benson the ball as much and Benson is better, but I’ll never be able to prove that hypothesis. The game has changed enough in 30 years that the fullback rarely gets the ball.
The one area I would give a big advantage to the 1979 team was offensive line. Joe Paterno called the Temple offensive line “the best offensive line in the country” before the 1979 game and that was not mere hyperbole. Still, Martin Wallace and Sean Boyle could have played on that line and Benson’s role as a blocker means that the Owls will block enough people for Harris, Brown and Coyer to make explosive plays downfield.
Defense, I like the athleticism and line play of Chuck Heater’s group over the 1979 team.
The 2012 team is the far and away better, especially with Brown returning kickoffs and Brandon McManus handling the plackicking and punting duties.
I have to take Wayne Hardin over Steve Addazio only because Hardin was to coaching what Bobby Fischer was to playing chess. He was able to fully transfer the 152 IQ he had into checkmating virtually every coach with similar talent. And Hardin was crazy like a Fox. Fischer turned out to be just plain crazy.
Yet as a motivator and CEO Addazio is every bit Hardin’s equal and no (none, zero) coaching staffs in the Big East are as good as Temple’s now.
Vince Hoch was a great defensive coordinator, but he could not hold Chuck Heater’s clipboard.
I know all of this because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
The people who pick Temple last in the Big East have seen nothing.
That’s why this most-anticipated season could turn out to be the best one as well.
Five days until kickoff.
It can’t come soon enough.
Tomorrow: Why I hate everything about Villanova not named Andy Talley or Joe Eichhorn