When I used to vacation in the Poconos, there was no more significant sign the summer was coming to an end than ads along the side of Route 209 promoting the West End Fair or the Carbon County Fair.
Since I wasn’t interested in county fairs but was very interested in an endless summer, those were always signs of trouble up ahead like, you know, the end of vacations and the beginning of a long, cold winter.
I always had Temple football to fall back on, which was nothing to write home about—or even blog about—during the Dark Ages of 1991 through 2005. Now, that’s much different.
College football’s way of telling you the summer is coming to an end are the various Media Days.
The American Athletic Conference held two of them the last two days so as one door closes another opens and it was the AAC’s way of telling you that before the long, cold, winter comes is some exciting football ahead.
Players on the way into the facility at Newport (R.I.) were greeted with the photo of the P6 helmet. The AAC likes to market itself as a P6 Conference. That’s a little silly. While it is the best of the rest, it is still a G5 Conference. What is the Power 5 to do? “Oh, yeah, that helmet reminds us that you are just as good as us, so here is your invite to join us.” Not happening. As George Carlin says, “it’s a big club and you ain’t in it.”
Commissioner Mike Aresco inadvertently made news when he said that Temple and Miami have signed a home-and-home and Temple quickly denied that a contract had been signed. Temple needs to add more ACC schools to its schedule and Miami would be a nice addition with Duke and Boston College. Maybe Aresco misspoke; maybe he jumped the gun. Hopefully, Miami replaces Bucknell or Idaho.
Even Cincinnati, Temple, Houston and UConn—the four most likely future P5 schools—are stuck in this conference for a long time and they might as well make the most of it.
From Temple’s perspective, even after a championship, there is still a lot left to accomplish and those were basically the answers the players provided on Tuesday morning. There is a great opportunity to beat Notre Dame on Opening Day, and a chance to beat even a more hated rival the next week. There’s a chance to prove to the people picking South Florida and Navy to win the AAC that, not so fast, Temple is really the Gold Standard of this league.
Then there is the challenge of going to a bowl and winning one for a change, a reminder that all this could be accomplished before the real cold part of winter.
Friday: The Big Uglies
Monday: The Gold Standard