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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.

Photo taken by Colin Lenton

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.

-Weinfeld

 

About The Author

avatar

Josh Weinfeld attends Temple University and is a Sport and Recreation Management Major. Claims he saw Doug Glanville and Mike Lieberthal eating at a restaurant. http://www.linkedin.com/in/jweinfeld

Number of Entries : 4

Comments (30)

  • avatar

    Amin

    Great article. You can clearly see that some schools are afraid of Temple. Look how Nova did everything they can to keep Temple from a Big East invite. While some would argue that competition is a good thing, Nova clearly didn’t think so. They know they would be never be able to compete with Temple for recruits.

    Reply
    • avatar

      Anthony

      I am a Temple Grad and while I wish this article were true you are missing one big fact. Temple was in the Big East and did not fare too well. This wasn’t 50 years ago, but about 5. Please look it up.

      Reply
      • avatar

        Uebe

        My dear friend Anthony. Temple left the Big East nearly 10 years ago, and the football program has been completely rebuilt in that time. Sorry bud I don’t think you have much of an argument.

        Reply
  • avatar

    Otter

    This makes a lot of sense. I always wondered why the ACC wasn’t looking at Temple more (besides a few football games this season) and to realize that the Dukes of the world would then lose their Philadelphia recruiting stranglehold and have to look elsewhere. If Temple were in the ACC, do you think Amile Jefferson would be even thinking about heading to Duke? No.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Quad

    A more accurate analysis of Temple University’s sports prowess would be difficult to make. Well done.

    Reply
  • avatar

    E

    Great article but us (from Philly and Temple) know the one reason we aren’t getting an invite: those scaredy (Wild)cats of Villa’nofun who aren’t even in the city of Philadelphia’s boundaries!

    Reply
  • avatar

    Brian

    Great article. Agree with everything. Also think Otter is spot on. Temple would be a national powerhouse if they were in the ACC

    Reply
  • avatar

    Sean M

    great article.

    Reply
  • avatar

    TUtuff

    Love the owls!
    You forgot to add that thier football attendance is up almost 85% since 2008 and that during that time the attendance has gone up at least 10% year over year.
    You also forgot to mention temple football’s end of year sagarin and dunkel index ranking has gone up every year since 2008.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Dave

    Well written article. Philadelphia is the fourth largest TV market in the nation. Any savvy conference would realize their conference would thrive with the Owls visiting their campus. The Big East is in trouble, and I hope Temple avoids that mess. ESPN could step in and “advise” the ACC that Temple and it’s huge TV market is essential to health and well being of the ACC. Temple’s baseball team is lousy, so there would be some consolation to any takers.

    Reply
  • avatar

    matt

    Great article. Very to the point. Is pretty correct also, as a division 1 athlete I think this is very true. Temple is just lagging behind because it’s in such a bad area… if Temple was in the suburbs or had some more space to itself to let it breath a bit more, without having the north philadelphia locals on their doorstep i think Temple would much such gains much faster. The local population is what deters people from Temple. Clean up the immediate area and prospective Temple students and athletes alike will be much more willing to commit to the school.

    Reply
  • avatar

    J-Money

    This is the biggest piece of shit i have ever read. Do you really think other conferences are afraid of a football team from the MAC that throws the ball 5x a game. These other conferences dont play like there still in high school, and Temple would get wrecked recruiting wise to these other schools no matter what conference they would go into. Basketball wise, yes temple gets some credit, and yes they have beat a top team 4 or 5 yrs in a row. but try facing some of these teams 8-10x a yr. and again they would get killed in recruiting. your whole article is wishful thinking, temple would be a decent addition but they would go from a well off team in the a-10 n mac to a desperate and failing program in a big conference like the big east n acc.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Ian

    Excellent points made here. However, I must add that I believe another major impediment to Temple joining a major conference is their lack of an on-campus football stadium. For all the strides Temple football has made over the course of the last 5 years on the gridiron, they still struggle to fill seats in the Linc when anyone other than Penn State is in town. Football is the driving force behind all of the conference realignment we’ve seen over the course of the last few years, and, as you stated, television deals between networks and conferences are the ultimate reason for that. Until Temple can consistently prove itself capable to be able to play in front of an audience in their home stadium that is on par with those of major conference schools, major conferences will continue to overlook the Owls, regardless of how successful their teams may be.

    Having said that, GO OWLS!!!!!!

    Reply
  • avatar

    TUHoops2010

    J-Money, nice grammar. It matches your logic. Temple didn’t have a QB who could throw the ball for the first half of the season and had one of the best running backs in the country, one of the best back-ups, and a big ass offensive line. I suppose you, in your infinite sports coaching wisdom, would have them throw a lot? OK, now imagine Temple lands a top QB because of the recruiting boost they would get from going BCS. Temple has rebuilt a top-30 basketball program with gritty two star recruits that the coaching staff has squeezed every ounce of talent out of while losing out on the big recruits. Now you understand the point of this article.

