When it comes to college football and future schedules, it is always wise to follow the money. The money—in this case Power 5 opponents—is moving away from scheduling FCS schools and so should Temple.
Because what the P5 says, usually goes, and if the P5 conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12) have told their members to stop scheduling them, then the BCS is probably planning to tell the NCAA what to do and that will be making what is now a bowl-eligible game ineligible for bowl consideration.
That’s why Temple should start to clear the table of its future FCS opponents. On this page an updated list of Owl future foes as of a month ago. We’re hearing that Villanova for 2017 is a “done deal” and even that the Owls are talking to Bucknell for a future game. Hopefully, the 2017 Villanova game is a one-and-done deal and any thought of reviving the Bucknell rivalry for the “Old Shoe” has been quickly dismissed. (Temple once scored 82 points on Bucknell and then shortly after that lost 20-straight games, the first of two 20-game losing streaks Owl fans had to endure in the last 50 years.)
There are a lot of opponents who make sense for Temple football, especially since Penn State will be off the schedule, maybe forever, with this fall’s game.
Rutgers and Maryland because of geography and Syracuse, BC and Pitt because of past relationships make a great deal of sense. Virginia Tech and Miami should also be considered. Idaho, which just dropped FBS football, should also be dropped from the 2018 schedule. The problem with playing P5 schools for non-conference games is that they won’t play home-and-homes. Still, the Owls got a home-and-home with Maryland and should seek one with ‘Cuse and BC. If not, then dip into non-P5 schools like Buffalo (which we hear is also a done deal). A UMass game in 2017 holds no appeal, especially if the Minutemen follow Idaho in the FCS as rumored.
At a tailgate last fall, I asked Temple athletic director Pat Kraft, a former Indiana football player, about playing the Hoosiers and he said “they don’t want to play us” and that he had indeed asked them. He felt it was because Temple was getting too good. The only reason Temple is playing Stony Brook this year is because the Seawolves graciously stepped aside when Notre Dame asked for the 2014 game to be pushed back a year. Opponents similar to Delaware State and Stony Brook should never be considered again.
It’s not dissing those schools, just following the leaders Temple aspires to be a part of in the not-too-distant future.
Wednesday: Real Meaning of Unfinished Business