Temple football: Previewing a tough non-conference schedule for 2014

Temple Owls v Navy Midshipmen

 

The 2014 Temple Football schedule was released Wednesday afternoon. The Owls have a tough non-conference schedule ahead of them. They open on the road against the SEC and finish against the Big 10.

Temple will be the visitors for Vanderbilt’s home opener before returning home to play the Navy Midshipmen and Delaware State. Temple will finish their non-conference games in Happy Valley as they will take on James Franklin’s Nittany Lions. Franklin, who graduated from Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, PA is a local who, prior to his new Penn State job, led Vanderbilt to 3 winning seasons in his 3 years there.

The Owls will host American Conference foes Cincinnati and Memphis, as well as American Athletic Conference newcomers East Carolina and Tulsa. The Owls will travel to Houston, UCF, UCONN and Tulsa for their away conference games.

ECU, Tulsa and Tulane will be leaving Conference USA and joining the American effective July 1, 2014. East Carolina brings in the best record to the American, finishing 10-3 in 2013 and winning the Beef O’ Brady Bowl, beating Ohio 37-20.

The Owls only conference win came against Memphis on the road last year. This year the Owls play them at the Linc looking to duplicate the outcome of last year. Cincinnati will be a formidable opponent when they come in to play Temple. The Bearcats have beaten Temple each of the past two years and have been a dominant opponent in the American.

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Temple will not face Louisville, Rutgers or Southern Methodist this year in conference play. All three of these teams got the best of Temple last year. Many may remember that Temple opened their 2013 season in South Bend, Indiana versus Notre Dame as apart of a home and home for the 2013-14 seasons. Notre Dame had to postpone the 2014 game because they are playing 5 ACC teams this year. But in 2015 Temple is scheduled to play Notre Dame.

With the toughness of Temple’s non-conference schedule it makes conference play that much more important for the Owls. There is no team on the schedule that one can chalk up as a definite win. Vanderbilt has established itself as an up and comer in the toughest college football division, the Midshipmen are always a tough opponent and give every team a hard time, and with a coaching change for Penn State you can still expect a good season out of the Nittany Lions. I think that Delaware State gives Temple the best chance for a win in non-conference play. If Temple can get a win against the Hornets of Delaware State and steal a win from Navy, many Owl fans would consider a 2-2 non-conference record a success.