In that rather large binder Al Golden took to the interview with former Temple University athletic director Bill Bradshaw was a chapter entitled the “46 Percent Theory.”
Golden had taken an interest in the Temple program from the time he was a tight end at Penn State and an assistant there, at Boston College and at Virginia. All the while the Golden Goal was to take over a program of his own and Temple had been on his mind because, he said, it was squarely in the middle of 46 percent of the nation’s population. Draw a 500-mile circle, put Philadelphia in the middle, and there’s just left than half the population.
Golden’s theory was that since Temple was in the middle of 46 percent of the population, its unique geographical position could be a recruiting advantage over most other schools. Parents could be sold on sending their kids to Temple because it is a short drive from anywhere on the East Coast and inexpensive to get to the games. It is also in the middle of transportation hubs like airlines, trains and buses. In that circle are big cities like Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston, Baltimore, Richmond and Charlotte. Heck, even Buffalo, Cleveland and Cincinnati are less than 500 miles away from 10th and Diamond.
That theory helped turn the Owls from laughing stock to respectability and, maybe someday, the Owls will be getting Tyliek Raynors and Anthony Russos at every position. Maybe that’s the eventual goal, but being in the middle of so many people gives Temple an advantage most other AAC schools just to not have. Golden, who was 35 when he took the Temple job, got the recruiting end as soon as his feet hit the ground.
Matt Rhule is getting there because, in the current crop of commitments, the Owls have dominated the circle. Of the 23 commits so far, only three have come from outside the circle and two are from Florida. One, Montel Aaron, is from California.
The Owls don’t have catchy phrases like Rutgers (“fence the garden”) or Penn State (“dominate the state”) but, if they do well enough within the circle Golden outlined, it’s a better system than any slogans.
There are two more scholarships left, and here’s hoping the Owls pull in a couple of big catches to close things out.