June 24, 2010

Inside The Bloggers Unwashed, Unshaven, Studio: Temple Edition

It's been a hectic past week for me: I found out last Friday that I was to start a new full-time job the following Monday down in Northern Virginia which meant I abruptly left State College to go bum with relatives in Maryland. Couple this with the fact that I'm also taking a couple grad courses online and you can see this leaves me very little time for blogging.

One thing that won't be going away though, is our Summer Preview Series. Temple is this week's subject, and along with a cleverly re-named title to my Q&A sessions, we've got a brilliant guest in Mike Gibson from the popular Temple blog Temple Football Forever. As you'll find, he's rather confident in Temple's ability to build off of last year's near-victory against UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl and even makes a couple of bold predictions that I'm not about to spoil for you..that's the purpose of scrolling down and reading the whole damn thing. Enjoy.

LBU: "Temple Football Forever." That sounds like a more effective interrogation method than waterboarding. What led you to embrace Temple football in the first place?

TFF: 14-game winning streak during my formative years as a kid (10-11). The forever part came as a result of a friend's comment at the MAC press conference introducing Temple as the new football school. Basically, we saw it as a reprieve for the program from a President at the time who was anti-football. "Temple football now and Temple football forever," he said. Hence, the blog title.

LBU: I noticed one of the pictures on TFF's header is of the scoreboard at the beginning of the 4th quarter of last year's EagleBank Bowl. I would point and laugh, but then I remember that it really WAS significant progress for the program, how do you see them building off such a historic season?

TFF: Two things. Temple was dominating ... dominating ... a UCLA team which had a first-round NFL draft choice at nose tackle and a UCLA team that traveled to Tennessee and came away with an impressive road win. Then, disaster struck in that Heisman Trophy candidate Bernard Pierce (he really is one) went down with a shoulder injury and you could see the game slowly slipping away. The second thing was quarterback Vaughn Charlton came up microscopically small in the fourth quarter with that 21-17 lead with 6 minutes left. Not coincidentally, he is now a tight end.

Bernard Pierce: Remember the name.

LBU: Name one thing about the upcoming season that excites you and one thing that has you crapping bricks in fear

TFF: The one thing that excites me is that 16 of the 22 starters return and there are significant upgrades at four non-starter positions. The one thing that has me crapping my bricks in fear is that Al Golden has made some head-scratching decisions on game day, but I'm sure Joe does that, too. Wayne Hardin never did. Guys like Brian Kelly seldom do.

LBU: Every coach in between Wayne Hardin and Al Golden had nothing short of miserable tenures at Temple. Why do you think Golden was able to buck the trend?

TFF: The guy gets the East Coast vibe and has boundless energy. Ron Dickerson was too laid back, had no energy. Jerry Berndt never was a proven coach anywhere. (Hardin, on the other hand, had Navy ranked No. 2 in the nation. Navy.) He also had Temple No. 17 in both polls at the end of 1979.

LBU: Is this the year Temple finally does the unthinkable against Penn State? I'm talking of course, about getting in the end zone.

TFF: Yes. Many times if Bernard Pierce's shoulder holds up.

Thanks to Mike, and good luck to the Owls in every game except the one on Sept. 25!

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1 comment:

  1. lol @ Temple doing the unthinkable... getting into the end zone. Let's see Temple beat Villanova, before we start thinking about the game on Sept 25th