AROUND THE NATION
CLOSE TO HOME: Reality is, the more success Temple has, the more likely head coach Matt Rhule’s name will come up as a potential candidate for other jobs. Heading into the weekend, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Maryland and Illinois were openly seeking new leaders or riding things out with an interim one. Now, we can add Central Florida and Miami (Fla.) to the list after George O’Leary opted to retire at the former and Al Golden got canned from the latter. Golden, obviously, is an intriguing name to Temple fans since he was the Owls’ former coach and, in fact, gave Rhule his initial opportunity at the school. More than anything, though, his tale could offer food for thought to Rhule should he consider leaving. Golden’s choice always seemed a bit odd, considering the success he was having at Temple and that Miami had been a bastion of NCAA issues, both real and imagined. Frankly, he laid the groundwork for whatever, first, Steve Addazio and then Rhule have accomplished along North Broad. Just the same, opinion here is he couldn’t have taken the Owls to the level their current coach has … and that should make him a very attractive name to those seeking a new coach.
COACH 'EM UP: Oddly, and thankfully to Temple fans, Rhule’s name has yet to come up with any position thus far – at least for public consumption. Some of the names that have, though, are ludicrous. Since Golden got shown the door two days ago, the Miami wish list has become comical. Yeah, sure, Charlie Strong is going to leave Texas for Miami. Or James Franklin will depart Penn State for it. Get real, people. Those are better, far higher-paying jobs at schools with significantly larger alumni and fan bases. That being said, could we get Greg Schiano back in the coaching ranks just so his name can be deleted once and for all from the “possible” lists with every damn opening?
DID YOU KNOW? Three conferences account for three-quarters of the nation’s remaining unbeaten squads at the FBS level. Two of them, you know, you might expect: the Big Ten with Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa, and the Big 12 with Baylor, Texas Christian and Oklahoma State. The third? Well, Temple’s 7-0 ain’t the only outstanding mark achieved by an American Athletic Conference school this fall. Both Memphis and Houston are unblemished as well. The remaining unbeatens? Clemson of the ACC, LSU of the SEC and Toledo of the MAC. All of the teams mentioned are ranked in the Top 25.
SAY WHAT? Clemson beat Miami 58-0, courtesy of nine possessions in which it scored, and STILL had to punt the ball four times. Andy Teasdel handled the chore, averaging 42.3 yards per kick.
Might wanna turn the other cheek, Temple.
You've been slapped again. Even in one of your greatest hours.
Sorry, but ESPN’s College GameDay coming to Philly and setting up shop at Independence Mall is NOT a tip of the cap to Temple University’s football season. It’s an insult to the Owls, the university and the reality that both have been islands unto themselves within a city whose vast majority has shunned them when it wasn’t mocking them.
Granted, Temple has played its own part in this by making so many overtures to the city in hopes of support, such as advertising campaigns that highlight Philly as much as itself, a “Liberty Bell” logo on its helmet in the past, and the current Under Armour-inspired #TeamPhilly promotion. But you can’t really blame the school for seeking a little love in its hometown.
The worldwide leader in sports entertainment, though … c’mon. Get a clue.
A week after stepping down to FCS-level James Madison and showing off its campus in all its foliage-enhanced glory, GameDay opts to ignore what the real story is here – Temple – and cater to the brain-dead thinkers out there so reliant on getting the same redundant Philly history lessons?!!
Newsflash #1, people: Temple has a pretty awesome campus, made even more awesome by the fact that it has achieved a significant level of appeal within a hard-scrabble section of North Philly. Brilliant structures along Broad Street. Tree-lined walkways throughout. A bell tower. All crammed into a few city blocks. You want cutting-edge difference, ESPN, there it is. Hello …
Newsflash #2, people: While Notre Dame being the opponent is a major draw to the network bringing its mobile Saturday morning spectacle to town, its success is old news. Good news to Irish fans for sure. But, still, old news. Temple being ranked, being unbeaten, umm, now that’s something. Hello …
The Owls are THE reason you are here, because of what they’ve achieved thus far, and, not for nothing, it might be interesting for the nation to see just how and where they have done that. Psst, it ain’t down on Chestnut Street.
Frankly, it was refreshing this morning to hear WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese ripping into ESPN for what it has chosen to do. While certainly not shy in seeking their share of laughs even at the expense of possible insight, the pair often is right on the money. Never more so in this case.
Neither of the two of them have hard-core allegiances to the school. Barkann graduated from Syracuse. Reese starred as a linebacker at Michigan State before having a nice pro career, mainly with the Eagles. But they both get “it.”
How anyone could not … well, that’s a testament to blinders-wearing thought processes everywhere, which should absolutely never exist within an entity that is pushing itself, via one of its own programs, as being colleges’ best friend.
Think about it … how in the hell does GameDay holding court show do anything for Temple, or tell anything about its story?
As Mike & Ike suggested, we’re likely about to get a dose of footage showing ND players checking out the local sights and getting some cheesesteaks. Zzzzzzz … please wake me when that scintillating segment is over.
Ugh. How unimaginable. How utterly blah.
I’m a Philly native. I’m a Temple grad. I love both places. But they are not joined at the hip. If anything, the Owls’ current success has come largely in spite of mostly non-existent support from the Philly sports fan base and positively dreadful media coverage throughout the region for, well, forever.
Some of that has changed this fall … slightly and slowly as the Owls have charged into the unknown of 7-0. But not enough to make this about Philly instead of Temple.
The Owls, and the school backing them, have earned the spotlight – not only for all the crap each has had to endure, but because of the smart, progressive-minded decisions they made, such as sticking with the football program when all the Philly-based geniuses called for its abolishment and ultimately hiring Matt Rhule as head coach.
Apparently, though, ESPN doesn’t see it that way. The same network that deemed Franklin Field and Penn’s campus worthy of its GameDay presence on its last visit to Philly 13 years ago for an Ivy League game has decided Temple ain’t worthy of the same.
Other cheek turned yet?
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com