Last season, the football team went 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the Mid-American Conference and missed the postseason. This year, those two records are the best-case scenarios for the Owls, but a potential postseason bid is still within Temple’s reach.
The Owls’ current in-conference record of 4-3 is good for second place in the MAC East with two games left on Temple’s schedule. The Owls can make the postseason in two different scenarios:
-The Owls beat Kent State in their final regular season game AND Ohio loses the two remaining games on its schedule.
-The Owls beat Kent State, Miami (Ohio) wins out, AND Buffalo finishes higher than Bowling Green in the MAC East standings.
There are four games that will account for the most change in the outcome of the Owls’ season. If the following games go in Temple’s favor then the team can claim the MAC East bid to a bowl game.
Temple vs. Kent State (Nov. 25)
First and foremost, the Owls need to win their final MAC game of the year against the Golden Flashes. Temple needs to improve its final in-conference record to 5-3 and get help elsewhere to win the MAC East.
Miami (Ohio) at Ohio (Nov. 22)
Temple needs Miami (Ohio) to defeat the Bobcats in either scenario in order for the Owls to make the playoffs. If Ohio loses to the Redhawks and the Bobcats go 1-1 in their last two games, there will be a three-way tie atop the MAC East standings between Temple, Ohio, and Miami (Ohio).
The tiebreaker depends on the in-conference record for the other teams in first place, which is nullified since each team would have beaten another team in the three-way tie. The tiebreaker would then defer to the record against the fourth-place team in the MAC, which complicates things even further.
If Temple beats Kent State, then the Bobcats, Redhawks, and Owls will all have defeated the Golden Flashes, and the tiebreaker would then defer to the fifth-place team.
Buffalo and Bowling Green are the two teams who could decide the tiebreaker. Temple needs Buffalo to finish higher than Bowling Green, as the Owls beat the Bulls but lost to the Falcons. The Owls would win a tiebreaker if deferred to Buffalo, but would lose if deferred to Bowling Green.
Ohio at Bowling Green (Nov. 16)
Temple can make the playoffs with either outcome of this game, but Ohio losing would make things a lot simpler.
If the Bobcats lose, then Temple would win the MAC East with a win over Kent State and an Ohio loss the following week against Miami (Ohio).
If the Bobcats win, then Miami (Ohio) will have to win on the same night against Western Michigan and defeat Ohio the next week for the Owls to have a chance to make the postseason.
Bowling Green at Buffalo (Nov. 25)
In order for the Bulls to finish higher than the Falcons, Buffalo needs to win out, including a win over Bowling Green on the same day Temple plays Kent State.
If the Falcons defeat the Bulls, then the Owls could not win a tiebreaker for first place and would have to hope that Ohio loses its two remaining games while Temple beats Kent State.
The Owls will know where they stand going into their final game of the season versus Kent State. By then, Temple could be mathematically eliminated or control their own destiny.
No matter what happens, the Owls need a win against the Golden Flashes to have a chance to win the MAC East and make the postseason and possibly a bowl game.