Football Must Now Help Basketball

This kind of student turnout is mandatory if the Owls ever want to be treated fairly.

This kind of student turnout is mandatory if the Owls ever want to be treated fairly.

The entire Temple campus is still stinging from the latest proof that college basketball is now as corrupt as college football.

The old terms used to be RPI, strength of schedule, injuries, how teams play down the stretch. Now the only thing that’s meaningful is the vague “eye test” which means, if you are not a Power 5 team, we cannot see you.

I created an open group in the Fox Sports bracket called "Temple Got Screwed." Anyone is invited to join.

I created an open group in the Fox Sports bracket called “Temple Got Screwed.” Anyone is invited to join.

The best way for Temple to become a Power 5 team is to win in football. No longer will 6-6 be acceptable. No longer will losses to Penn State be acceptable. A win over Notre Dame would hasten the call, as will filling the stadium for the other games. None of this is easy, but nothing worthwhile is.

By all NCAA criteria, Temple’s resume was superior to that of both UCLA and Indiana in every respect except the one that should not have mattered at all: Its athletic program was not a member of the Power 5, which has taken over the NCAA and remade it into its own playpen.

The NCAA’s No. 1 criteria is RPI, and Temple’s RPI of 34 was better than the RPI of Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Iowa, UCLA and Oklahoma State, along with six other teams in the tournament. Another factor the NCAA says weighs heavily is how the team plays down the stretch, and Temple won 10 of its final 12 games, a superior run to most of the schools in the 68-team field, let alone the Power 5 schools.

Temple has a 25-point win over a No. 2 seed, Kansas, and none of the other bubble teams had a win like that on their resume. Only Kentucky has beaten Kansas by a bigger margin.

UCLA getting in over Temple was particularly galling. Temple’s record was 23-10, while UCLA’s was 20-13. Temple’s RPI was 34, while UCLA’s was 47; Temple’s record against the RPI top 100 was 8-8, while UCLA’s was 5-10. Temple’s best win against the RPI top 100 was Kansas (No. 2), while UCLA’s was against Utah (No. 20). Temple’s conference record was 13-5, while UCLA’s conference record was 11-7.

Most bracketologists dismissed Steve Alford’s team from the field altogether, but UCLA comfortably made the field of 68 while also avoiding a First Four game in Dayton. Most of those same bracketologists had Temple comfortably in the field.

Those experts assumed that the selection committee would follow its own guidelines, but failed to consider the fact that the Power 5 gets what it wants. That’s the reason why Sunday was a sad day not only for fans of Temple, but for all fair-minded sports fans.

Hmm. No mention of a stadium.

Hmm. No mention of a stadium.

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13 thoughts on “Football Must Now Help Basketball

  1. Is RPI their No. 1 criteria? There is no list of criteria on the NCAA website that I can find. They do have a list of resources but it does not seem to be in any sort of hierarchy:

    Among the resources available to the committee
    are complete box scores, game summaries and
    notes, pertinent information submitted on a
    team’s behalf by its conference, various
    computer rankings, injury reports, head-to-head
    results, chronological results, Division I results,
    non-conference results, home, away and neutral
    results, rankings, polls and the NABC regional
    advisory committee rankings.

  2. I have to agree. College athletics is now a joke. It is a cash cow run by the power five. This reminds me of when the Olympics were opened to professional athletes. I must be in the minority but I miss amateur athletics. I say be careful of the future you want it might just happen and be nothing like your vision. Be careful Power Five.

  3. Well said Mike. I already know if Temple Football goes undefeated – including wins over notre dame and psu – the powers that be will keep them out. Basketball had been different for the most part until this year. Not just Temple, but Colorado St. and Richmond were robbed as well.

    • gaining acceptance into the most logical power 5 conference for Temple, the ACC, would not be possible if even our football team had back-to-back undefeated seasons…., Temple’s academic rankings would have to improve dramatically for consideration. Temple has the lowest academic ranking of any current school in the ACC, Big Ten, or SEC. Hard to be considered a peer institution when the facts speak otherwise…,

      • some of the dumbest athletes I’ve ever encountered play for Maryland’s basketball and football teams. Our kids speak like Rhodes Scholars in comparison … and that school was in the ACC for years. There’s no way anyone can convince me that cheating to keep athletes in school North Carolina’s standards are higher than ours. We are definitely at least the equal of North Carolina State academically and probably superior. We’re no Duke, but Duke is to the ACC what Vandy is to the SEC, Northwestern is to the Big 10, Stanford to the PAC-12.
        This paper got a A grade at North Carolina. It would be laughed out of every classroom at Temple:

  4. kj, what academic ranking are you referring to? Grade averages for the athletes, the student body at large or the quality of what’s offered as majors? It’s hard to believe that with a law school, med school, top 20 art school, etc., etc. that Temple is worse than all SEC schools. Please explain.
    Good article. Money talks, not everybody walks. Power and money is the bottom line and driving toward consolidating college sports into 5 super conferences for TV money at the expense of every other school in the country is what’s happening. But greed, that’s the American way….

