The telltale sign of a Temple football fan is the swollen red arm one would get from constantly pinching themself in an effort to wake from a dream. Temple's dream season will reach a pinnacle on Saturday when they host the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at sold out Lincoln Financial Field.
To add even more weight to this already magnanimous Philadelphia sporting event, ESPN has announced that College GameDay, the premier college football pregame show in the nation, will be broadcasting live from Philadelphia.
The broadcast will not be taking place at Temple's campus, but rather on Independence Mall with a backdrop of some of Philadelphia's most historic sights. Personally, I don't see what the problem with broadcasting from Broad and Cecil B. Moore in the heart of the North Philly campus would be, but in any event, this will be the first time College GameDay has made it to Philadelphia since they posted up in University City for a Penn game at historic Franklin Field in 2002.
The announcement was not made until Monday, whereas ESPN usually unveils their next locale on Sundays. Independence Mall is federal land, not private property, so specific permits were needed to finalize things, although rumors have been running wilder than Jahad Thomas since it was determined the game featuring #21 Temple and #9 Notre Dame would be ABC's primetime game on Halloween night.
For once, when Coach Corso dons the headgear of the team mascot he selects to win the big game, he will probably not be the only one in costume.
While the Temple football program has produced many seasons worthy of sleeping through, the recognition of College GameDay serves as a reward of sorts for the incredible strides Temple has taken over the past ten years.
Since Al Golden, who was recently relieved of his coaching duties at the University of Miami, took over the hapless Owls from Bobby Wallace in 2005, they have been on the upswing. No Temple team, though, has reached the heights to which current head coach Matt Rhule has brought his squad.
The young coach will have his hands full keeping his team focused and prepared to play the most recognizable and elite college football program of all time in Notre Dame. The hoopla surrounding this game would be easy for a team to get caught up in, but despite his frat boy stubble, Rhule is a mature coach and extremely diligent planner who will have his team ready to go. The bad news for Temple, the hype is nothing new for the Golden Domers.
Notre Dame's potent offensive attack, putting up 38 points per game on average, will face off against a stout Temple unit led by senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich. The final score will inevitably come down to Temple's ability to create turnovers on the defensive end, and minimize turnovers on the offensive side of the ball.
If Corso thinks Temple can do those two things, don't be surprised if he's wearing a Hooter the Owl head at the end of the program.
So, Temple football fans, if on Saturday morning you witness an 80-year-old man wearing an Owl mask dancing around a stage on Independence Mall, do not pinch yourself. This is real, and you are finally awake.