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(All information as of June 20, 2007)
COACH AND PROGRAM
Temple's football program joins the Mid-American Conference as a full-fledged member in 2007 after spending the last two seasons as an independent after their departure from the Big East in 2004. Although not officially a member of the MAC during 2005 or 2006, the Owls did play a limited MAC schedule, which clearly proved one thing.
Don't expect Temple to challenge for a MAC title, or even bowl eligibility, for awhile.
Temple has been rated in the bottom 10 of all 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) teams the last four years and has won exactly four games during that time. Turning around a program mired that deep in the nether regions of big-time football is a daunting task, and second-year head coach Al Golden is fully aware of the challenges that still lie ahead.
"Absolutely. I knew what kind of challenges we faced when I took over, but we've worked to change the attitude from the inside out," Golden said.
Faced with a roster that was not well stocked with upper-level talent, Golden established something he called "Local 215."
"I wanted to play off the Philadelphia area's reputation as a hard-working union town and Local 215 (Philadelphia's area code) is our program to encourage walk-ons from the area to try out for the team and for this team to connect with the community," Golden said. "I wanted people to become more aware of this program and feel as though the community has a stake in the fortunes of Temple football."
It's a laudable objective, but it speaks to how far Temple still needs to go before being able to compete week in and week out in major college football. Golden sees MAC membership as being a key ingredient.
"The whole dynamic has changed now that we are in the MAC," Golden said. "This is a conference that has had multiple bowl teams for several seasons and the top third of the MAC is guaranteed to play in a bowl game."