Temple remains upbeat, but remaining schedule is tough | Analysis
After being favored in their first two games, the Owls should be the underdogs for most of their remaining schedule.
Temple football coach Geoff Collins and the players were typically upbeat Tuesday, despite an 0-2 start in a season that began with high expectations and now has a chance to come crashing down.
Collins talked during his news conference about not listening to the outside noise. That's a good idea, because there isn't a lot of positive encouragement from the outside.
"The big message is don't let anybody else define who we are," Collins said. "We define who we are …"
That might sound good in theory, but the record defines what a team is and right now, Temple is 0-2, having lost home games to Villanova and Buffalo.
Now the Owls have to visit a 2-0 Maryland team for a game Saturday at noon. Unlike the first two games when Temple was favored, the Owls are a 14.5-point underdog to a surprising Maryland team that has beaten Texas and Bowling Green.
Collins didn't want to talk about being an underdog.
"We talk about going 1-0 every week," he said.
Teams have to take that week-at-a-time mentality, but if one objectively looked at the schedule, the prospect of Temple's becoming bowl eligible will be a daunting task, even after just two games.
It's hard to think that Temple would be a favorite in many of its remaining 10 games.
Here is a look at the Owls' schedule after the Maryland game:
Sept. 20 vs. Tulsa (1-1). Temple should be favored in this one, but the Golden Hurricane appear improved from last year's 2-10 team.
Sept. 29 at Boston College (2-0). The Eagles have routed UMass and Holy Cross but should get tested by Wake Forest and Purdue before facing Temple.
Oct. 6 vs. East Carolina (1-1). The Pirates beat North Carolina last week, so this is no longer an automatic "W" for Temple.
Oct. 13 at Navy (1-1). The Midshipmen just beat Memphis, the preseason favorite to defend its AAC West Division title.
Oct. 20 vs. Cincinnati (2-0). The Bearcats opened by winning at UCLA, spoiling Chip Kelly's debut, and this is a vastly improved team.
Nov. 1 at Central Florida (2-0). The Knights are the favorites to defend their AAC title.
Nov. 10 at Houston (2-0). The Cougars just demolished Arizona 45-18.
Nov. 17 vs. South Florida (2-0). The Bulls beat Georgia Tech and some feel they can challenge UCF for the AAC East title.
Nov. 24 at UConn (0-2). Could this one be a toss-up?
Of course, Temple could turn its season around by upsetting Maryland, a team that won, 45-14, at Bowling Green but entered the fourth quarter leading by just 17-14.
The only way Temple can change its long-range outlook is to pull several upsets after the serious hole the Owls have dug for themselves.