Two For The Price Of One (Richmond @ Villanova, Brown @ Penn)
by, 10-30-2010 at 11:41 AM (1343 Views)
PHILADELPHIA —There may not be many people in this pro-centric sports town who consider themselves true college football fans. But those that are have certainly enjoyed themselves in the past couple of years.
For all of the magic moments that teams like Penn and Villanova have experienced in rich pasts, college football has never been better in Philly than it is right now.
Villanova (5-2 overall, 3-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association) is the defending NCAA Division I football champion and the No. 5-ranked Wildcats are well on their way to earning their third consecutive Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth.
Today, Villanova is hosting Richmond in a battle of the last two national champions.
What a job Andy Talley has done in resurrecting (a nice word for a fine Catholic institution) a Wildcat program that was dropped in 1980. In his 26 years on the Main Line, Talley has been a true miracle worker.
Last weekend, during a 14-7 victory over James Madison, Talley watched with glee as his initial Wildcat team was introduced.
Penn (5-1 overall, 3-0 in the Ivy League) has only loss a hard-fought game at Villanova and can close in on a second straight Ivy title with a win over Brown today at historic Franklin Field.
And then there is the once down-trodden Temple program, who has seen its football fortunes rise under the guidance of coach Al Golden
I consider myself to be a die-hard college football fan, particularly when you are talking about FCS. So a day like today is extra special, with two games going on a few miles apart.
It didn't take long for the excitement to start either. Just a couple of plays after nearly throwing a pick-six interception to Richmond's All-American linebacker Eric McBride, Villanova quarterback Chris Whitney watched the Red Sea of the Spiders' defense part as he scampered 45 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead.
On the next Wildcat drive, Whitney blasted back down the field again to get Villanova in scoring position for a five-yard TD pass to Norman White to make it 14-0 with 1:51 left in the first period.
I'll be making the effort to watch at least a little bit of both FCS games in person this afternoon on what could be another special day of college football in Philly.
There may not be a lot of college football fans in Philly, but the ones of us that are here are indeed blessed.