The Big East has officially announced the addition of the Temple Owls to the conference. Temple will join for football in 2012 and all sports in 2013.
Temple was formerly a member of the Big East in football from 1991 through 2004. The Owls were dismissed from the league and played as an Independent for two years before joining the MAC.
“This is arguably the greatest day in the history of Temple Athletics,” said Bill Bradshaw, Temple’s director of athletics. “For the first time we will have all of our athletic programs playing in one conference, and there is no conference that is a better fit for Temple than the BIG EAST. It also will provide a national platform in a BCS conference for our teams and student-athletes to compete with other highly respected educational institutions. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the BIG EAST and its member schools.”
The addition of Temple brings the total number of football-playing schools in the Big East to eight in 2012. By 2015, the Big East will have 13 members after Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and UCF join in 2013 and Navy joins in 2015.
But that number could be 12 in 2015 if Louisville departs. Sources have told CBS that Louisville is the “…consensus choice for the Big 12’s 11th member, if the league expands, and that the Cardinals would accept an invitation to the Big 12.”
With Temple now set for 2012, the Big East should be able to release their 2012 football schedule soon. It is expected that Temple will assume West Virginia’s spot on the schedule. That may or may not force Temple to adjust some non-conference game dates.
Big East commissioner John Marinatto also said today that he is open to negotiating a departure for Pittsburgh and Syracuse in 2013 rather than 2014. Additionally, he wants the Big East to have two divisions of seven teams and is looking for a Western partner.