The Temple Owls have just one conference championship in its program history. Winners of the 1967 MAC (the Middle Atlantic Conference, not the MAC you may be more familiar with) championship, but Temple head coach Matt Rhule is selling the idea his Owls have as good a chance to add a second conference championship to the record books as any.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to bring a conference championship trophy back to Temple,” Rhule said this week Philadelphia morning TV show Breakfast on Broad. “There’s not one in our building anywhere, and that’s what I think this group of seniors is going to contend to do.”
Here is why you should entertain he idea Temple has what it takes to make a push for the American Athletic Conference. The defense was solid last season, holding opponents to 17.5 points per game. All 11 starters from that defense are back in 2015. On offense, the Owls return nine of 11 starters, including junior quarterback P.J. Walker. Temple has been a young team the last few seasons, and it is Rhule’s hope the experience on the field pays dividends this fall.
“We’ve invested a lot of time over these last three years into these kids, so it’s their time and they look like they’re going to play at a high level.”
Rhule and the Owls will be put to the test this season. Temple opens the season in Lincoln Financial Field against Penn State. Temple also hosts Notre Dame later in the year. Temple’s conference schedule has the Owls on the road against Cincinnati and East Carolina, but they get Memphis at home and there is no UCF, Navy or Houston on the schedule.
Temple ended the 2014 season with a 6-6 record but was left out of the postseason fun. If all goes according to Rhule’s plan, that will not be the case in 2015.