Big East Expansion: Temple Could Still Make Sense For Big East

More than a decade after being kicked out of the Big East, the Temple Owls could be an alternative the conference considers adding in order to maintain its normal football schedule after West Virginia bolts.

Faced with uncertainty and reportedly contemplating a schedule that pits Rutgers and Syracuse against each other twice in the upcoming season, the Big East is trying to encourage Boise St. to leave the Mountain West a year earlier than planned. But Boise St. is hesitant to join the conference in 2012, and rightfully so: the Newark Star-Ledger reports leaving the Mountain West early could cost the school $13-14 million.

Which could leave Temple as a natural option. Allow the National Football Post's Dave Miller to explain:

It's amazing that the Owls have managed to generate a buzz in conference expansion talks considering they were the laughingstock of the nation at one point for being kicked out of the Big East. But Al Golden did a fantastic job of rebuilding the Owls before leaving for Miami, and former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio put together a marvelous first season in Philadelphia last fall.

Temple, currently a member of the MAC, likely would be part of a C-USA/Mountain West merger if it did not get an invite and ultimately jump to the Big East. School president Ann Weaver Hart and athletic director Bill Bradshaw met with C-USA and Mountain West officials Sunday in Dallas, according to Philly.com, but there's no question the Owls would prefer to land in a BCS conference even if automatic qualifiers aren't awarded in the next BCS cycle.

Villanova is thought to be against Temple joining the Big East due to the impact it would have on Villanova's own athletic programs. But if the Wildcats' dissent can be overcome and the Big East offers Temple a spot, the Owls would almost certainly jump at the chance.

For more on the Big East, visit Big East Coast Bias, or visit our page for conference realignment news.

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