6-Year-Olds Will Be in College When Temple Plays Oklahoma

Hooter the Owl leads the team onto the field during an October 10, 2015, game against Tulane at Lincoln Financial Field.

Hooter the Owl leads the team onto the field during a game last year at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Temple football team is on a bit of a hot streak. The team opened 7-0 last year, beating Penn State, and finished 10-4. The Owls may be moving up in the football world. And yesterday Temple announced a three-game series with Oklahoma, a traditional football power.

“We look forward to starting a series with a great program like Oklahoma and hosting the Sooners in Philadelphia,” Temple University Director of Athletics Patrick Kraft said. “Our goal is to continue to schedule the best games possible for our program, alums and the college football fans in the city.” Read more »

Why This Princeton Football Team Won’t Be Suiting Up Next Season

Princeton vs. Chestnut Hill College. Photo | Chestnut Hill College

Two Princeton sprint football players tackle a member of the Chestnut Hill College team. Photo | Chestnut Hill College

Back in 2010, Stephen Bednar, a former Princeton sprint football player (class of 1960), ignited a firestorm by penning a letter to the editor of the Princeton Alumni Weekly after Penn’s sprint team beat the Tigers by a score of 91 to 13. “Ninety-one is a basketball score,” Bednar noted. “Because of its dismal performance over the years, it appears that Princeton cannot compete effectively in the sprint-football league against the likes of Army, Navy, etc.” He went on to suggest that the sprint program be discontinued — a mercy killing, if you will.

Among those who sprang to defend the sport was Joe Salerno, also a former player (class of ’84), who countered with a stirring paean to the program: “Sprint is for those who were told their whole lives that they were too small to play football but still strapped on the pads for the love of the game. … Instead of glory, sprint footballers get a few moments of on-field exhilaration and lessons about discipline, dedication, and teamwork that last a lifetime. … ” Last week, Princeton finally, belatedly acquiesced to the now-deceased Bednar’s proposal and announced the end of its sprint football team.

Joe Salerno is still worked up about that. He’s worked up even though in all the years since Bednar wrote his letter, Princeton’s sprint football team hasn’t won a game. It hasn’t won a game, in fact, since long before that, in an amazing losing streak that dates back to 1999. (Or thereabouts; nobody’s really sure.) A 2005 article in the Daily Princetonian cited 35 straight losses over the prior five years — “A men’s Division 1 record — for any sport — of dubious distinction.” Sports Illustrated and SB Nation have written about the streak. The annual joke edition of the Daily Princetonian regularly skewers the team.

But where some see relentless humiliation, Joe Salerno sees only the promise of vindication. “I look at this as the biggest opportunity in the world!” he says, just about hyperventilating in his outrage. “No one’s ever lost that much! I can’t believe this is the university’s decision!”  Read more »

No More Tackling at Ivy League Football Practices

Photo | Penn Athletics Facebook

Photo | Penn Athletics Facebook

In what could be the first faint peal of a death knell for college football, the Ivy League has announced that it will no longer allow players to tackle one another at practices. The decision was unanimous, approved last week by all eight Ivy League coaches. The move is, of course, intended to reduce concussions suffered by student athletes.

Dartmouth has banned tackling at practices since 2010, with players hitting pads and tackling dummies instead. “People look at it and say we’re nuts,” Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens told the New York Times. “But it’s kept my guys healthy.” Since institution of the ban, his team has gotten progressively stronger, going from 3-4 in 2010 to 6-1 in 2014 and in 2015, when it shared the Ivy League title with Penn and Harvard. (It was the only Ivy to beat Penn last season.)

NCAA guidelines for football allow full-contact practices up to four times a week in the preseason and twice a week in season. Coach Teevens says the restriction cut concussions from an average of more than 20 per season to just a handful and has improved tackling, since players now focus more on technique: “It hasn’t hurt our level of play. It’s actually made us a better team.” Read more »

Temple Is Playing at Penn State on September 17th This Year

Students in the Temple Owls student section cheer during the fourth quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 5, 2015. Temple defeated Penn State 27-10. Photo | Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Students in the Temple Owls student section cheer during the fourth quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 5, 2015. Temple defeated Penn State 27-10. Photo | Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Temple beat Penn State for the first time since 1941. That’s 74 years! Next season, they’ll travel to Happy Valley to try to make it two in a row. Temple announced that that game will be on September 17th when the team announced its 2016 football schedule.

