One of the benefits of Temple blowing the doors off Penn State and hanging with Notre Dame until the last play is a renewed respect for the program.
While you might have fans on other websites with a superficial knowledge of college football and not an insider’s view of the Owls saying the team “will take a step back,” journalists who do some real research have picked the Owls to finish in first place in the American Athletic Conference.
Call them the “Washed Masses.”
This post is to give both The Sporting News and SB Nation props for giving the Owls that kind of respect.
These are just two, although we saw one other preview that had the Owls finishing No. 22 in the country. I’m sure there will be more when the magazines with later deadlines hit the stands.
For now, though, The Sporting News is picking the Owls to win the AAC and SB Nation simply says that the road to the title goes through Philadelphia.
Aside from personnel issues (which we covered in Monday’s post) that seem to indicate that the Owls will be strongest in the areas where some of the best players have left (linebacker, center, wide receiver and cornerback), the schedule falls into place perfectly for the Owls. The toughest conference team on the schedule, South Florida, is home and it doesn’t take an overly sharp memory to recall that the Owls handled South Florida, 37-28, the last time they made it to Philadelphia.
UConn, Memphis and Cincinnati should also be tough, but the Owls beat UConn, 27-3, last year—at a time they were in a freefall—and Memphis has a new coach who probably will have growing pains. Cincinnati comes to Philadelphia and that should also make a big difference.
Now they just have to do it. September cannot come soon enough.
Friday: New Site for The Spring Game?