“Krafting” Better Schedule

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Unless Pat Kraft tinkers with the schedule, after ND this year, Oklahoma in 2024 is really the only high-profile opponent on any of the Owls’ future schedules.

Whether or not he wants to admit it, Pat Kraft has a scheduling problem.

Too many Idahos and Bucknells on the schedule and not enough teams that create juice nationally.

As the Sixers learned in their pursuit of Fultz, there’s really only one way to fix a problem.

Give something to get something.

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Whether he wants to admit it or not, having Stony Brook on the schedule—instead of beating another Power 5 team—did the AAC champions no favors last year

 

 

Dr. Kraft, the athletic director at Temple, has something to give up for an overall greater reward.

Pick the Idaho and Bucknell years, specifically, and give up those home games for a road game against a more high profile opponent.

Kraft has said two things publically about his scheduling philosophy. One, that he will not accept anything less than a home-and-home with anyone. Two, that no one wants to play the Owls. While that might be his stated philosophy, there is evidence to the contrary.

Both have been debunked by the Oklahoma series starting in 2024.

That’s not a home-and-home (it’s a two-for-one) and, by playing the Owls, Oklahoma has disabused the notion that no one wants to play the Owls.

There have to be other Oklahomas out there and it is up to Dr. Kraft to find them.

Whether he wants to admit it or not, having Stony Brook on the schedule—instead of beating another Power 5 team—did the AAC champions no favors last year. That’s why the “prize” for winning the title of the best G5 conference was not a NY6 bowl but a back-to-the-future trip bowl that the Owls made in 2009.

Since the 2018 non-conference schedule (Villanova, Maryland, BC) is devoid of the Bucknells and Idahos—who really should not be playing Temple—let’s concentrate on the 2019 schedule first.

The Owls’ home opener is the body bag game with Bucknell on Aug. 31. On that weekend, for instance, Baylor is set to open with Stephen F. Austin. Kraft can get on the phone with his self-described “best friend in the whole world” (Matt Rhule) and arrange for the Owls to travel to Waco that day. Surely, Matt would not back down from the same kind of challenge Oklahoma accepted. Then his next move would be to get on the horn with K.C. Keeler and arrange for SFA to host Bucknell.

As the French say, Voilà!

Problem solved. Temple gives up a home game which would be sparsely attended for a road game where there’s a lot of juice to energize the fan base for future home games that year.

The next problem is the Idaho game, a home one on 9/12/20. Since the Owls’ long-term goal should be to get into the ACC, that’s where their focus should be.

Both Miami (Fla.) and Pitt have openings on that date and Temple should offer a home-and-home to both schools. If neither takes it, then offer up the Idaho home game as a sacrifice to the football Gods and take a one-and-done road game. Tell the Vandals thanks for the return date, but no thanks and help them get a game with Villanova or something.

Kraft’s scheduling problem is going to remain one until he does something about it. Otherwise, you can plan your shore trips around the Idaho and Bucknell dates.

Friday: Collins’ Best Week Ever

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13 thoughts on ““Krafting” Better Schedule

  1. road warriors, take the money with one great upset win every year…,

    we have several huge problems to overcome on the road to sustainability.., one is head coach stability, another is maintaining a respectable schedule year over year……,

    remember when nobody wanted to play the Bowden led Seminoles? FSU built a program by winning big games on the road in two for one deals..,

    Kraft has to sit back and weight the facts, ego aside…,

    all hands on deck, bet the house and beat ND.., beating ND on the road will change Kraft’s tune..,

  2. He should call Bill Bradshaw to learn how to “kraft” a schedule.

  3. Dear Dr Kraft: I’m not coming up from the shore for Bucknell and Idaho. I will for any P5 team. If it takes 2/1 or even 3/1 to get PSU and ND on the future schedules, do it. Do 3/2 with Pitt. I know I make it sound easy. But when the Owls open against ND this season, I’ll be in a crowded bar with a lot of people wearing TU shirts. Great exposure for the University. But you have to know your relative bargaining position. Try the Pitt exchange recommended above. If Pitt gets 10,000 more seats filled for TU, maybe you get something done with them in the future. In short, when it comes to OOC games, give us excitement.

    Yours truly,
    A Season Ticket Holder who isn’t coming up from the shore for

  4. … up from the shore for Idaho

  5. Mike, when you say things like “having Stoneybrook on the schedule instead of BEATING another P5 team,” I can only think that there are no guarantees the Owls would beat any P5 team – we only have an opportunity to beat a P5 team. Also, I agree Pat Kraft should loosen up his standards somewhat to get high profile opponents from year to year – even just one each year. It’s sounding like it’s a reason (or an excuse) to avoid likely losses and instead scheduling better-likelyhood wins. The reality is that Temple isn’t in a position to demand 1 and 1’s. But don’t forget, almost every school, even big time ones, schedule OOC games with FCS schools for warm ups. But i’m not forgetting some of those “sure thing” games Rhule started out with – Idaho being one. Maybe Kraft just wants to make up for that on the rebound? But all-in-all, I think games against midddlin’ P5’s is a good strategy with some level of fan interest and a solid chance to win.

    • I’d take the opportunity to beat a P5 team over beating Stoneybrook any day. Just getting in the match-up against a P5 school brings media/fans/recognition. These are match-ups that should be on the schedule due in part to Temple’s strong media market. ND game was HUGE and we lost. Stoneybrook? Scouts aren’t drooling for those clips. Neither are future recruits.

  6. I think I meant FBS schools for warmups? Damn it, Div. 1-AA! More NCAA BS changing those initials. Anyway…..

  7. Granted the structure was different but Bruce Arians scheduled the best of the best. In 1986 he had four national champion teams on his schedule. Alabama, BYU, Georgia, and Penn State. Imagine a schedule like that today. The entire country would be talking about Temple.

    John Chaney had a goal play the best of the best anytime, anywhere even if it meant less marquee home games. What did that accomplish, top 10 teams in the 80’s and numerous elite 8 runs. Yes we played more marquee Road games but everybody back then knew all about Temple basketball.

    Until we are a power 5 play the best teams wherever whenever. Some like Oklahoma will gravitate to Philadelphia. We are not winning a National Championship in the current format. Play the best non conference schedule, in addition to the extra juice, the preparation will make us more powerful in the AAC which will lead to more championships and position us for a New Years Bowl.

  8. I miss Bill. Truly a cornerstone of Temple’s last decade of relevance whether the fans see it or not. He got the coaches and schedules right to put Temple in a place to be successful.

    Really don’t want our downfall from the national light to come from playing the likes of SB.

  9. It was a long time ago, but speaking of big time opponents I went to see Temple play at Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisville, PSU, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Clemson, and Vandy (altho Vandy and Louisville were middlin” at the time). It was exciting just going into those hallowed stadiums and witnessing what big-time football is all about. Speaking of fan support, even against Temple they all filled up their stadiums. And that’s what we’ve been saying is missing at Temple – that fan support that brings in millions.

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