Temple rallied from a 10-point deficit and ended up beating the Nittany Lions going away, 27-10, at the Linc last season. But winning on the road is a tougher matter altogether: The Owls lost 30-13 the last time they played in State College, and Penn State was 6-1 at home last season. Read more »

How Clemson’s Football Coach Used Creed to Inspire His Players

creed-still-mirror-940x540

In case you missed it in the New Year’s Eve madness, the Wall Street Journal last week published an article about Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney’s habit of having his team break down film the day before its games. Nothing new in that. But Swinney isn’t screening footage of Clemson’s opponents. He’s showing his team the latest Hollywood flicks. And since his team is undefeated and ranked number one in the nation, his method must be working. Clemson plays Alabama in Monday’s national championship game. Read more »

WATCH: Temple Got Hosed By the Referees Last Night

Temple coach Matt Rhule argues an onside kick recovery call with the referee during the second half of the Boca Raton Bowl NCAA college football game against Toledo, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Boca Raton, Fla. Toledo defeated Temple 32-17.

Temple coach Matt Rhule argues an onside kick recovery call with the referee during the second half of the Boca Raton Bowl NCAA college football game against Toledo, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Boca Raton, Fla. Toledo defeated Temple 32-17.

Temple’s dream season ended with a thud last night. But it wasn’t all the team’s fault.

The Owls fell to the Toledo Rockets last night, 32-17, in the Boca Raton Bowl. Temple finishes the season 10-4, tied for the most wins in school history. But the Owls end the year with consecutive losses, and won’t finish the year in the Associated Press Top 25. It was a good year, but the end is kind of a downer.

But! The Owls should’ve had a chance to drive for the tying score. Temple couldn’t get into the end zone for much of the game, but Kip Patton finally scored with 2:50 to go. A 2-point conversion pass from P.J. Walker to Robby Anderson made it 25-17. Temple went for an onside kick. If they recovered it, they’d have a chance to tie it.

And they appeared to recover it! Only the referees decided it was Toledo’s ball instead. Read more »

Temple Plays in Boca Raton Bowl Tonight

Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich (8) holds the American Conference East Division Trophy following the second half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. Temple won 27-3.

Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich (8) holds the American Conference East Division Trophy following the second half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. Temple won 27-3.

Temple goes for a program-record 11th win tonight when it takes on Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl. The game is at 7 on ESPN.

The Owls are 10-3 this year, and currently ranked No. 24 in the nation by the Associated Press. A win against Toledo tonight and the Owls will likely finish the season ranked for the first time since 1979.

It’s been a dream season for the Owls, who opened the season with a 27-10 win over Penn State at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple went 7-0 to start the season and hosted College GameDay. Read more »

Kenney, Temple Meet Over Proposed Stadium

Kenney-Chaput

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney was scheduled to meet Thursday with Temple University officials to discuss the university’s proposal for a new $100 million football stadium.

Lauren Hitt, Kenney’s spokeswoman, said he came to the meeting without an agenda.

“It’s an informational meeting. It’s a chance for Temple to share with the mayor how they came to this decision” and the factors guiding it, she said. “They asked for the meeting. We’re there to listen, and any next steps will be determined following that.” Read more »

How Penn’s Veterinary School Saved Navy’s Goat Mascot — Twice

Bill 36 (left); all the current Bills (right)

Bill 36 (left); all the current Bills (right). Photos | University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

The 116th edition of the storied Army-Navy football game returns to Philly this Saturday after a brief hiatus in Maryland. Among the pigskin lore surrounding the (mostly) annual contest between the Black Knights and the Midshipmen: The first football helmet made its debut in the 1893 Army-Navy game. (It was fashioned by a shoemaker to protect the noggin of the man who would become Admiral Joseph Mason Reeves after doctors warned him another kick to the head could cause insanity.)

The teams may not be the powers they once were — they’ve both had winning records going into this contest only twice since 1963 — but the rivalry is. (The weight plates in the Navy weight room are engraved BEAT ARMY.) And a big part of that rivalry are the team’s mascots: the Army mule and the Navy goat. Or, rather, four goats — a tag team, Bill 33 and Bill 34, who at age 10 are nearing retirement, and their soon-to-be replacements, Bill 35 and Bill 36, 18-month-old Angora goat brothers donated by a Texas rancher to replace the current pair when they can no longer fulfill their duties, which mostly consist of looking really cute and letting kids pet them without biting. (The naming thing is tradition, not a failure of imagination; all but three Navy goat mascots have been named Bill dating back to 1900.) Read more »

Temple Will Play Toledo in Boca Raton Bowl

The Temple Owl mascot leads the team onto the field during an October 10, 2015, game against Tulane at Lincoln Financial Field.

Temple is headed to Florida for its bowl game.

The Owls, who had the most regular season wins in team history this year with a 10-3 mark, will play Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl on December 22nd. The news was first reported by Jordan Strack of WTOL in Toledo.

The Owls end the regular season ranked No. 25 in the nation in the Associated Press top-25 media poll. They lost 24-13 to Houston in the American Athletic Conference title game on Saturday. Read more »

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