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March 11, 2017

Bleacher Report envisions 16-team college football playoff with Temple competing

Temple football's 2016 season ultimately ended in disappointment, with the Owls losing to 6-6 Wake Forest in the Military Bowl despite a 10-3 record and an AAC championship.

But what if the College Football Playoff had included 16 teams instead of four, and Temple was among those competing?

That's the revisionist history Bleacher Report columnist Christopher Walsh laid out in a Wednesday article. Many have argued that the tournament to decide college football's best team should be expanded, but Walsh went righ ahead and predicted how a larger field would have played out in 2016.

Just going off of the final rankings by the College Football Playoff committee, Temple wouldn't have made the cut in a 16-team playoff. But by including automatic bids for all conference champions, the Owls make it in.

With the way Walsh set up the bracket, Temple would have faced Ohio State in the first round. Here's his prediction on how that game would have went:

Temple at Ohio State

Although Temple at Penn State would have been a terrific first-round pairing, they met during the regular season. Despite the efforts of outgoing quarterback Phillip Walker, the Buckeyes simply have too much for the Owls, especially defensively. Quarterback J.T. Barrett has a huge game as Ohio State turns its attention to a familiar foe.

Ohio State 27, Temple 10

So, still disappointment. But I suppose losing by only 17 to Big Ten powerhouse and perennial national championship contender Ohio State isn't that bad.

As Walsh notes, a Temple/Penn State playoff matchup would be incredible for fans, but doesn't make sense as they already played in the regular season. (Temple lost this year after winning the matchup for the first time in a long time in 2015.)

As for the Nittany Lions, Walsh has them beating Western Michigan in the first round, but losing to Big Ten rival Ohio State in the second round.

You can check out Walsh's entire hypothetical bracket here.