They might have stumbled out of their dorm rooms at 10 a.m. and taken the 10-minute subway ride to the game in Philadelphia, but the estimated 6,000 Temple students will be from Missouri for Saturday's game against Buffalo.
You can say the same for 5,000 or so Temple alums and maybe 4,000 "Joe Philly" types who have adopted Temple as their hometown college team. About 15,000 hardcore Temple fans will be there; about 15,000 softcore Temple fans have already said, "Why bother?" after the Sept. 3 debacle against Villanova.
This is about the hardcore fans, though, coming with an attitude.
While they all may physically be in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, they definitely are in a Missouri state of mind.
You know, the "Show Me" state.
Almost 30,000 Temple fans, including about 12,000 students, left it all on the field against Villanova, screaming themselves hoarse, standing the entire game, and generally providing what by all accounts was a substantial home-field advantage against a school, Villanova, from the same town.
When they left the stadium, you could hear a lot of students—Temple students who could have gone anywhere—say, "same old Temple" after a 27-24 loss to Villanova.
Same old fumble up 10-0, going in for a 17-0 lead right after halftime.
Same old three interceptions.
Same old 24-14 fourth-quarter lead, followed by the same old defeat on the last play of the game.
Temple coach Al Golden must have sensed the mood of the university community this week when he wrote this letter to the students:
Thank you for your excitement and passion you displayed at our home opener versus Villanova. The sea of Cherry and White on the Temple sideline and in the end zone was truly incredible and it marked the largest student attendance we’ve had since I’ve been head coach of the Owls. Your enthusiasm at our games truly does give us the best home-field advantage in the MAC.
I strongly encourage you to attend our first MAC game of the year this Saturday (9/26) at Noon versus Buffalo. Please see below for bus transportation and student ticket information. We need you in the seats this Saturday! Be loud & proud of your Football team and help us win a MAC Championship this season! Go Owls!
—Al Golden, Head Football Coach
That indicates to me that the incredible disappointment in the overall Temple community over Villanova must have impacted Al to write the letter.
Students, alumni, and fans can only take so much of same old Temple.
So those of us who can muster ourselves out of bed on Saturday morning will get on the subway or head down I-95, and while hoping things will be different in the noon showdown against MAC champion Buffalo, we will be in a show-me mode.
Anybody who sits near me knows that I'm usually the first one off my feet (well, second), exhorting the crowd to get whipped up into a frenzy.
Not this week.
I'm going to sit there quietly and hope this team and, most importantly, coaching staff show me enough to get excited about.
Show me some touchdowns.
Show me some big defensive stops.
THEN I might get off my feet.
I'll be there, but my mind will be 1,000 miles away.
Hopefully, a few long Temple touchdowns will snap me out of my Villanova-induced stupor.