The Temple Owls are heading to Florida for the Gasparilla Bowl

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

For the third year in a row, the Temple Owls are heading to a bowl game, this time under new head coach Geoff Collins. Here’s everything you need to know.

When Temple Owls‘ head coach Matt Rhule announced that he was leaving the program to become the new head coach of the Baylor Bears after the 2016 CFB season, many fans saw it as the end of an era.

Rhule single-handedly turned the program around from a collegiate afterthought to a program that exemplified the meaning of “Temple Tuff”, and seemingly on his will alone took the team to two consecutive bowl games, an anomaly in North Philly.

With Rhule, and a number of high profile players like Haason Reddick, Tyler Matakevich, Matt Ioannidis and Robby Anderson, now gone, it seemed inevitable that the team would understandably regress, but to what extent would truly define the course of the 2017 season.

And for the most part, Temple was a pleasant surprise.

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Sure, they lost some ugly games, specifically their Week 1 trouncing by Notre Dame and a pair of double digits losses to USF and UCF, but new head coach Geoff Collins actually fielded a solid team. Formerly Florida‘s defensive coordinator, Collins brought some of that SEC’s flair to North Philadelphia and helped to bring some life to a relatively indifferent fan base.

And the team was rewarded for their efforts, and their respectable 6-6 record, with their third consecutive bowl appearance, this time in the Gasparilla Bowl.

On December 21st, 2017, the Owls will head on down to Tampa Bay Florida to face off against the 8-4 Florida International University Panthers. While far from a marquee matchup, this battle could give Temple a nice opportunity to showcase their new playing style in front of a relatively unsuspecting audience, and should give the team’s fanbase a nice opportunity to migrate south for a welcomed holiday.

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Regardless of how Temple shows out on the national stage, in a game that they are currently a seven-point favorite in, it’ll be interesting to see how the program continues to grow under Collins’ tutelage and who knows, maybe he can finally establish a college football dynasty in the City of Brotherly Love.