Update: Boise officially says it's not coming until 2013.
Beggers can't be choosers and the Big East and its football members are certainly beggers at this point. Half the schools still need to fill two open slots on their 2012 football schedule and the list of available FBS opponents is disconcerting.
Simply put, the Big East need more members in 2012 and, despite reports that the Boise St. Broncos might do it, it looks like the Temple Owls will be the ones returning to the conference next season, this time as a full partner.
The Big East is in discussions to add Temple for all sports as early as the next school year, according to someone briefed on the talks. Temple belongs to the Mid-American Conference and the Atlantic 10 in various sports and there are legal issues that have to be dealt with before the Owls would be able to leave. A resolution is expected this month.
As we all remember, Temple was basically kicked out of the league in 2004 for being awful and drawing roughly 87 fans to their home games. I don't care how you spin it, it's embarrassing that the Big East now finds itself crawling back to the Owls, not only asking them to return but inviting them as a full member.
The truth is, like so many recent moves, the Big East should have added Temple years ago. Or at least never kicked them out and added them as an all-sport member. Temple basketball brings some fantastic tradition. Shame they eventually make it as a stop-loss and not for smart reasons.
The move HAS TO have the Villanova Wildcats rightfully pissed off. Not only does it bring another conference school into the mix from the same city, but it eliminates whatever small desire remained for them to ever become a football member. Who needs an "expansion" football member playing in a soccer stadium when we've already got a so-so one in the same town playing in an NFL stadium?
Not to mention that having two Big East basketball teams in the same city will affect the bottom line for both of them.
If it ends up panning out, it solves one immediate headache for the Syracuse Orange. Instead of needing to fill two open football spots, they only need to fill one. If Temple were to simply take over West Virginia's schedule, that means the Orange would play in Philly for the first time since 2004 (a game we lost, it should be noted). That also means SU absolutely needs to make that final game a home game, and that's the tough part.
At this point, whatever works. The Big East is already some weird mish-mash, adding Temple won't change that. Plus, the idea of a Syracuse - Temple basketball game is pretty appealing. Besides, it's only for one year (fingers crossed).