There's a lot of the line for Temple tonight against UConn in the regular season finale for each team.
A win would push the Owls to the 10-win mark, an incredible achievement for head coach Matt Rhule and his staff in their third year running the program. It would also mean advancing to the first-ever American Athletic Conference Championship Game, where Temple would travel to Houston to meet the Cougars, who earned the West Division crown with a win over Navy Friday. It could also mean being invited to a really cool bowl game. Should Temple lose Saturday, USF will represent the East Division in next Saturday's championship.
For UConn? Well, that remains to be seen. Seven wins in the regular season would definitely be nice, and it would definitely make UConn a more attractive option for bowl organizers. There are even rumors of an invite to the Pinstripe Bowl if the ACC and Big 10 can not fill their allotment of bowl games.
Regardless, UConn is going to a bowl game for the first time since the 2010 season. For the Huskies to be 6-5 entering the final game of the season is nothing short of spectacular. Bob Diaco and his staff deserve a lot of credit for what they have done this season.
Getting to 7-5 will be difficult. The Huskies are expected to play without quarterback Bryant Shirreffs Saturday night after he took a hard hit to the head in last weekend's win over Houston. Tight end Tommy Myers is also out, after sustaining a serious lower leg injury against the Cougars.
Temple enters the game ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and the College Football Playoff Rankings. With wins over UConn and Houston, the Owls could be in position to be the highest ranked team from the Group of Five. Temple boasts wins over Penn State, Cincinnati and Memphis, but Matt Rhule's team lost a heartbreaker to Notre Dame and was blown out by USF.
Saturday's game will be a battle of two top defenses. The Huskies rank third in the American in total defense (355.1 yards) and second in scoring defense (19.1 points). Temple is first in total defense (345.7) and third in scoring defense (20.2). Both teams are at the lower end of the offensive rankings.
Be sure to share your thoughts on the game in the comments below, as UConn looks to secure its first winning season in five years.