Team preview: Temple

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(All information as of July 1, 2006)


The headline possibilities are endless if Al Golden somehow turns things around at Temple -- Golden Boy, Golden Era, etc.

Then again, those headlines could just as easily read Golden Tarnished. Because Golden, 36, has taken on the mother of all rebuilding tasks, taking over a program that has been a laughingstock the last two decades. Golden, who spent the last five years as defensive coordinator at Virginia, takes over a Temple team that went 0-11 last year, its first winless season since 1959.

"I don't care what's transpired in the past," Golden said. "We're going to start a new era."

Under his predecessor Bobby Wallace (whose aw-shucks Southern personality played about as well in Philly as that of current Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel), Temple went 19-71 and was booted out of the Big East Conference. The Owls were an Independent last season and will be one again this fall before becoming a full-fledged member of the Mid-American Conference in 2007.

"I'm excited about leading this program as we transition into the Mid-American Conference," Golden said. "I'm confident in the commitment to excellence that currently exists at Temple University. We have the best university, the best city and the best facilities in the MAC. The future looks bright on North Broad Street."

For the first time since Bruce Arians roamed Temple's sideline, there is reason to be excited about the future of Temple football. The reason is that Golden is considered one of the rising stars in the coaching business -- a guy who was offered the job of Notre Dame's recruiting coordinator in early 2005. But instead of taking Charlie Weis up on his offer, Golden elected to stay at the University of Virginia for a fifth year as an assistant to Al Groh.