Temple, which is 20-86 since the start of 1998. Temple, which hasn't had a winning season since 1990.
So why is lowly Temple such a big game? Because if Army can't beat the Owls, it might not see the win column again this fall. Pardon the pessimistic view, but you have to understand our point of view. Our Black Knights haven't enjoyed a winning season in over a decade. The years A.S. (After Sutton) have been abysmal.
But there is also reason for optimism entering Army's second home game at Michie Stadium.
This is a very winnable game. In fact, the Black Knights should take it. That is, if they want to be regarded as for real. Temple is coming of a 48-35 loss to Bowling Green. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime, but Temple was hurt by two turnovers in the second half. Translation: Temple could play right into the Army D's hands.
As for the offense, that is the only thing holding Army back right now. Here's an interesting stat: Temple scored 35 points last week against Bowling Green. The Black Knights' offense has scored just 48 points all year. And if Army's offense leaves the Black Knights in another Rhode Island-style battle to the death, there might be lot of depressed fans leaving Michie. Because this isn't your uncle Chazz's Temple. Second-year Temple coach Al Golden may actually have a better chance at turning things around in the City of Brotherly Love faster than Stan Brock will at West Point. Golden, 38, comes from a great coaching pedigree.
Al Groh hired him as the youngest offensive coordinator at Virginia in 2001. Golden is starting to get athletes in the program that can make things happen like quarterback Adam DiMichele, running back Jason Harper and wide receiver Dy'Onne Crudup. Good for Temple, the Owls may very well be on their way. Or, at least, headed that way.
But this isn't about Temple. This is about Army. Saturday, could be the defining moment of Army's season. If Army beats Temple, the Black Knights aren't in a terrible spot. If Army beats Temple, it should beat Tulane the next week. If not, it could be another long year. That's not what the Black Knights or their fans deserve. Army will make its season by breaking Temple, even though it might not be easy. Go Army! Beat Temple!