Most of the speculation about a local college football team headed to the Big East has centered around Villanova this year. However, according to four different Temple recruits, it appears as though the Owls are talking like they will be joining the BCS conference in 2012.
Two stories were published yesterday about recruits Temple landed for the 2012 season and both kids spoke of the expected move to the Big East. First was Trinity Prep linebacker Michael Kalaman, who had this to say.
"I am really excited about being coached under new head coach Steve Addazio, as well as the other coaches he brought along," Kalaman said of the former Florida offensive coordinator. "Temple will hopefully be moving back to the Big East by the time I get there in 2012. I believe they are on the verge of excellent things with their football program."
Then, three-star tight end Jameson McShea committed to the Owls and had something incredibly similar to say.
"They told me they're going to use two tight ends and Coach Addazio, from his history at Florida, I know he'll be passing the ball a lot. The program is probably going to be in the Big East and I know he's gonna get the job done there."
But wait, that's not all... Temple Football Forever picked up on this a few days ago when two other potential Temple recruits also hinted at a move to the Big East. First was cornerback Tavon Young, whose father said it.
"Tavon has committed to Temple," said Mr. Young (Tavon's father). "First and foremost is the academics and they pass with flying colors. He has always loved the staff that came up from Florida. He likes the defensive scheme. It is close to home and he will be a part of the Big East in 2012."
Then TE Tanner Kearns repeated the same thing.
"I got to meet their coach and like him. I know they play in Eagle Stadium (Lincoln Financial Field) and plan on moving to the Big East soon."
While we can't know for sure whether this move would actually happen, it would seem that there is almost no doubt that Temple is out telling recruits that they very well may be a Big East team in 2012. Unless they're flat out lying, it seems like at the very least there must have been some discussions with the league.
Temple spent 14 years as part of the Big East and were kicked out in 2004. They struggled to compete with the larger facilities and budgets of the other Big East schools. However, things are a bit different now. One of the major concerns that some Big East schools have had about Villanova football potentially moving to the conference is that they don't have a stadium capable of hosting major college football events. There has been a lot of talk that they would play their games at PPL Park, the soccer stadium owned by the Philadelphia Union, but at 18,000 seats, even that is small for Big East games.
This is not an issue for Temple, who play their home games at nearly 70,000 seat Lincoln Financial Field. They can rival the capacity of any team in the Big East. In fact, the Linc dwarfs the size of 44,000 seat Amon G Carter Stadium, home of the newest Big East team, the TCU Horned Frogs.
It would be a big move for Temple, but one that they just might be incredibly well positioned to make. They've got a stadium to fit a big college football program. they've got a coach with big program experience in former Florida man Stave Addazio and the move to the Big East would put them in a BCS conference. They even started producing real NFL talent with guys like Muhammad Wilkerson and Jaiquawn Jarrett both going in the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL draft.
They really bear no resemblance to the program that was an embarrassment for 14 years during their last Big East stint. Plus, they seem far better poised to compete than Villanova would be.