Okay, maybe I over-exagerated by saying 'by far' but I still think that they have a better first team than we do. The likes of Gibson and Riley are very good players at this level, McCracken, Stevenson and Ferry too. And McAllister is probably the best striker in this league and would probably be one of the better strikers in League One too. The problem might be that if they were to suffer a few injuries to some of the key players in the first team then they might not have the same strength in depth. I don't know that much about Peterhead but would probably say that they have the better first team but we have better strength in depth, if that makes sense. The key for Peterhead would be keeping the first team fit and injury free.
I agree that without McAllister's goals, Peterhead would not be that special, but they still have a strong team. And they probably (again, I am only guessing here as I don't know that much about Peterhead) have a much higher budget than us and would be able to strengthen in January if required or pick up any free agents the rest of the season due to the wages they can offer.
Templeman is an important player for us, and I agree that although he would be a big loss, he is not the only threat we have up front. A fit and motivated Gary Fraser can score goals. CJ can also score, as can Hay. I'm yet to be totally convinced by McLaren but there is something there. What we lack is a goalscorer like McAllister, someone who you could rely on to score virtually every week with decent service.
The key difference in our favour is Stewart Petrie. The difference he has made since he has come in has been amazing. I think he is a better manager than McInally, with the budget he has and the players at his disposal, McInally should (in my limited opinion) be doing much better than they are.
So, in short, you're right that Peterhead are not that far ahead of us but I would still say that they have the better first team and provided they stay injury free should be favourites for the title. That doesn't necessarily mean they will win the league though.