Still more missed chances

What else is there left to do or say? If the football team is going to make a run at salvaging its season, this next month could be a chance for it to make a

What else is there left to do or say?

If the football team is going to make a run at salvaging its season, this next month could be a chance for it to make a statement.

Prior to this past weekend, it seemed the Owls were beginning a stretch in which they would face some teams they could legitimately beat.

Or so they thought.

A 45-17 thrashing at the hands of Toledo must have dampened the Owls’ spirits. After being up 10-0 in the first quarter, the Owls squandered the lead and again showed their inability to win a game.

The Rockets are now 27-1 at the Glass Bowl in the last five years. And while the MAC has flourished in recent seasons, the Rockets are hardly of the caliber that should have made Temple look like a Division I-AA program.

It’s not a surprise when Temple gets hammered by formidable top-25 teams. However, a 28-point defeat to Toledo, a mid-major program, is awful.

Temple boosters and apologists can say that Toledo is a formidable program, since it beat Penn State in Happy Valley two years ago and stunned Pittsburgh last year.

But who out there can the Owls beat that is not Division I-AA?

Bowling Green comes into town this weekend, and after that it’s an underwhelming Pittsburgh squad who almost lost to Furman on Saturday. Then the Owls face two other programs that may have jumped past them in terms of improvement: Rutgers and Connecticut.

The Owls should at least be comparatively competitive with the Toledos or Rutgers of college football.

If the Owls display more feckless performances, what excuse is left?

They already have top-level facilities and a core group of talent in linebackers Troy Bennett and Rian Wallace, plus wide receiver Phil Goodman and quarterback Walter Washington. Coach Bobby Wallace has had ample time to try and resuscitate a fading program.

But apparently it’s not good enough.

A four-win season would be nothing to frown about on North Broad Street. At the start of the new millennium, it looked as if Wallace was pulling this program from out of the doldrums when it had three consecutive 4-win seasons.

Then last year the team regressed and losses came in the worst conceivable way.

It’s imperative the Owls show a pulse and collect a couple of wins before taking on the likes of West Virginia and Boston College at the end of the season.

Still, it’s no guarantee the Owls are winning those next four games either. So if they fall short in these contests, what does that tell us?

Maybe it says that the embarrassment and humiliation of Temple being the only team to be tossed out of a major conference is justified.

Athletics director Bill Bradshaw has made great strides to improve the health of the program, but the key here is wins. That’s something Bradshaw can’t produce.

With a weaker conference schedule the Owls need to capitalize on the fact that perennial powers Miami and Virginia Tech have left the Big East.

And if they can’t win these next few games, it will only confirm the program’s ineptitude.

Jason Haslam can be reached at

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