Temple: The Scariest Sports School in The Country
A lot of people have been wondering why isn’t Temple in a major athletic conference. The answer however, is pretty simple. The schools in the other conferences are flat out scared to let a school like Temple in.
At this current time, Temple is undoubtedly one of the best basketball AND football combinations in the country. Look at some of the schools who have a powerhouse basketball team, and then tell me how their football team is: Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Georgetown, and the list can go on and on. And to look at the flip side, there are a lot of powerhouse football teams with bad basketball teams: Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Stanford, Oregon and the list can go on and on.
There does seem to be a direct correlation between success (success defined as postseason play and a competitive team year after year) in one major sport and success in another major sport. There is very little success for both sports. Yet the school on North Broad Street seem to have found out how to be successful in more than one sport. Keep in mind they have seen success against major conference opponents while being part of mid major conferences.
Temple’s basketball success is no secret; it looks like Temple is on their way to make their fifth consecutive NCAA tournament bid. Temple’s win against #3 ranked Duke earlier this seasongave Temple their fourth win against a top 10 team in the last four seasons, all wins while the Owls were unranked (being the only team in the country to accomplish that). Temple’s current RPI (as of 2/4/12) is 16th in the nation. Only one SEC team has a better RPI and no Pac 12 teams have a better RPI.
Temple’s football success may be a little less recognizable, but nonetheless is still there. Coach Steve Adazzio just recently completed his first recruiting class. According to scout.com Temple had the 54th best recruiting class in the country. That ranks first among ALL mid major conferences and higher than Houston and Boise State this season. Temple kicked off the bowl season with an impressive 37-15 victory over Wyoming. Over the last three seasons, Temple has an accumulated record of 26-12. This past season Temple was 7th in the nation in rushing yards per game (thanks to Bernard Pierce), 3rd in the nation in points against per game, and had the player with the second most rushing touchdowns in the nation.
I’m sure you are thinking that’s all well and good that they had those statistics but who cares? And the answer is every coach and AD at these major conferences. They see Temple is a school who is creating success in an almost impossible scenario where success can be made. In an age where everything is about television deals and visibility, which comes from being in a major conference, Temple has made it without all of that. And these coaches and ADs see that. Temple has defied all odds of being in a mid major and being successful in BOTH basketball and football. There is certainly success for mid major teams in either basketball or football, but never both. How are Boise State’s, TCU’s and Houston’s basketball teams? How are Drake’s and UNLV’s football teams? The only mid major school that can say they have success in basketball and football, is in fact Temple.
It seems like it is obvious why these other major conferences schools don’t want Temple to join their conference. They see them as a major threat for both of the moneymaking sports. If you take into account that Temple is Philadelphia’s college, it’s a scary thought of how good Temple could be with landing recruits. After all, Philadelphia has produced some of the best athletes in basketball and football. Instead of these top recruits leaving to go to major conference schools all around the country, they could stay home and go to Temple. An obvious knock against Temple for recruits is that they don’t have the TV deals that some of the major conferences and the competition is worse. Put Temple in a major conference they now have that TV coverage and high level of competition.
Temple’s facilities are second to none. The basketball team plays in a beautiful 73 million dollar, 10,000+ seating venue that is called the Liacouras Center. Not to mention Temple has just renovated their practice facility, which totaled in 58 million dollars. Their PRACTICE facility is nicer than any of the other five Philadelphia school’s (La Salle, Villanova, Drexel, Penn, and Saint Joseph’s) GAME facilities. It doesn’t hurt that a number of NBA teams practice at Temple.Temple’s football team is fortunate enough to play at the Philadelphia Eagle’s Lincoln Financial Field.
Lastly, compare Temple’s athletic program to the other three major schools in the state of Pennsylvania. Local rival Villanova is down in basketball big time this season and they don’t even have an FBS football team. Then you go to Penn State who doesn’t really have a basketball team and their football team is going through major turmoil, which obviously doesn’t help. Lastly you look at Pittsburgh, who has had a revolving door for coaches for football and are also having a down year in basketball. All three of those schools seem to understand the damage Temple could do to their football and basketball programs. With all three schools being in three different conferences (Pitt is moving out of the Big East), you have three schools lobbying against in state rival Temple.
It is quite obvious why the coaches and ADs of other schools want nothing to do with Temple. With Temple’s success in their situation, it is a scary thought what they could do if they were in a major conference. With the recruiting pool of Philadelphia, top notch facilities, and local state rivals all on the downfall, Temple would have what it takes to be a top ten program in both sports. All that’s missing is that major conference invite.