2013 Preview

Good News - Temple Owls

The Compu-Picks 2013 Preview contains a number of analyses. One section of the preview specifically deals with negative projections for teams Compu-Picks is materially more pessimistic on than popular perception, and is entitled "Bad News". The counterpart, highlights of team Compu-Picks is more optimistic on than popular perception, will be called "Good News" and will be provided free to the public. One of these analyses is provided below.

Temple is a weird program. For years they were an absolute train wreck in the old Big East, until (essentially) they got thrown out of the conference, fell down to the MAC, and then started to turn things around. Now they're back in the American, which is basically the Big East without everyone who was good.

In year one of the post-MAC era, they only had four wins, but remember that they got that record against just eleven games (if they'd added another AA game or a 1-A bottom feeder, they'd have very likely gone 5-7). Now they're in an even easier league (with Pitt and Syracuse gone), with an easier non-conference (Notre Dame is a nightmare game, but Fordam, Idaho and Army are three pretty easy wins). Missing USF in the league draw is a bit of a nasty break, but they still get very winnable games against SMU, UConn, Memphis and Houston.

Essentially, the 4.5 win total that the books hung is saying that Temple should be a WORSE team in 2013 than they were in 2012, given that they have an easier schedule this year, an actual 12th game, and that the 4-7 record wasn't especially fraudulent or weird (they were very slightly favorable in close game fortune, but really not much).

And there really isn't much of a reason to think they should be worse. Yes, there's coaching transition, and yes, they've been very fortunate in injury luck for years (eventually that will swing the other way). But 2012 was at least a bit of a negative outlier for them, their recruiting levels support performance better than 2012 levels, their defense is unusually experiened (though the offense is about average), and their turnover margin swung hugely down in 2012 (though part of that may be due to the tougher competition).

All in all, most signs point to this team getting better rather than worse. Throw in an easier schedule and an actual 12th game, and it becomes really hard to see why the books hung a number as low as 4.5 wins for the Temple Owls.

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