Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Temple To Join Big East?

Funny how things happen, eh?

Nearly a decade ago, the Big East was tired of Temple's lousy football program and basically forced them out of their conference. This was at a time when Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech were bolting for the ACC and the league had to rebuild.

Fast forward to today when the Big East is begging Temple to come back. Yes, the Big East wants Temple to join their league. And the Big East is desperate.

You see, with West Virginia settling with the league so they can leave for the Big 12 right now, the Big East is left with just 7 football members next year. Down the road, they're fine but next year they are in trouble. Only Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UConn, Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be in the league next year ... and Pitt and Syracuse have one foot out the door. None of their soon-to-be members can or are willing to get out of their current leagues early to join.

Temple makes sense because they know 'em, they're in the geographical footprint, they have a nice hoops program and their football team has gotten much better. As a member of the MAC, Temple has been a bowl team the last several years.

What is interesting is how this goes over at Villanova, the only Big East team in Philadelphia. Nova cannot like Temple joining the league again (Temple wasn't in the basketball conference at any point) and pushing in on their market. Remember, too, that the Big East has been trying to get Nova to move their football program to Division I status.

If Temple did join, it would make for an interesting football and hoops league.

EAST: Cincinnati, Central Florida, Rutgers, UConn, South Florida, Temple
WEST: Boise State, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, San Diego St, SMU
(Navy will be a football only member in 2015)

Cincinnati, Central Florida, DePaul, Georgetown, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, SMU, South Florida, St John's, Temple, UConn, Villanova

That makes 18 hoops teams and 12 ... soon to be 13 ... football teams. Of course, the Big East knows that someone could come knocking at their membership down the road. UConn has all but said they'd bolt to the ACC if they asked (and they will if they can get Notre Dame to join, too). The Big 12 could come after Louisville and Cincinnati. Maybe the Big East is stockpiling for another raid. Maybe they really think this will work.

No comments: