Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Now's the time to gush over BP (Bernard Pierce)

Temple football Fan Fest coming to Ocean City (N.J.) main pier between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on July 10.
I've never met David Sourber but, from what I gather, he beat me to the punch with what I thought was an innovative ideal _ create a "Bernard Pierce for Heisman" Facebook page.
Type in "Bernard Pierce for Heisman Facebook" on google and you are likely to find it.
Sourber is from Manheim, Pa., and is on target to graduate from Temple University in 2012.
He represents the current students who bring a passion to and support for the school too many of the older grads can't begin match.
All you have to do is go to the games, especially last year's Villanova game, where about 15-16,000 of the fans were students dressed in Cherry and pouring their hearts and lungs out for the Owls in the stands. Walking out of the stadium that night, I was more heartbroken for those kids in the stands than I was for myself (and nobody takes a Temple football loss harder than I do).
Six Owl numbers that will (maybe) get you some lotto money:
White Balls:
Six _ The number of 1986 Heisman Trophy runnerup Paul Palmer.
Fourty-four _ The number of Palmer's blocking back, fullback Shelley Poole, who went through the hole preceeding Palmer like a bowling ball knocking down pins. An unsung hero if there ever was one.
Thirty _ the number of the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner (hopefully) Bernard Pierce. Also the number of 1979 Garden State Bowl MVP Mark Bright.
Eleven _ The number of Big East offensive MVP Walter Washington (2004), the most dominating year by a player on a losing team maybe ever.
Twelve _ The old number of Vaughn Charlton, this year's Owl who made the greatest sacrifice for the team in switching to tight end (and becoming No. 3). Another unsung hero.
Powerball (red ball):
Nine _ The number of quarterback Steve Joachim, who holds the highest honor (Maxwell Trophy) heretofore ever bestowed upon a Temple football player (1974)
This Bernard Pierce for Heisman thing is getting some legs mostly because of the legs Pierce showed last year.
Bernard Pierce is, in my mind, the complete package.
If puts up a similar year to last and stays healthy, he should be in the conversation right up until the night the five finalists get together.
Unlike David Sourber who wasn't born then, I got to know Paul Palmer up close and personal like during his Heisman Trophy run in 1986.
Paul Palmer was a great, great back. Fast. Shifty. Could break tackles. Great vision.
While playing for Temple, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year only to Vinny Testaverde of Miami.
Yet having watched both Paul Palmer for four years and Bernard Pierce last year, I'm convinced there is nothing ... NOTHING ... Bernard Pierce can't do that Paul Palmer did.
In fact, there was little Paul Palmer could do his first year that Bernard Pierce didn't do.
After one game in which Palmer carried the ball 43 times, a reporter asked then Temple coach Bruce Arians why he gave him the ball that much.
"We gave him the ball because he could handle it," Arians said. "You know, it ain't that heavy."
Good line, Bruce.
If I had to give Palmer the edge over Pierce in any category, it would be his durability.
Pierce carried the ball a lot last year, but so did Palmer. On the other hand, Boo-Boo was fast, but not as fast as Pierce. I think Palmer avoided the big hit more than Pierce and that might have something to do with the injuries.
Pierce, though, combines world-class speed with great moves in the open field and an ability to break tackles and punish defenders.
I watched a lot of college football on network TV and did not see anyone as good. Unlike most non-BCS backs, Pierce has Penn State and UConn on the schedule, as well as the MAC, so he's got opportunities to lead his team to eye-popping wins that will get him into the conversation as early as September.
So the Heisman is right there for the taking.
If David Sourber helps him get one step closer to the New York Athletic Club, his Bernard Pierce for Heisman page is a worthwhile endeavor.
When Temple goes 13-0 and wins the national championship in Jan. 2011 and Bernard Pierce takes home the Heisman, 100,000 people will claim to be Owl season ticketholders. You can show them your season-ticket stubs by clicking below:


U.C.I. Photo said...

