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Could Temple keep Bulls out of Birmingham?

Could Ventell Bryant (87) and Temple keep USF out of the Birmingham Bowl? It's possible.

Times file photo

Could Ventell Bryant (87) and Temple keep USF out of the Birmingham Bowl? It's possible.



At most, only five days of bowl limbo remain, and Bulls fans are understandably agog over the possibilities.

Especially the ones that have the Bulls landing at Legion Field. The hopes of the 24th-ranked Bulls (10-2) facing an SEC foe in the Birmingham Bowl were further stoked Tuesday when ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy both projected USF to play in the Dec. 29 game, against Vanderbilt and South Carolina, respectively.

To be sure, it's a viable scenario. But Bulls fans also must come to grips with another plausibility.

Temple, the bane of the Bulls' regular season, may also become the bane of their bowl season. While Schlabach and McMurphy both project the Owls to play N.C. State in the Military Bowl, that seems far from a slam dunk. Follow us here:

At this stage, Birmingham and Annapolis, Md. -- site of the Dec. 27 Military Bowl -- seem the likeliest postseason destinations for Temple and USF. Thing is, the Owls play in Annapolis -- against Navy -- in Saturday's American Athletic Conference title game.

It's unlikely Temple or its fans would be too giddy over playing in the same stadium only 24 days later. The same reason USF fans don't want a berth in the St. Pete Bowl (not a bona fide bowl trip) is probably the same reason Owls fans don't want a return trip to Annapolis, which is fewer than 100 miles from Philadelphia.

Moreover, if the Owls defeat Navy, they could be afforded more say -- as conference champions -- in determining their postseason destination. And they'd almost certainly prefer facing an SEC foe than one from the ACC (in the Military).

Again, who knows how everything will transpire. For now, it's just a scenario to chew on.

Even if it may be tough for fans in these parts to swallow.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 9:13pm]


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