UAB: The Temple of The South

uab

UAB is spending $250 million on its stadium, twice as much as TU.

When I was working at the Philadelphia Inquirer, two cubicles down from me was a guy who, like me, was born inside the City Limits of Philadelphia, went to a high school inside the city limits and, also like me, graduated from Temple University.

The difference between the two of us was that he wore Alabama apparel to work and went crazy with each play every time Alabama was on the newsroom television and I did the same for Temple.

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Years after that played out every night at work, I am now an Alabama fan. Not the Roll Tide version, but the 2.0 rollout version of Alabama-Birmingham. (Don’t worry, unlike my fellow co-worker, Temple still comes first.) Unfortunately, the rollout doesn’t come until the 2017 season, but this is a story that is worth following nonetheless.

There are at least five reasons for this:

  • UAB is bringing back football after dropping it.
  • UAB is trying to do it by bringing in ready-made JUCO recruits.
  • UAB is trying to build an on-campus stadium after years playing in a stadium too large for its fan base.
  • Tyler Haddock is on the roster.
  • Mark Ingram is the athletic director.

All good, solid reasons to follow the Blazers, as Ingram was the assistant athletic director at Temple recently and Haddock held the Temple recruiting class together almost single-handedly between the time Steve Addazio quit and Matt Rhule was hired.

Haddock never got a chance to play for Temple, but it should be interesting to see what kind of impact he makes on the field. In order to get up to speed, the program recruited JUCO players with the promise of playing right away.

It should be interesting to see how well they do. I will be rooting for them, just not as hard as my former co-worker rooted for the Crimson Tide.

Friday: Camp Rhule

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9 thoughts on “UAB: The Temple of The South

  1. interesting, they have Florida on the 2017 schedule and Texas A&M on the 2018 schedule..,

    • recruiting JUCOs did not work for Bobby Wallace because Temple was kicked out of the BE and facing an uncertain future; UAB is on more solid footing now than Temple was then. If they can win right away with JUCOs, they can then begin to recruit more traditionally. It’s a gamble, but one they had to make. Interesting that they dropped football after they were bowl eligible in the 2014 season.

      • Mike, from the stories I read seemed Alabama may of had some “influence” in UABs dropping football. Don’t know how much of that is just rumor and innuendo.

  2. Yes, I heard that, too, but obviously they didn’t have enough influence to keep UAB from reinstating it. UAB had much more trouble drawing fans than Temple has and photos of its “crowds” in a 71,600-seat Legion Field were really sad. They are much farther ahead than Temple in this process. TU hasn’t even released a drawing to the public yet.

  3. UAB would be a a great replacement for Temple in the AAC after the Owls move to the ACC or Big 12. The ESPN conference prefers large TV markets.

  4. Introduced myself when I saw Matt Rhule in a restaurant last night. In a bar area floundering in suits he was the only guy wearing gym shorts and a polo (Boca Raton might I add). I made it quick and noticed he was with a guy in s sharp suit. Then it hit me. “Oh God. He’s getting poached”. Haha, fun experience either way.

    • Which bar? What town was it in? I assume the Boca Raton reference was to the polo. (Poaching season for CFB is over, but it could have been a Temple admin or booster.)

      • Urban Farm on the Parkway (Philly). He was likely just trying to relax until some deranged TUFootball fan with a big grin came over. And yes, that was the polo he was wearing. Our Waterloo that shouldn’t have been.

  5. ahh, my old neighborhood. .. used to live near 19th and Callowhill right up to 2007.

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