    • specifically the entire undergraduate student body. Temple has the lowest average SAT/ACT scores of any power five school

  5. Thanks for the explanation kj. I know SAT/ACT scores have been a standard qualifier for years, but the latest thing I’ve read is that they don’t do a very good job determining how well a student will do once they’re in college (because some people are just not good at taking those specific kinds of tests). Not to make excuses, but that still doesn’t show how good Temples quality of education and programs are comparatively. I know it’s no Stanford or Vanderbilt or Northwestern, but Temple’s foundation was to provide a good education for people of average means and if that means accepting kids with lower scores to give them a chance, so be it. It doesn’t mean that if they make it through, they’re not getting a good and comparable education. (Testing is a touchy subject right now. I don’t no one teacher that likes these new standardized tests that are being foistered on the public school kids to be the be-all and end-all of rating success in the classroom, as example.) But to say that Temple as a university is not very good just because of accepting lower-scored kids, is not a good “test” of what kind of education a person can get at Temple once they’re there. It’s 2 different things. And anyway, I think its the quality of the sports programs, not the academic level, that will be graded to get Temple into a power-5 conference or not. And rick, I’m in the minority with you. Money has bastardized amateurism, the Olympics and college athletics for sure, and it’s just getting worse by the day. Oh, well.

    • On the other hand, why should the sponsors all get rich off of the athletes and how do they get money for training and living expenses. Amateur athletics stemmed from an elitist view of sport that tried to restrict them to the upper crust. On top of that eastern bloc athletes were not amateur athletes. This is not to say that I’m sickened by the pursuit of money in college sports especially the salaries of coaches that has led to the destruction of long-time rivalries because of the abandonment of college alignments based on geography. I am definitely not for paying college athletes but would not object to a stipend of fifty or a hundred bucks a month.

  6. Are you guys saying that Rutgers academically belongs in the Big 10? Come on. Education has nothing to do with this anymore. It used to, but not any more. For Temple to survive, it needs to join a Power 5 conference. They have 2 options, the ACC and the Big 12. Too far east for the PAC 12, Penn State would never let them joint the Big 10 and they are too far north for the SEC.

    The Big 12 makes the most sense to me now. For 1 they only have 10 teams and they will need to add more. At least 2, but maybe 4. Temple would also allow them to expand to the Northeast. (More TV sets for the Longhorn network – the real driving force of that conference) WVU is already in so it is not that far of a stretch.

    I used to think the ACC made the most sense and it still might since there is nobody in Maryland (but Pitt may try to block that.)

    If they don’t get in one of those two conferences, Temple football will slowly fall into oblivion with the rest of the Group 5 schools. It won’t be long before they are in the same conference as Delaware and Villanova. Sad to say that, but I do not see any of these Group 5 schools playing big time football after the next couple of years. I would be shocked if Temple has a seat when the music stops. Hope I am wrong.

  7. Real long shot.., the big five conferences are like a cartel. the presidents of the schools in each conference have to vote you in. You must have something in common with the other schools. Rutgers got into the Big Ten for several reasons.., one is their academics standards are on the same level, two is the East coast market..,and three is their total football performance during the last five years. they made a huge capital investment by upgrading their on-campus stadium, which they fill by the way.

    Three things will preclude Temple getting voted in a power conference:
    1. Revenue expressed in ticket sales, home game attendence, and TV ratings
    2. Undergraduate academic standards and ratings not on par with the other other conference schools
    3. On field performance

    • I agree with points 1 and 3, and that could keep Temple out, but I think TV revenue will trump that and Temple can offer the Northeast to the Big 12.

      I don’t agree with your 2nd point at all. I think you undervalue Temple. U.S. News and World Report ranks Temple #121 for National Universities. That is ahead of 4 Big 12 schools, 1 ACC school, 6 SEC schools, and 5 Pac 12 schools.

      If you can deliver TV sets for the new networks, nobody cares about academics.

  8. Thanks MDowl for clarifying where Temple stands academically compared to other big conference schools – as I suspected they’re right int there in that category. The big 12 conference does make a lot of sense along with WV.

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