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NCAA Football American Athletic ConferenceTemple Owls

Temple Football Needs to Settle On One Helmet

P.J. walker, Kyle friend, temple,

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When you have an iconic football program like Penn State, Alabama and Notre Dame, you have no need to mess with things like uniforms and helmets because those become branded with success.

When you are a school like Temple, though, stumbling around in the college football dark, you try a variety of uniforms and helmets over the years and usually that process takes decades, not months.

Matt Rhule, the team’s first-year head coach last season, compressed that process into four months of trying several helmet combinations. This year, though, the team needs to settle on one helmet that significantly rose above the others and that was the one that made it on national TV in the game against visiting Central Florida (pictured above, modeled by the team’s two current best players, quarterback P.J. Walker and center Kyle Friend).

The genius of the design was marrying the school’s long-time football brand, spelling out the school name, with the school’s academic brand, the  T logo. Putting Temple on the helmet was former coach Wayne Hardin‘s idea (“we want people to know who we are”) and it was followed by the T until Al Golden put Temple back on the helmet for four years.

Steve Addazio, the coach between Golden and Rhule,  restored the T for two more, and now Rhule has experimented until stumbling upon a King Solomon-like solution — splitting the baby — that he should go forward with.

An ad that appeared on “Owlsports.com” on Monday morning illustrated the need to put the name “Temple” back on the helmets. A copy writer for Under Armour confused the Temple T with the Texas Tech T, and nobody from Temple caught the mistake before it appeared on “Temple” website. While Temple fans all know and love the Temple T, it doesn’t mean a hill of beans to fans from Texas or Tulane or Tulsa. That’s why Hardin put the school name on the helmets and why Golden felt it was important to put it back.

Now Rhule would be a wise Owl if he followed the lead of those two great Temple coaches.

Mike Gibson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @papreps or add him to your network on Google.