Houston, SMU and Temple are being considered for the final two spots. However, one source said Houston and SMU are expected to get the final two spots because of Villanova’s concerns about adding Temple into the league.
The Wildcats reportedly do not want to share the Philadelphia market with another Big East team. There had been some speculation that Villanova’s concerns about adding Temple as a basketball school would lead the conference to extend the Owls a football only invite. However, at least according to McMurphy’s source, that will not be the case.
Of course, this also means that Villanova will not be getting an invite to move their football program up to the FBS and join the Big East. That had been speculated earlier in this process, but those rumors seem to have faded.
Chris Lane, who runs The Nova Blog, has advocated that the school block Temple’s inclusion as a full member of the Big East.
Temple fans will cry foul about an uneven playing field – but if you want the basketball playing field to be even, football needs to be too. And if the Big East isn’t willing to extend that olive branch, Villanova should be opposed to sharing their dominance in the Philadelphia market, a known hoops haven. So no, Villanova isn’t scared of Temple. They’re just being savvy and not giving up a territory that they dominate with nothing in return.