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(All information as of June 20, 2008)
COACH AND PROGRAM
There may not be any parades down North Broad Street just yet, but if Temple head coach Al Golden can build upon the Owls' surprising upsurge from their first season of full Mid-American Conference play, he will have accomplished something that has not been done in recent memory in the City of Brotherly Love, namely, make Temple football relevant again.
The 2007 campaign saw Temple match its previous three-year victory total by winning four games en route to a 4-4 conference record that included a win over MAC East champion Miami. But the Owls paid a hefty price in that game, losing starting quarterback Adam DiMichele to injury. That short-circuited the Owls' momentum, thus snapping a nearly unheard-of three-game winning streak, and they struggled the rest of the way, losing three of their last four games.
"That to me is going to be an important equation this season," Golden said. "Can we develop into a team that can finish? I didn't like the way the team finished last year. It all comes down to execution and being more disciplined; becoming both physically and mentally tough."
Still, few people would have expected the Owls to be in position to contend so quickly under Golden, considering Temple's woebegone history that saw the Owls booted from the Big East and banished to independent purgatory before the MAC threw the program a life preserver.