Saturday, August 09, 2008

Barnhouse's Bottom 25: Temple

Legendary sportswriter Wendell Barnhouse recently left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and is now a correspondent for Big 12 With 30 years experience of observing the college scene, his expertise is unmatched. In the spirit of Steve Harvey's Bottom Ten, Wendell will provide us a capsule look at college football's less fortunate, counting down the Bottom 25 teams in Division I-A football.

No. 22 Temple
Location: Philadelphia.
Nickname: Owls.
Conference: Mid-American, East Division.
Coach: Al Golden, fourth season, 5-19.
Division I-A history: 392-525-52 in 109 seasons, .431 winning percentage.
Last bowl season: 1979.
Best record last five years: 4-8 in 2007.
Rank(ed) because: The Owls were so bad for so long and attracted such little interest they were asked (not so nicely) to leave the Big East Conference. Temple spent two seasons as an independent before joining the MAC in 2007. Until the Owls can remove the stigma of their recent ineptitude, they'll be considered a Bottom 25 contender.
Negative number: Since its last winning season (7-4 in 1990), Temple is 35-156 in 17 seasons, a .224 winning percentage.
Possible victory: Connecticut, Sept. 6. If the Owls are so bleepy then why suggest they've got a chance to knock of a team from a BCS conference? Incentive, friends, incentive. UConn is one of the Big East teams that evicted the Owls from that league. Playing at home, Temple would like to prove its worth.
Biggest blowout: At Penn State, Sept. 20. The Nittany Lions aren't as fearsome as they once were but any team that travels to Happy Valley could wind up leaving whipped and sad. Even in defeat, Temple can measure itself based on the point spread.
Is there hope?: All four of Temple's victories came in the MAC. One of those wins came against Miami (Ohio), the team that won the East Division. With 21 starters returning, the Owls have a shot at winning the East or compiling a winning record.

Thanks to the Helmet Project.

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