    Temple is one of the top 30 schools enrollment wise in the country. Do you understand that? True, it is hurt by it’s North Philly location (aka commuter school) and the apathy that it’s produced, especially around football. But the turn around in the past five years (interestingly, each year the school becoming less commuter) has been tremendous, with more and more alumni gaining interest. Do you know what a school with 250,000 alumni within an hour’s drive, that dedicates itself to athletics looks like? It’s OK to admit you’re scared.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Greg

    Penn State basketball is about as good as Temple football.

    Reply
  • avatar

    RIRedinPA

    You didn’t acknowledge that Fran Dunphy is our basketball coach and honestly, without him coming in after Chaney left I doubt we’d be sitting as pretty as we are right now in that sport.

    I also think there has been a commitment from the administration to tying sports success as part of an overall strategy of restructuring Temple. I graduated in 1992, at the time 2,000 students lived on campus out of 30,000+. Now there are 12,000 (in school and private housing) with plans for another dorm and more private expansion going north and east of the school. (Which I have a hard time wrapping my head around since that was a no fly zone back in the day.) As much as they admin has invested into athletics they have also invested in academics, refurbishing or building entirely new classrooms, a new library, etc. and raising academic standards. (The average transfer now comes in with a 3.1GPA for example). They have acknowledged that part of the collegiate experience is the social life and a winning sports program contributes greatly to that.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Dersh

    Temple is a nice little school, but would get demolished annually in a real conference. They have one win this basketball season vs a top team – the Duke win is great, but its all they’ve got. The RPIs for Wichita St, St. Louis, and St. Joe’s are all high now, but will continue to drop throughout the season. Because their remaining schedule is so weak, Temple will literallly have to win out to keep its RPI in the top 40 nationally when the season is over (and when RPI becomes an accurate measurement).

    If Temple were in a real conference like say, the Big Ten, it would be the # 8 basketball school, behind OSU, MSU, Wisconsin, U-M, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue (which beat the Owls on a neutral court this season). The Owls would be bottom feeders along with NW, Iowa, Penn State & Nebraska. For football, Temple would be battling Indiana for the “honor” of annual winless in conference squad.

    Also, you ask, who is better than the Owls in 2 sports right now? Just this season, you have Wisconsin, MSU, & U-M again from the big ten being head and shoulders ahead of Temple in BOTH sports, not to mention that OSU, a top 3 hoops squad right now, has been a top 10 football squad nearly every season since the millenium began and is likely to return to that status next season. Even marginal football programs like Minnesota, Purdue & NW would smoke Temple each season.

    Reply
    • avatar

      Ray

      So how did Wichita State’s RPI fall go this season? Or SLU? How hard did Temple have to struggle to keep its RPI better than the 40 you said? And I love your “RPI becomes an accurate measurement” statement. EVERY professional NCAA basketball writer and expert has denounced the RPI as not an accurate measure of quality.

      Michigan is not “head shoulders” above Temple in either sport; watch some games and not just Sportscenter.

      Temple football would be plenty competitive in the Big 1G, ACC or BE right now.

      Reply
  • avatar

    Bo

    This article is a nice fluff piece. Temple plays in the awful MAC for football and has never won a game vs a MAC team that finished with a winning record. As in never. This decade they are 2-2 vs Villanova for God’s sake, a FCS school [one win came with 3 seconds to go on a FG].They have the 4th best football program in Pennsylvania behind PSU, Pitt and yes Villanova In basketball they would be ranked Villanova, Pitt, Temple and PSU . In Olympic sports it would be PSU and Nova tied for #1, Pitt then Temple.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Tim Walsh

    Don’t forget the role Rutgers has been playing in sabotaging Temple.

    I for one am glad Temple is NOT in the Big East (North, South, West or whatever you can call that conference at this point). I think the MAC is a good fit for now. If Temple dominates the MAC for the next five years then maybe they will be ready (basketball is ready now) to move up.

    Reply
  • avatar

    No One Cares

    Temple has a good football team….? Really?

    Reply
  • avatar

    Jon

    The unfortunate reality is that while I know the attendance would improve drastically if Temple went to the Big East or ACC, I don’t think that the conferences are willing to take that risk. Anyone who says that Temple would be a bottom dweller misses the point that Temple takes 2 star recruits with an occasional 3 star recruit and beats down bigger schools. They wouldn’t be a bottom dweller, but they probably wouldn’t win for a few years. On the other hand, we have great coaching and facilities so they would be able to recruit top tier talent and then would be very successful.