I love Bernard Pierce as a player and I definitely think he should be getting a lot more national attention than he is.

But lets be realistic here, he hasn't had a break-out game against a big time nationally ranked defense. Until he does, I don't see how he could possibly have any real shot at winning the The Heisman.

He's needs to light up the Stat sheet against BOTH UConn and PSU in order to have ANY hope of even being considered.

But I think the 600 pound gorilla Temple fans need to start looking at is that Temple is the ONLY Division-1 FBS School in The 4th largest TV market in the country. That being the case we as fans should NOT be satisfied until Temple is both back in a BCS conference, playing competitively wit it's top teams, AND playing bowl games in January.

Don't get me wrong. What Al Golden has done with this program, is nothing short of amazing. But his amazing work isn't done!

Playing well in the MAC and making it to the Eagle Bank Bowl are OK and a good start.

But let's keep our expectations high. Because excellence doesn't come until we understand that good isn't good enough and Just OK is UNACCEPTABLE!

Temple Football Forever said...

I would argue that Navy is a big-time defensive team. They absolutely manhandled a decent Big 12 team (Missouri) in the Texas Bowl. All Bernard Pierce did against them was put up 267 and three scores _ including the most clutch, game-winning, touchdown run most folks will ever see. If that's not a breakout game, I don't know what is.

U.C.I. Photo said...

What he did against Navy was great. But when I say BIG TIME I mean BCS ranked schools like Florida, Ohio State, or at the very least Pitt.

He needs to do it against schools like that in order to be a serious Heisman candidate.

Which is why I'm saying that Temple's focus needs to be getting back into The Big East or anther BCS conference.

I think they are just one good Quarterback away from being able to compete in with BCS schools so hopefully with Al Golden recruiting as well as he is we could be in position to make the jump in the next few years.

Temple Football Forever said...

Very good point, U.C.I.
I think Navy of last year could have beaten UConn and given Penn State a better game than Temple did STRICTLY because of the QB situation and the way they run their offense.
If Al has an Achillies' Heel, it's his eye for recruiting quarterbacks.
Adam DiMichele fell into his lap.
Chester and Vaughn were NEVER close to ADM.

And I blame that on Al's QB talent evaluation or lack thereof.
Hopefully, he hits a home run with Chris Coyer or Mike Gerardi because I don't see Chester being more than serviceable. I think the ceiling is higher for the two aforementioned guys, but they have to show me on the field and in games.
Bernard can't go the entire season in 2010 with nine in the box, like he did in 2009.
The best way to get nine out of the box is some deadly play-action touchdowns down field on a regular basis.

U.C.I. Photo said...

I'll give Al the benefit of the doubt on his QB recruiting skills for now. Temple was such a train wreck of a program when he got there, no highly rated High School QB would of had any reason to go there.

I just cannot fathom that Al looked at Vaughn or Chester and said, "Oh yeah!!! these are the guys I want running my offense!!!"

I think they were his best options and he had no choice but to roll with them until he could bring someone else into the mix.

The fact that Vaughn had to switch positions to stay on the team speaks volumes to me. I can't help but think Al, in part at least, wanted to send a message that he was well aware how bad they were at QB and that he was addressing it.

When your starter from last year can't even be your third stringer this year, that's got to be a good sign that the position is going to be greatly improved this year.

Temple Football Forever said...

Al fancies himself as seeing talent other coaches don't see.
It has worked for him at other positions, but not so much at QB.
The problem with QB is that you get a kid in camp, like Vaughn, who makes all of these great throws in seven-on-seven drills with nobody coming at him and Al says, "Geez, I can make him the next Peyton Manning."
Some guys, like Vaughn and to a lesser extent Chester, don't make good decisions under pressure.
Some guys, like Adam DiMichele and to a lesser extent LaSalle High's Drew Loughery, do make great decisions and great plays under pressure.
Give me one of those guys any day over the guy with the big arm.