Temple joins Top 25

Temple, which is 6-0, is 22nd in the AP poll and No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches poll. It was also ranked in 1935, 1945 and 1979.

When Al Golden arrived at Temple 10 years ago to fix the worst program in Division I-A, it was to build for day like Sunday, when the Owls rejoined the Top 25 for the first time in 36 years.

Temple, which is 6-0, is 22nd in the AP poll and No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches poll. It was also ranked in 1935, 1945 and 1979.

The Owls were 1-11 in that first year under Golden, but early in his tenure he said Temple had the potential to be the "Boise of the East."

Ironically, Boise was one of the teams bounced from the Top 25 this week to make room for Temple.

Golden stayed for five years before departing for the University of Miami (Fla.). His successor, Steve Addazio, spent two years on campus before leaving for Boston College. It was Matt Rhule - who coached under both men - who led the Owls into the national spotlight in his third season.

"I'm really proud of our players, and it's a tribute to them that people have noticed how they have played to this point," Rhule said in a statement. "I am thrilled that we have been able to get off to a 6-0 start. But I'll repeat what I have said before, it's a long season, and I'll be happier if we can finish the year ranked among the best in the country."

Temple started the season with a 27-10 win over Penn State, the Owls' first over their fellow Pennsylvania school in 74 years, and followed it up with a win at American Athletic Conference favorite Cincinnati.

Beating the Bearcats put the Owls on the verge of the Top 25 then, but a close win over Massachusetts knocked them down a few pegs. Wins over Charlotte, Tulane and Central Florida - the last an ugly 30-16 victory Saturday night - finally put them over the top.

The Owls can't enjoy the moment for too long or their stay might be short-lived. They travel to East Carolina for a Thursday night game in which they are currently the underdog.

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