Temple to Join Big East in Football for 2012 Season


It is often said that you can’t go home. 

Temple is about to find out if that is true. 

According to CSNPhilly.com, it appears that Temple has reached an agreement with the Mid-American Conference to be released to rejoin the Big East for football in 2012. The Owls would move the rest of their sports from the Atlantic Ten Conference in time for the 2013-14 academic year.

A press conference has been scheduled for 5:30pm EST to announce the move. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the buyout for Temple to leave the Mid-American Conference is $6 million. The Owls will also have to pay the Atlantic Ten $1 million for leaving with a year’s notice. 

Sources say that Temple will fill the vacant hole in the Big East football schedule left by West Virginia’s defection to the Big 12. West Virginia agreed to a buyout and settled their lawsuit with the Big East last month.

Temple was famously booted from the Big East Conference in 2004 after thirteen years as a football only member due to poor performance and poor attendance. After playing as an independent in 2006 and 2007, the Owls joined the MAC in 2007 as a football only member. 

The Big East is adding more members in 2013, with San Diego State and Boise State arriving from the Mountain West Conference as football only members, and Houston, Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Memphis arriving as full members. The U.S. Naval Academy will join as a football only member in 2015. 

Adding Temple for 2012 will give the Big East eight football playing schools, which should ease the scheduling concerns for the remaining members, since they will not have to find an extra non-conference game to fill the void that West Virginia’s departure would have created. 

Also, this is not the same Temple program that was forced out of the conference nearly a decade ago. The Owls have been to two bowl games over the past three seasons, and were 9-4 last year including a blowout of Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl. 

The logistics of a 15 team football conference that literally stretches from coast to coast still has to be worked out, and with the future of the Bowl Championship Series up in the air, it will be interesting to see if adding a rash of current non-automatic qualifying schools to prop up a conference is the prudent move. 

Meanwhile, the MAC, which recently added the University of Massachusetts in football to bring the membership of the conference to 14, will now have to decide if they will carry on (again) as a 13 team league, or look for another school to join as a football only member. Such a move would probably require the MAC to dip into the Championship Subdivision ranks again.

About Dave Singleton

Dave Singleton has been writing about sports and other stuff on the internet for over a decade. His work has been featured at Crystal Ball Run, Rock M Nation and Southern Pigskin. Born and raised on the East Coast, Dave attended college in the Midwest. He now lives in the Las Vegas area.