For Temple football, not much seemed right after their second consecutive demolition at the hands of UCF. It was their 3rd straight contest against a top tier offense, and the defense, marred with injuries, could not keep up. The offense was not much help. Temple was thoroughly dominated heading into a much needed bye-week. Not much hope remained for winning the AAC crown, and even reaching bowl eligibility was a concern.
Emerging from that bye week was a more healthy Temple, and with it, a new opportunity to create their own destiny. It doesn’t hurt that UCF dropped one against Tulsa. Now Temple has to focus on winning this week. They say their is only a 4 team playoff reserved for the elites of college football. The truth of the matter is, the playoffs started for Temple last week against USF.
Cincinnati controls the AAC East by 2 games. They suffered an opening game loss to Ohio State, whom may very well be the best team in CFB.
However, things aren’t as crystal clear in Cinci as they once were. Fickell has been connected with the USC job, mostly because he is a good coach, but also because Cincinnati’s athletic director to the same position at USC. So for the 2nd consecutive game, Cinci has survived a scare from a perceived inferior opponent.
Make no mistake, Temple will head into Nippert Stadium, Saturday night primetime television on ESPN2 as underdogs. The Bearcats are ranked #17 and will have a rocking home crowd in their favor. Temple, with its hopes of turning year 1 under Carey into an unexpected contention, will have to do something the program and Rod Carey don’t do very often: beat a ranked team on the road.
Temple football has been powered by a resurgant defense over the last two games. They will need to continue their magic if Temple wants to complete an improbable run to the AAC Championship game. If Temple wins, Cinci has to go on the road to Memphis where anything can happen in what will surely be a tremendous football game. But first, the Bearcats will have to remain focused on the underdogs from Philly.