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2017 Temple Owls Season Win Total

2017 Temple Owls Season Win Total

I absolutely love this time of year.  The anticipation of a new football season for a person like me that eats, drinks, sleeps and lives football 24/7, it’s absolute euphoria. I love to go through rosters/schedules and examine where I foresee possible good wagering situations in the upcoming season.  In addition going through returning rosters and examining what teams made both positive an negative changes.  Anyway I would like to thank the good people here at The Saturday Edge that have afforded me this space and I hope you guys enjoy reading what I have to contribute through out the year.

Today I want to look at a team that I see as a clear miss price in the College Football regular season win total market as we enter 2017.

Temple o/u 6.5 over -115 (Bookmaker.eu)

From 1989-2005 Temple football was a dumpster fire on PED’s. Losing season after losing season, then they hired Al Golden who was a former Penn St lettermen and was most currently the defensive coordinator for Virginia.  The program was in complete shambles to say the least and the 1st win of the Golden era came late October of his first season snapping a 20 gm losing streak.

So yea it was a mess, anyways Golden really did a great job at getting this program to respectability culminating in a 9-4 campaign in 2009 and a their 1st bowl gm since the “world famous” 1979 Garden St Bowl. Anyways as is the case for most mid major type schools when they have success like this they often lose their coach to a bigger and better opportunity and Golden departed for the The U of Miami after a 8-4 campaign in 2010.

In stepped Steve Addazio for a quick 2 year tour before he bolted to Boston College. Then the Matt Rhule era started in 2013 and at that point most of Golden’s work had started to leave the program as a result of the graduation/transfers.

Rhule’s first year was a 2-10 rebuilding year although I do distinctly remember midway through that year they inserted a young freshman QB named Phillp (PJ) Walker at halftime of a Friday night game vs Cincinnati that they were getting beat pretty badly in. Walker looked strong the second half and I remember saying to myself keep an eye on this group as I liked the talent that was assembling. 

Although it didn’t lead to many victories in the “win” column there were several victories in the real “win” column that I profited off of that year and in the coming seasons, specifically the 1st game of the 2014 campaign when Temple opened as a 20+ point dog and closed at +14 and won outright in a blowout 37-7 at Vanderbilt.

So what does this long boring Wikipedia style history lesson have to do with the 2017 Temple Owls entry you ask?  Well for starters we have a new coach in Geoff Collins. Collins comes to Temple after a very strong 6 year stint in the SEC as a defensive coordinator for Mississippi State and most recently Florida, so just off resume Temple has what looks to be a very solid hire here.  However I see a temporary fly in the ointment.

First of all the before mentioned QB Walker who was very successful has departed and it leaves a group of 4 QB’s with a combined 5 completions on their resume.  The chalk to claim the opening game staring role is red shirt freshman Anthony Russo who is 6’4 and profiles as a pro style QB which I have a feeling will probably appeal to a defensive minded coach like Collins in his maiden voyage as a head coach. 

None the less its a completely inexperienced QB group no matter who wins the job. So right away this is cause for some concern. Here are some #’s to consider, in Walkers sophomore year Temple averaged 23.1 points per game, in his junior year up to 29.8 and as a senior 32.4. I can definitely see a big drop off in the 32.4 points from last year.

Big picture wise Temple is returning 10 starters, 6 on offense and 4 on defense. Temple’s success in recent years has directly correlated to a stout defense and they lost some very key defensive players so as a whole I am going to give them a significant down grade on that side of the ball. Also lets not forget the new coach who as we said is a defensive minded coach will very likely have some changes that he will look to implement so just another reason we can expect to see some growing pains on that side of the ball.

 

Temple RG Ryquell Armstead

Temple RG Ryquell Armstead

 

Now lets dig into the schedule:

Wk 1 @ Notre Dame I’ll call that a loss

Wk 2 Villanova win

Wk 3 UMass win

Wk 4 @ USF loss

Wk 5 Hou its home so I’ll give them a chance to win but gun to my head I think its a loss

Wk 6 @ ECU they should win that but by no means automatic

Wk 7  UConn Win

Wk 8 @ Army I will say win but not automatic at all

Bye and lets call the record 5-3 to date

Wk 10 Navy I’ll say win but definitely not a lay up

Wk 11 @ Cincinnati Fri night road game very tough spot to win, going to say loss

Wk 12 UCF They played a 1 point gm last year that Temple won, I have UCF improving and a downgraded Temple team I say its a loss

Wk 13 @ Tulsa going to call this a loss

That gives us 6-6 and thus I’m going to side with Under 6.5 wins

A few other things to consider:

Most people wouldn’t think key #’s exist in regular season win totals, but in the world of college football 6 wins is a key # for the purposes of going to a bowl. After going through the schedule I think its very fair to say that this 2017 Temple entry is going to be right around that magic # of 6 so come the last 2 games there wont be that additional motivation to win. 

I’m not saying that means they wont try but simply that the extra push will probably not be there. They will very likely be knocked out of contention to win their side of the AAC with the almost definite loss to South Florida who as we speak grades out as not only the AAC champion but also the top contender for the ticket to the big New Years 6 bowl game from the group of 5 schools so that is another reason I feel late season motivation will not be there. 

Matt Rhule departed to Baylor, yes its a power conference job but if you look at the rebuild he has on his hands there it’s quite significant. I think that is signal that this could be a down year for Temple as he wanted to sell his services while they were at an all time high.  Yes it’s reflected in the price but in my eyes not enough.

As I mentioned earlier Temple won the conference last year so that means 2 things, 1) they have a target on their back and, 2) most of the teams they play this year are playing with revenge from last year.

Last year in the regular season Temple was 8-4, adding on the AAC championship game and the bowl game made them 10-4 straight up.  In addition to the quality win/loss record they were also a great team vs the spread going 10-3-1.  Usually teams that do that good vs the number do not repeat that feat the following year. So I will call that 1 last reason I think this 2017 Temple entry will fall short of 7 regular season wins this year.


You can look for more columns from myself here on The Saturday Edge through out football season as I will try and get at least 1 free play write up per week to you guys.

If you would like to get more handicapping information like this but in a more concise form feel free to follow me on Twitter @thereal_hbc.

 


 

   

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