When Al Golden took over the Temple football program, the situation was about as low as it could get. But he had a plan. It started with changing the culture. It couldn't happen in a season, or even a couple. Yet the former Penn State tight end was convinced it would indeed at some point become a reality.
Obviously, his plan turned out to be a pretty good one.
The Owls have gone from being a punchline to a 9-4 team in the span of four seasons. Playing in the Mid-American Conference isn't nearly as daunting as it was in the Big East. Nonetheless, the university has a program now. One that, finally, it can rally around with pride.
One man is responsible for that.
The Owls are doing things they haven't accomplished in decades, like going to a bowl game for the first time since 1979.
And when was the last time a Temple football coach had his name tossed out there as a potential candidate at Notre Dame? Yo.
It wasn't hard to see this coming. The Owls were in position to win seven or eight times in 2008. But change is an evolution, not an explosion. Even better days would seem to be in the forecast.
It's no joke.