One of the many bowl watch parties across the city of Philadelphia had a pretty creative title.
The “I’m-Too-Poor-To-Go-To-The-Gasparilla-Bowl” party was held at an establishment better known for indoor simulated golf on Delaware Avenue.
I had planned to attend but SEPTA strongly advised people coming into town late Thursday to avoid the Regional Rail—my favorite mode of travel—due to a power failure earlier in the day.
So it was off to my neighborhood taproom within a couple of blocks from my house.
Once there, I was surrounded by a group of St. Joseph’s University fans who “hated Temple because they want to displace all the residents to build a stadium” and actively rooted against the Owls.
Never mind that they had all their facts wrong. People who talk about the stadium usually do.
It was with smug satisfaction that I saw that group of haters leaving with their heads between their legs when the Owls built a 21-3 lead in the fourth quarter.
The 28-3 win was a nice Christmas gift for a group of Temple fans who were disillusioned by the results of the last two seasons. It was a long bus ride home from last year for me, but I watched with satisfaction after an agonizingly slow start last night.
It was nice that the Owls followed our advice of putting a nice target on NFL prospect Alex McGough (pronounced MA-GOO, even though we initially though it was pronounced MA-GOW). They hit him hard enough early to knock him out. If you hit quarterbacks hard enough, a lot of good things can happen and those things are usually fumbles, sacks and interceptions. You never hope for someone to hurt and I really would have liked to seen the Owls win with McGough in the game. Alex, we hardly knew ye and I felt bad for the kid when he pounded the turf and left the field for his final time in the first half.
You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out this this game would have been a whole lot closer with McGough in there, and that was too bad for FIU. Nobody felt sorry for the Owls when they missed six starters in a 31-28 overtime loss at Army, so they were due for some breaks in those areas.
Finishing 7-6 and returning a bowl MVP quarterback certainly is a whole lot better than finishing 6-7. Head coach Geoff Collins would have had a lot of explaining to do about greatness not quitting but finishing 6-7 or #TheStandard being a losing one in the offseason.
Now the Owls can say they are winners for three years in a row and bowl winners for the first time since 2011.
The future looks good for the Owls, although I wasn’t buying the Cotton Bowl narrative the announcers said Geoff Collins was selling.
In my mind, the Owls have no more than an outside shot at winning the AAC but the game day coaching and the offensive scheme are among the things that need to be addressed in the off-season.
Monday: Fizzy’s Thoughts On Stadium
Wednesday: Season Analysis
Friday: The Early Haul