2014 Record: 6-6
2015 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.0*
The ink is barely dry on coach Matt Rhule's four-year extension, and now the up-and-coming coach can focus solely on vaulting the Owls to the top of the AAC this year. Temple has 17 starters back - including 10 returning starters from the nation's No. 4 scoring defense - and the Owls enter this season brimming with confidence.
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The Owls rode that outstanding defense to six wins last year and are being tabbed as a conference sleeper in 2015. However, a closer look at last year's wins shows an upset at East Carolina surrounded by victories over the dregs of college football. This team, much like Tulane in 2013, benefitted from several fluky bounces and defense-generated offense while playing way over their heads this season.
Temple will also have a much more difficult schedule to contend with. They open the season with a highly-anticipated home game against Penn State. They'll have to avoid a letdown on the road against Cincinnati the following week, and that starts a stint of three straight roadies. Notre Dame also comes calling in late October - right after two tough games against Central Florida and East Carolina.
Four of Temple's five biggest games - Penn State, UCF, Notre Dame and Memphis - are all at home, which is a big advantage. But Temple isn't a program used to playing in so many high-profile affairs. And that could open them up to some flat spots and letdown performances.
I still think the Owls are good enough to top this ambitious season win total number. Last year was a fluke on their end, and their season ended much better than it appeared to be headed this time in 2014. Now they have expectations to contend with. And while that is tough, they are the rare AAC team that isn't being completely overhauled or rebuilt. I'll play Temple 'over'.
2015 Temple Owls Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET) Location
Sat, Sep 5th, 2015 Penn State TBA Lincoln Financial Field
Sat, Sep 12th, 2015 at Cincinnati TBA Nippert Stadium
Sat, Sep 19th, 2015 at UMass. TBA McGuirk Stadium
Fri, Oct 2nd, 2015 at Charlotte 07:00 PM Jerry Richardson Stadium
Sat, Oct 10th, 2015 Tulane TBA Lincoln Financial Field
Sat, Oct 17th, 2015 UCF TBA Lincoln Financial Field
Thu, Oct 22nd, 2015 at E. Carolina 07:00 PM Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Sat, Oct 31st, 2015 Notre Dame TBA Lincoln Financial Field
Fri, Nov 6th, 2015 at SMU 08:00 PM Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Sat, Nov 14th, 2015 at So Florida TBA Raymond James Stadium
Sat, Nov 21st, 2015 Memphis TBA Lincoln Financial Field
Sat, Nov 28th, 2015 Connecticut TBA Lincoln Financial Field
All Times EST
*Season Win Total Odds from 5Dimes Sportsbook.
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