There 128 FBS programs in the country. Temple is now one of the top 25. After six straight victories to open the year, Temple football is officially nationally ranked.
The news broke Sunday afternoon following the Owl’s 30-16, come from behind win over UCF Saturday night. Temple came in at #24 in the Coach’s poll, but jumped even higher in the Associated Press, climbing to 22nd in the nation.
The accomplishment comes as a huge building block from a program that was a frustrating 2-10 only two years prior. “I’m really proud of our players and it’s a tribute to them that people have noticed how they have played to this point”, said head coach Matt Rhule, who took over the team in 2012. Temple last appeared in the national rankings 36 years ago, in 1979, as they capped off a 10-2 season with a victory in the Garden State Bowl. Their #17 ranking at that time is highest in program history.
The ranking reflects the Owls’ torrid start that has them gunning for a spot in Temple lure. A win Thursday over East Carolina would mark the 1st time to program has started 7-0. Much of the success has come from a revamped offense that is scoring over 33 points per game. Leading the way has been Jahad Thomas, who has accumulated 937 total yards and 12 total touchdowns. With a mistake-free P.J. Walker and a dominating defense, Temple will look to climb in those standings in the coming weeks.
The ranking will be put to the test Halloween Night, as the Owls will take on the 11th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 8:00 pm. That game will be televised on ABC.