When pondering the coming attractions in this horror show of a season, the Owls can take solace from something former Temple halfback Bill Cosby once said: "You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it."
To survive their Schedule of Doom, players may have to laugh through a considerable amount of pain. The Owls lost their top offensive player (quarterback Walter Washington, who accounted for 71% of the team's total offense and 83% of its touchdowns) and top two defensive players (linebackers Rian Wallace, a fifth-round draft pick of the Steelers, and Troy Bennett, the team's defensive MVP). Thirty-seven players, about a third of the roster, have spent time at either a junior college or another four-year school. "I believe we can knock off one or two of our opponents," insists senior defensive end Mike Mendenhall, a second-team All-- Big East selection in '04. "I'd consider that an accomplishment."
The goal of Temple's coach isn't so modest. "I'm hoping for six wins," says Wallace, whose contract expires at the end of the year. "Some people think four would be a miracle. I don't." His mantra: Stay competitive. "Each week we've got a chance to make national news because of who we're playing. Any win will be a great one."
And to many observers, an unexpected one. Asked if 11 losses is a possibility, senior quarterback Mike McGann says, "Anything's possible, but I don't see us having a no-win season. The oddsmakers aren't right allthe time."