If I were to tell you back in August that on October 31st, the Temple Owls would be 7-0 and ranked #21 in the AP, taking on a 6-1 Notre Dame team ranked #9 in that very same poll in a primetime matchup on ABC, you wouldn’t believe me. I know for a fact you wouldn’t believe me, and I’m going to tell you why.
This is Temple, where they’ve only played in 4 bowl games in their 121 year existence. They have never been 7-0 before, hell they have only won 7 games 15 times. They’ve only won 8 games 7 times. That #21 ranking they currently hold, this is just their second week (following last week when they entered the poll at #22) being ranked in the AP since 1979 when they finished the season ranked #17 and made an appearance in the Garden State Bowl.
Temple joined the Big East in 1991 as a football only member. In their 14 years in the conference, they went winless in 6 of those seasons and they never won more than 3 games in a season from 1991 all the way until 2000 when they managed to win 4 games, something they would do up until 2002. But in 2004 it was announced that that would be the final season the Owls would be a member of the conference. The conference cited attendance, competitiveness and the lack of a steady place to play (Temple splits games between Franklin Field and Veterans Stadium) as reasons Temple was being kicked out. At one point, Temple’s attendance had dropped down to 4,400 per game in 1995. But let’s be honest, it was really just because they were sorry. The worst part is the Big East wasn’t considered a strong football conference. Miami and Virginia Tech had good football program’s, but they still bolted for the ACC in 2004.
In 2005 Temple football hit an all time low. They went 0-11 and finished last in the nation in points per game with 9.7 AND points allowed per game with 45.3. Yikes.