Big East expansion might mean big opportunity for Owls

Athletic programs look to join Big East Conference  and for Temple it may prove to be a good move. The presidents and chancellors of the 14 remaining Big East members have authorized Commissioner John Marinatto

Riley LoulaAthletic programs look to join Big East Conference  and for Temple it may prove to be a good move.

The presidents and chancellors of the 14 remaining Big East members have authorized Commissioner John Marinatto to add enough schools to form a 12-team football league, according to reports from various media outlets. This news comes at the heels of much speculation that Temple could be at the front of the line for consideration by Big East officials.

This is great news for Temple, as they have emerged as a candidate for acceptance into the conference. Big East membership could have profound opportunities for the athletic programs at Temple.  A conference like the Big East would ultimately lead to more competitive opponents, making Temple a popular option for more talented recruits. The increase in competition, coupled with the undeniable opportunity for more nationally televised games would widen the talent pool within each program.

Although not yet in the Big East, moving from the Mid-American Conference and Atlantic Ten Conference, to a bigger conference, would exponentially increase payouts to Temple and its athletic programs. This football season, the MAC will receive $2.63 million in revenues from the Bowl Championship series to schools while the Big East will receive $22.5 million, according to Sporting News. Even if the Big East accepted four other football schools along with Temple, they would still be receiving $1.4 million, which is more than the approximate $202,000 the MAC is currently allotting to them, assuming the payouts are equal among all schools.

A similar story can be seen in basketball, where the Big East received $21.6 million for payouts from the NCAA in the 2011 NCAA Tournament while the A-10 received $6 million, according to Business Insider. Therefore, Temple could be making approximately 1 million more in payouts from the conference, depending on conference alignment and assuming the payouts are equal.

Couple this with television rights, media exposure and merchandise sales and Temple would be tapping into a financial market.

The possibility to move to a more competitive conference is first due to the up-and-coming development of the football program–one pieced together by Al Golden and inherited by Steve Addazio along with his renowned Florida coaching staff. Without the earnest developments put forth by the program, specifically the excellent hiring of Addazio, Temple wouldn’t even be considered in the talks.

For me, the big sell for Temple lies within its basketball program.

According to reports from various media outlets, East Carolina, Navy, Army, Air Force, Houston and Central Florida have expressed interest in membership. Among the rumored candidates, Temple certainly boasts the best possible basketball program for the Big East. Seeing as the Big East is more known for its basketball competitiveness than football, it’s a win-win for both sides.

This is perfect timing for Temple to receive an invitation to a more competitive conference especially when university officials have been, and are certainly doing everything they can, to put Temple on the map. Temple’s ongoing 20/20 plan, an approximate $305 million renovation and expansion of campus–including a new architecture building, new science education and research building and new residential and retail complex–will certainly give Big East officials a sense of Temple’s firm developmental plans, not only within its athletic department, but also as an overall educational institution.

Realistically, it’s a golden opportunity for both sides. Let’s hope Big East officials see it that way, too.

Riley Loula can be reached at


  1. 2 months ago I would of been thrilled with an invite from the Big East, but the Big East leadership has proven itself completely incompetent and unable to act with the foresight and intelligence necessary to save and build the football side of the conference. With TCU, Pitt and Syracuse leaving and UCONN and Rutgers wanting to go to the ACC and Louisville and WVU looking to jump ship, the conference looks like its about to collapse. I cant imagine the big east keeps its BCS status when its reviewed in 2014.
    If things play out the way it appears they will with the Big East, the MAC may end up a more stable and stronger conference.
    The big east would have to make us an anchor member with greater benefits in football if we are to join. Why should we jump onto a sinking ship?
    We have a top notch basketball program, our football program (both in terms of on the field product and fan support) is on a skyrocketing trajectory, and we are in the 5th largest market in the country, and strong and rapidly improving academics and endowment. Yes, there is no guarantee these trends will continue, and its always best to strike while the iron is hot, but all these factors should make Temple incredibly attractive to other conferences.
    The MAC has provided us with an excellent situation in which to grow our program. Why throw our lot in with the big east when it seems, at best, like a 50/50 proposistion that it will live on in an incredibly weakened state and when the ACC (we should be more attractive than UCONN and Rutgers) or Big 10 (They will need to expand to 16 teams if this keeps up and we are in their footprint) or Big 12 may come calling?

  2. The big east threw out temple for a reason. Luckily for you, the “new” big east is a shell of what it once was. The BCS money will not be there as the AQ bid will be lost. Have fun in the new conference USA.

  3. As a proud TU supporter for 30 years and famous Alpha Chi Rho Brother with a storied past, I must ask the Temple Administration leaders to get involved and land our great University in a power conference before time runs out. I have given a significant amount of time, talent, and financial support to Temple over the years and only ask our university leaders to act now before it’s to late! Otherwise, I’ll be forced to take a page out of Matt Chancler’s book and streak across Broad “outsky style”.


    Jimmy “I’ll Bet” Coyle

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