Attention Temple fans: It’s a long way from here to Oklahoma, and we mean in more ways than one.
In between now and the 2024 game in Norman, it’s slim pickings for Temple fans in terms of non-conference games.
There will be some attractive matchups against AAC foes, but those conference games can get monotonous at times.
As far as juice—a word invoked by head coach Geoff Collins a lot—there is the game at Notre Dame on September 3, and that’s really it.
Then, as far as non-conference games goes, there’s a lot of walking through the desert before getting to that other Oasis in 2024.
There’s the taste of water in South Bend in September, and a lot of parched throats in between.
That is, unless games against Idaho, UMass, Bucknell and Buffalo whet your appetite.
(We didn’t think so.)
That adds to the meaning of the Notre Dame game and makes it the Owls’ Game of the Century, especially if they can pull it out and the Irish and Owls go on to have a decent season. (Hey, Army beat Temple in the opener and the Owls still went on to a decent season, so Notre Dame can do the same as well.)
The game is important for a couple of reasons. One, it’s Notre Dame and it’s on national TV. Two, Notre Dame is in talks with the ACC to become an all-sports member. If those talks lead to anything, the ACC might need a 16th team to balance two divisions and, should Temple win, it would focus the spotlight on the nation’s largest available media market.
That’s a lot of assumptions, but that doesn’t erase the fact that Temple has had big-time games in the not-so-recent past (Penn State the last two years and Notre Dame in 2015) and will go many years after this one before getting a non-conference foe as juicy as its next one.
So fill up your canteens in South Bend, Temple fans. It’s a long walk in the desert after that.
Friday: The Quotemeister General