I’ll admit this article by starting with the fact that I’m a Temple basketball fan. I used to relish going to games at McGonigle Hall and now the Liacouras Center. Games against John Calipari and the Minutemen of UMass used to be all the fanbase would talk about. John Chaney was one of the best coaches in America who didn’t get enough respect. Those were the simpler days in college basketball.
Fast forward now to a time when the Atlantic 10 will be without the Owls and may instead feature seven catholic schools from the Big East. News today came from Andy Katz of ESPN that the A-10 was considering the possibility of going to 21 basketball teams absorbing pride and tradition. On the surface it’s a great move for the conference as they find the wounded animal in the Big East and stuck the proverbial fork into it.
Just recently that Big East conference welcomed the Owls back into the fold after kicking them to the curb in 2004. They proceeded to add Boise State, Houston, Central Florida, Memphis and SMU among others. Not exactly household names on the market outside of Boise football and Memphis basketball. Because of this, the television deal numbers for the Big East are reportedly very low…or at least low by current standards. This does not make the basketball only schools happy who get less of the money after the football teams get their cut.
The move that’s being rumored has been around for a long time so it’s not surprising that it was going to happen eventually. So what now for the Temple Owls? Do they beg to return to the Atlantic 10 or do they hope the Big East survives the rumors and thrives? Ironically the Owls may have an important part in this vote. They need a two-thirds majority in order for the conference to dissolve and Temple will certainly vote against that. As a fan, I’d love to see them parlay this into a possibility of heading back to the A-10 with the others. I know it’s a longshot, but Temple belongs in that conference because it was partially them who helped make it what it is now. Then again, tradition has left the building and is being replaced by the almighty dollar.