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September 10, 2009

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Coach

There is something so strange and backward about the Philadelphia Daily News item referred to above, and about what it's writer wrote.

We had a college football game played between two schools in Philadelphia, Temple University and Villanova, and by all accounts the game was competitive and hard-played and exciting, with one team being unable to run the ball really (good defenses force teams into that predicament), and so they have to start flinging the ball around in the air, which is risky, but it worked in this instance, and they scored three second half passing touchdowns to even the game, and then won on a field goal as time expired... which all makes for as good a football game as any fan would want to watch, or any player would want to participate in.

And yet all of it was apparently lost on the writer of the article, who saw only that Temple lost the game, and to a Division I-AA team at that, Villanova.

The writer questions Temple's scheduling of Villanova it seems, and then seems to want to weigh the question of whether Division I-A's Mid-American Conference fields as many good teams as does Division I-AA's Colonial Athletic Association... which is a good enough discussion, and honors the CAA for the level of competition their football programs play at...

But LORD what about the game itself!

Wasn't it a great game?

Isn't that what it's all about?

Football is an awesome spectator sport, and I have no doubt that thousands of fans in Philadelphia that night thought so too, after watching the Temple Villanova game...

But some people just don't get, they just don't see it... and when they write out their strange (even backwards) impressions of the game and of the sport in general, then I don't get them, and wonder what it is they're doing, while the rest of us are watching the games, and enjoying what's maybe the most awesome spectator sport ever invented!

Coach

Also, the stuff the guy wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal (I don't hope they go out of business), whatever the complaint sounded like, it's really all about taking a poll in the preseason, the substance of which can be nothing else other than the speculations and preconceptions and prejudices of the person being polled, and cannot be based on any actual performances or accomplishments or competitions, because there aren't any to base it on yet!

With no games played or watched, what is a preseason poll an opinion of, other than the dim and vague impressions in the mind of the person polled?

And so what we have is people who register their prejudices up front, in public, and then when facts (actual games played) contradict them in their prejudices, they turn around and defend themselves, by contradicitng the facts, and rating Oklahoma still higher than BYU, despite BYU just having beaten Oklahoma at a somewhat less than neutral site...

How irrational is that?

And again, the root cause of it is in taking a preseason poll, which again is nothing but an opinion about what you can't possible know about, because it hasn't even happened yet and may not happen at all!

Want to improve the system that necessarily matches Championship game participants based in part or in whole on an opinion poll (and I say necessarily because we're greatly limited in the numbers of full tilt games we can schedule and play in order to determine this question exclusively on the field of play, where it should be and even is ultimately determined)... want to improve the system?

Then stop poisoning the 'end of season' poll (which can and should be an almost indisputable opinion of what has already and completely taken place) with the preconceptions and speculations and prejudices of preseason and even midseason opinions!

There's no good reason for it.

It's pointless.

Penn State Clips

"Maybe Temple shouldn't be scheduling games against Division I-AA opponents."

It says here the Owls should make I-AA opponents the rule rather than the exception. Seriously, why do they still try to compete in I-A? No winning seasons since 1990 and their last bowl victory was 1978.

Coach

I like Temple University for its academic reputation (which is based on its curriculum and in a Faculty that both makes and follows that curriculum), and I love Philadelphia (in a brotherly way).

I believe that their football program (which is not the most important thing about the University or the city) is already greatly competitive and can be and will be even greater, for the reasons that the University offers such an excellent and respected education (this actually still matters to some number of college students) and because of the city that makes a four plus years' home to its students and student-athletes...

But most of all for the defensive mind and edge they now bring to their football team.

Villanova, an equally good school and football program, was forced by a rock solid defense to resort to the air, and was able to win the game on that winged prayer (sorry, but I've been rereading Grantland Rice, and am taken away a little bit)... and it was a good defense that forced them to that risk, which is how the game is played, but not always won.

I think that defense in football is golden, and that Temple plays great defense... I think that's their immediate future this season, and for every season from here on out... I think it just takes a good coach (coaches really) to know and teach defense, and that's golden too... I think that Temple is an easy sell to student-athletes who still care about the education they will take with them, after they leave the sweet dreams of college life, for the nicked faith that will result from their future world (sorry again, but Rice's words are powerfully contagious)...

Anyway, their football season has just begun, despite strange rumors to the contrary... the Navy game is big on the schedule, and won't we see the challenge there: they did pretty much stop and surprise the Navy running game last year, and we'll see the same again this year I think (and maybe we'll see Navy resort to flinging the ball around in the air, as Villanova was forced to).

I say it's all golden from here on out... where's Penn State?

Hiding in the hills?

Come on to Philadelphia, and play Temple there!

If it's money that makes the decision, maybe we'll play in the big NFL stadium, with a revenue-sharing plan...

Anyway, it's a good school and the football program is on the right track, and the same is true of Villanova, and let's not lose sight of what is we're talking about, and what it is we see and what it is these young men are doing...

Grantland Rice would say the same.

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