Snubbed Again

The Temple University football team is home for the holidays …. again. The Owls became bowl eligible in their final game of the season Saturday, beating Tulane, 10-3, to get to 6-6 on the season. But when the bowl bids were handed out on Sunday, Temple was left without one.

The Temple University football team is home for the holidays …. again.

The Owls became bowl eligible in their final game of the season Saturday, beating Tulane, 10-3, to get to 6-6 on the season. But when the bowl bids were handed out on Sunday, Temple was left without one.

With 82 bowl teams for 76 spots, the Owls found themselves as one of the half-dozen on the outside looking in.

They were the sixth bowl team in the American Athletic Conference, which had just five bowl tie-ins. In April, the AAC gave up its rights to the Bahamas Bowl to Conference USA.

The Owls found themselves in a similar situation in 2010 when they were bypassed at 8-4, but head coach Matt Rhule noted those were different circumstances where they were passed over for other teams as a member of the Mid-American Conference.

On Sunday, Rhule said there was just no landing spot for Temple.

“It’s a different set of circumstances, we just hit the conference in a one-year glitch,” said Rhule. “I think there’s seven guaranteed spots next year.

“But it was every bit as painful as the last time. It’s extremely disappointing. I don’t want to minimize that at all.”

The Owls improved from 2-10 to 6-6 and along the way went 4-4 in the league and beat a nationally-ranked East Carolina team. The .500 mark in conference came against a difficult schedule as they didn’t get to play 4-8 South Florida or 1-11 SMU.

“You win six games in this conference, you deserve to go,” said Rhule. “There’s a lot of teams that are going to a bowl game who are 2-6 in their conference … Our kids competed and won six games in this conference and deserved to go.”

Rhule said he was proud how the team took the news and was happy at least the seniors had a chance to go out on a win Saturday night, making a defensive stand in the final minute to win the game.

“I can only hope that I can have the same dignity, the same maturity, the same…I can't even find the words,” said Rhule. “I don't have the words to describe the integrity that our seniors had when they found out that they weren't going to a bowl game today.

“At a time where I had a hard time talking in front of over 100 guys, (senior running back) Kenny Harper, to talk about what a man looks like, stood up and thanked the team and talked about lessons moving forward from this lack of going to a bowl … I just hope I can exemplify the same maturity they did.

“We’re all in this together, we’re all suffering together, but they’re going to come out flying from this.”

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