Over the last few days, there has been speculation about Temple being, err, cherry-picked by the Big 12 as part of that conference’s proposed expansion.
My reaction to that is pretty much the same as my feeling about an on-campus stadium. Two words: Not happening.
If the Owls averaged
in Lincoln Financial
Field over the past
few years, they would
be in the Big 12 right
now and this would
not even be a discussion.
One, is because of outside influences that are dead set against Temple having a stadium. There are just not enough votes in City Council and there never will be to get the necessary street approvals the university needs for a stadium. Two, the university’s own proposed price tag—building a stadium for the dirt cheap price of $128 million—suggests that it does not have any money for the necessary accoutrements needed (health care center, community center, playground) to bribe the community into giving the stadium its approval.
The fault for not being seriously in play for the Big 12 lies elsewhere: Softcore Temple fans. You know the type. This is the guy who lives within an hour of Lincoln Financial Field, makes only one (or less) home games a year, but spends the afternoon or evening on his couch with the potato chips on the coffee table, the remote in one hand and the other feverishly typing comments on the computer about the game on Owls Daily or Owl Scoop.
To me, it’s OK to do that for a road game but I see that happen much too often for home games. It’s not the fault of those people you see tailgate every week, but the fault of those people you see once a year.
Temple, to me, has a hardcore fan base of 20-25,000 and a much larger group of fans who will follow the Owls on TV but not to the stadium. The reason West Virginia is in the Big 12 now and Temple is not is because Mountaineer fans make it to the stadium. If the Owls averaged 45-50,000 fans in Lincoln Financial Field over the past few years, they would be in the Big 12 right now and this would not even be a discussion. The Temple administration can point to the TV market and success on the field, but those thousands of empty seats is a handicap hard to overcome.
As it is, we are on the outside looking in and will probably be pressing our noses against the window while others are chosen. As Shakespeare wrote in the play Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.”
Friday: Media Day Thoughts
Monday: The Updated Roster
Wednesday: We’re Talking Practice