    I was at Temple 10 years ago and watched our Big East football team get destroyed in nearly every game, but even in the Big east our recruit ranks were around 108-115 (which is beyond pathetic for a school in a BCS conference). We had a bunch of juco kids that had serious off the field issues and a coach that couldn’t control them. Right now our recruiting was in the mid 50′s in the lowly MAC. The bottom line is that the current Temple team in the MAC would destroy the team from 10 years ago. They’ve built momentum and could absolutely compete and be very successful in both sports in the big east, which is something that no Big east school does right now…At least no big east school that is staying in the conference.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Tim from Pitt

    Weinfeld. I am a Philly kid. I would love to see Temple succeed. But, I read this article and I can’t help but say that you are uneducated about Temple’s position in college athletics and also college athletics in general. Temple has the problem that Pitt has to a greater degree.

    Temple is in a state dominated by Penn state and also is located right in a city with no room to really expand. The only time Temple’s stadium (and I say that loosely) even comes close to selling out is when PedSU is in town. If you knew anything, you know the premiere colleges in athletics have their on facilities. Temple has no shot really at that because there is no room to build an on compus football stadium. Yes your football team has a decent record, but so would anybody who plays fuckin Buffalo and Kent State and whoever the hell else is in that shitty MAC conference. Sure, you guys beat Maryland. Great fuckin job, so did 9 other teams last season. You guys blew it when you were in the Big East by continually being stationed in the conference cellar. You say the team has “rebuilt” itself. Ha. I gaurantee if Temple played in the Big Ten or the ACC they would go right back down where they came from. Do you really see them beating teams like Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State? They can’t even beat Penn State for Christ’s sakes (which I was dying to see). Temple stands no chance.

    I agree Pitt and PSU are having their problems, but I’m sorry, Temple is still third tier. It’s still converting from being a big time commuter campus. Temple’s basketball program is the best thing it has going for them, and that team still loses to the likes of BGSU. It would be middle tier at best in the Big East conference because they would not be able to play quality teams week after week like Duke.

    This article has alot of hope, but also alot of hot air too. I really dont know the numbers, but I also know Temple’s viewing audience isn’t the greatest, which is what makes money. Believe or not PSU and Pitt get great TV ratings. Temple not so much. I mean would you rather see a team like Temple or a team like Notre Dame play on national television. Plus, Temple hasn’t even won the MAC outright I don’t think.

    Sorry, I would love to see this happen, but it just won’t….not right now. So I have to laugh when I hear that Temple is feared by schools in the Power 6 Conferences, give me a break…..

    Reply
  • avatar

    yods

    Temple is doing just fine the way things are. They don’t need to join a big boy conference right now. Their men’s basketball program is consistently good year after year and their football program is steadily improving. Other conferences are not scared of Temple in fact conferences want good programs like Temple’s men’s basketball to remain strong. If Temple joined the ACC they would have a little tougher schedule but their recruiting would get a little better too (as far as men’s basketball goes). The end result in the national rankings would show Temple right about where they are now so in that regard joining a big boy conference wouldn’t really change anything for them.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Sabes

    Hahah…. I wouldn’t go as far as saying Conferences are scared of Temple…. Ya you guys are decent in two sports… but the problem is your not winning a conference title in football OR basketball in the ACC Big 10 Big 12 SEC or Big east…. lets face it you may win the pac-10 this year in basketball but they are so bad its just awful so congrats on that (and they are a little out of your region)… but sorry you are gonna be a team like Texas A&M or Illinois who upsets a team once a year and finishes in the middle of the conference and is a good NIT team…. You have a point some top programs in one sport aren’t great in two sports, but you aren’t GREAT in either you guys are decent, your that cute school that everyone is like “I like Temple because they are that cute school who are ok and are fun to watch and have a cool mascot…..” Lets go by conferences in the area that you could MAYBE join….. Big East… No shot you win in basketball and TCU joining next year…. I don’t see that happening in football either…. Big 10… Ohio ST is way better than you in both sports so that ends that discussion (It pains me to talk about OSU like that… I hate them…) BIG12…. Come on man Kansas &Baylor in basketball? Texas and Oklahoma in football? SEC Basketball I will give you top 3 but your not touching Kentucky… and Football… Give me a break you guys finish last behind Kentucky Ole Miss and yes sadly my school UT
    I will give you huge temple fans one positive to end on… you guys had one of the coolest players in College basketball in the last decade in Dionte Christmas… he was a baller… but sorry guys.. your not a major conference school…
    -Sabes

    Reply
  • avatar

    Dylan

    You are stupid. there are many schools with good programs. Ohio State, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, USC, UCLA isn’t half bad, BAYLOR, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Clemson. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech. I’m sure there are more. I love Temple but you need to shut but because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Temple will get an invite when they deserve it. Their track history is pretty shitty for the past couple decades minus the past 3 years or so.

    Reply
  • avatar

    smarter fan

    dear Josh. you are an idiot. this article makes me think that you might be mentally retarded. I wish you knew more things about sports, it could help you right a better article.

    Reply

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