For the first time in possibly the history of Philadelphia, the Eagle’s will not be the home town football team dominating the headlines this weekend. This Saturday, the Temple Owls have arguably more to play for than any other team in college football. The undefeated Owls will host the 9th ranked Fighting Irish as they visit the city of brotherly love. Temple has traditionally been known as a basketball school but that all changed earlier this month when they appeared in the national ranking for the first time in 36 years! With a win over Notre Dame the Owls will emerge as a bona fide contender!
Anyone who follows college football understands the importance of having ESPN’s College Gameday on campus. On Saturday, the Gameday crew will set up shop right in front of the historic Independence Hall for the show’s 300th edition. One of the main reasons ESPN chose this game was because of the Playoff Implications at stake. The loser is all but disqualified, while the winner becomes the non BCS outsider likely to crash the college playoff. Temple isn’t just playing for themselves but the credibility of a conference that features three undefeated teams with something to prove. Can the Owls capture their biggest win in school history or will the established Irish squash the hopes of the double digit underdogs?
In the age of the modern college football playoff system which matches up four teams with the best resumes, it’s easy to forget about schools not in a power five conference. Even though the playoff system is in its infancy, it is widely understood amongst fans and analysts that these teams will come out of the Pac 12, Big 10, Big12, SEC, or ACC. No one expected that half way through the season and after most non-conference games have been played, that three teams from the American Athletic Conference would still remain undefeated. Let’s now delve into what can unfold over the next couple months.
Sitting at #22 in the AP poll the Temple Owls have the most intriguing game yet to be played of any AAC team the rest of the season when they travel to Notre Dame Halloween night. Coming into the game with a 7-0 record for the first time in school history the Owls look to not only boost their resume but the resume of the conference as a whole. With an early season win against Penn State, Temple can make a major push for a top 10 ranking with a win over Notre Dame. With those resume building wins and an AAC Championship it would be extremely hard to keep the Owls out of the playoff come January!
The other two teams in the AAC equation are the University of Houston and the University of Memphis. Each team has a 6-0 record and shares a lead in the West division. The Houston Cougars may have the most tradition in the conference but also have the most to prove. With a weak non-conference schedule the Cougars need to finish the year unblemished and beat an undefeated Temple squad in the Conference Championship. If this unfolds the Playoff committee will have no choice but to consider the Cougars.
The Biggest surprise in the AAC, and maybe the country, are the Memphis Tigers. The Tigers jumped onto the major college football scene for the first time in years when they beat SEC power Ole Miss earlier in the month. Even though Memphis is the highest ranked of the trio at 18 they still have the toughest conference schedule left to play with back to back road games at Houston and Temple next month.
At this point, you have to give Temple the best shot at receiving a playoff bid with big upcoming games against Notre Dame and Memphis being played at home. If these schools continue their winning ways they’ll force committee members to give them a solid look. Moving forward, it’ll be fascinating to see how far up these teams can move in the polls and whether they receive the praise they deserve. We’ll have some of these questions answered when the Fighting Irish come to Philadelphia Halloween night!
To check out other American Athletic teams and schools from other conferences, check out our Campus Team Shop!
If you’re a parent with kids off at College for the first time Holiday shopping might be a little different this year. Remember this could be the first time your son or daughter is away from home for an extended period. For a teenager this can be a big adjustment from the life they’re used too. To make the transition from home to college the smoothest we’ve come up with our top ten gifts every college student will enjoy!
10. Food Storage Containers– Now this might not be the coolest or most appreciated gift to give but they are a must! Anyone who has lived in a dorm room knows that space is very tight and it’s very important to be organized. Leaving food out in an unorganized manner can be messy and very tempting for a hungry roommate. This is one gift that you will not take for granted!
9. Backpacks and Duffel Bags – When you’re taking a full class load, expect to buy books in all shapes and sizes. Walk to class in style with Russell Athletic Triple play back pack and stick out from the crowd with your own custom logo or name on the front.
8. Custom T-shirts – Is your son or daughter involved in sports, clubs, or the Greek system on campus? Let your college student start the trend with a custom Russell Athletic Men’s NuBlend T-Shirt or a Fruit of the Loom Women’s Heavy Cotton Tee. For some extra flash you can create a design with our trademarked Sparkle Twill!
7. Bike – Need a way to get around a large campus but don’t have the money to gas up and maintain a car? A bike is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get from class to class. Also, no bike purchase is complete without a lock and helmet for safety!
6. Winter Clothing – The last thing a student wants when away from mom for the first time is to catch a bad cold. Stay bundled up this winter in a Russell Athletic Men’s Dri-Powered hooded sweatshirt with a matching acrylic beanie.
5. Snacks – When living off a meal plan that only serves food a couple hours at a time it’s very important to have reserves back at the dorm room. Make your college student feel at home with his or her favorite snacks or microwavable food. Cafeteria food can be very repetitive so anything out of the ordinary is welcomed!
4. Xbox 1 – The quickest and easiest way to become the most popular guy in the dorm is to have an Xbox 1. There’s a lot of down time in college and when the weather gets bad playing video games might be your best option. Just make sure that chemistry project is done first!
3. George Foreman Grill – For lots of teenager’s college is the first place where they regularly cook for themselves. Nothing is better for amateur chefs then the simple and compact George Foreman Grill. With little effort and mess this grill will cook any meat or vegetables to perfection in the comfort of your dorm room.
2. Game Day Blanket – Whether you’re in the bleachers cheering or out tailgating before the game it’s essential to have an extra layer. With our Holloway Tailgate Fleece Blanket you can support your school while keeping yourself and everyone around you warm!
1. Quality Headphones – All over campus you’ll encounter distractions whether it’s your roommate snoring or a loud group of people across the table at the library. To block out these distractions every college student needs a set of noise blocking headphones. A gift like this doesn’t just help you study but could also keep you from hating your college roommate!