It Could Be Now or Never to the Big 12 for Temple


One thing to watch before waiting for the latest in recruiting is the NCAA meetings this weekend (Jan. 14-16) in San Antonio.

If the craziest thing of crazy things happens, Temple could be one of two schools the Big 12 adds this weekend. The conference will more likely add Houston and Cincinnati, but Temple is not out of the question.

Time is of the essence since any expansion will probably go down at the NCAA convention this weekend (Jan. 14-16).  The Big 12 wants a conference championship game, but NCAA rules require 12 games for a championship game. Crazy as it seems, the “Big 12” has only 10 teams. The conference appealed the 12-team limit, but that will probably be denied and, knowing that, the conference might be quick to add two new teams. Having a conference championship game represents earnings of roughly $2 million per year per school in addition to offering a marquee matchup to help the conference bid for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Temple football, Notre Dame football,

Temple’s No. 1 selling points: 2 home crowds of 70,000 plus great TV ratings.

The conference needs two more teams for a playoff and the scuttlebutt is that the conference could reach out to Temple for one of the spots. If the Owls are asked to jump, the only question they should ask is how high because the revenue stream coming into the school is estimated to be in the area of $23.4 million per year now as opposed to the $3.3 million they are making now as a member of the AAC. Had the Owls been in the Big 12 last year, for example, their 23-10 basketball team would not have been snubbed on NCAA Selection Sunday. Also, a 6-6 Temple football team in the Big 12 would get a far more attractive bowl than the 10-win Owls got this past season.

The Big 12 is in a tight spot because the recent departures of Missouri and Texas A&M leave the conference two short of the minimum required for a championship game. Oklahoma, this year’s football champion, had to sweat out a spot in the championship semifinals because its league did not have a title game. The league wants to avoid such a scenario in the future.

That’s where Temple comes in because the league wants to add a TV network, like the Big 10 and the SEC has now. Temple is the only FBS school in the largest TV market (Philadelphia) not already taken by a Power 5 school, the fourth-biggest. The Big 12 had to be taking notes when the Owls drew the largest TV rating ever for a network night game in Philadelphia on Halloween night against visiting Notre Dame. Since Notre Dame has been on the network 56 times before that night, the variable that drove the ratings off the charts was Temple. Any addition of Temple would bring TV eyeballs that would make the addition a win-win for both parties. Still, better fits are Cincinnati and Houston. Cincinnati would be a travel partner for West Virginia. If the conference goes to 14 teams, than the other two teams being considered will be among Temple, UConn and Memphis.

While the Big 12 makes no sense for Temple from an Olympic sport standpoint, in an era where nothing makes sense, money talks and just about every school should be willing to walk.


28 thoughts on “It Could Be Now or Never to the Big 12 for Temple

  1. Big 12 will be allowed to play a championship game with the 10 teams split into two divisions…, if things go crazy and change then BYU and Cincy are the top two candidates

    • Nope. 3 of the P5 conferences are firmly against the Big 12’s appeal. (Only the ACC will back it.) They do not have enough votes. BYU just hired the most non-qualified of all 126 FBS coaches because of its insane rule that a head coach must be someone of the LDS religion. I think the Big 12 sees that and says, “no thanks.” Their long run of good football is most likely over. If Houston and Cincy go, it’s incredibly bad news for Temple. Now, Houston, Cincy, Temple and UConn go, that would be great. I’ll miss Memphis for maybe 1/10th of one second.

      • Very bad news with the first scenario. I couldn’t see any realistic scenario at that point where any of the remaining AAC teams would move up to a P5 conference for a long time.

      • I read someone’s opinion on why smu, Memphis, and Houston are not going to get the nod simply because they would compete with existing schools in recruitment. B12 is a stretch in IMO. The moneyaybe better but to appease the basketball fans the AAC is more ideal.

      • Looks like KJ was right. Two 5-team divisions have been approved with a championship. Good news for Temple because it blocks Cincy, Houston and Uconn going to the P5 for the forseeable future. The story I read earlier this week said the B12 did not have the votes, but they allowed the G5 schools on what was essentially a P5 matter and that made the difference. In the past, G5 has been blocked voting on P5 issues.

    • Things went as planned and didn’t go crazy…., will not see Temple in a P5 conference in my lifetime.., owning a driverless car is more likely

    • great news. now, big-time programs do what they have to do to get their No. 1 target. What we have to do is get his best friend, Sebastian Silva. That would make Russo’s decision a lot easier to make. Plus, Silva is a baller. Should be a no-brainer for Temple. Give Anthony a five-year roommate at Morgan Hall. It would be like having P.J. and Tyler for 10 years.

  2. I’ve read pros and cons with regards to the B12 and a potential invite of Houston if 12 teams are needed for a conference championship. Seems the Texas schools, driven by UT of course would rather not add another school from the state. I think a loss of only one school, in this case Cincinnati, wouldn’t hurt the AAC too badly, Houston and Cincinnati would be tough. Plus, SB Nation has a story that it is being reported that the B12 will likely be able to have a championship without going to 12 teams.

    To be honest, while B12 $$$ would be great I do think if there is no expansion right now that is the best for Temple. Let’s be in the top tier of the conference for a few years and either be in a good position if and when any more realignment takes places or by then the CFB has been expanded to 6 or 8 teams.

    With regards to Russo committing from Rutgers, what do you think Temple’s chances are to land him? Also, have to think it would be nice to hire a higher profile OC to help with the final recruiting push in this area.

  3. Cincy and Salt Lake City are 33 and 34 on the TV market list, so they do not bring in as many new eyeballs. I think the NCAA are starting to rethink Olympic sport affiliations. Why travel cross-country for a cross-country race when you have dozens good teams within a two hour drive? Many Olympic sports are cut because of the travel expenses. P5 conferences are all about football and basketball money, not fencing or swimming.

  4. But if the ACC expands again it would make better sense for Temple from a travel standpoint alone. Although the Big 12 is similar to the AAC in that respect. Temple joins the old SWC! That makes sense! It really would hurt the AAC to lose Houston and Cincy.

    • I would love the ACC. It’s a better fit, but the ACC has no reason to expand. Once the Big 12 expands to 12, the musical chairs are over for a long time. If the Big 12 was raiding the ACC for the 2 teams, that’s a different story but it is raiding the AAC.

    • If the AAC loses Cincy and Houston I really don’t see too many attractive replacements. At that point, for football would the conference be that much better than the MAC or MWC?

  5. Western Kentucky might immediately win that league. I don’t know who their AD is, but the guy has come up 7-7-7 on his last 3 head coaching hires. If Kraft ever leaves, I want him here.

  6. But John, as good as some of the MAC teams are (have been), no MAC school has left the conference and I don’t know if any have ever had offers. Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Western Mich are also very good. But it’s true there just are very few programs of quality left to fill in from being raided. Not only that but the AAC would be losing very good basketball programs too that no other available schools could fill in for. But whatever happens, happens and as you said Mike, after this things should become relatively stable for a long time (I hope). But it also means, if Temple doesn’t get an invite, they’d be stuck where they are for a long time with little chance for movement, rendering the stadium a much less needed item to attract an invite from a P5 conference. The AAC could be Temple’s home for a very long time, so we better get used to it, like it or not. As I implied losing, Cincy AND Houston would water it down and make schools from the AAC even less attractive for bigger bowl games than it is now.

    • If Houston and Cincinnati would go to the B12, I agree that it will be difficult to get schools with decent football and basketball together. Since football seems to drive the bus going after top MAC and CUSA teams as replacements seems to be the only path to take. As for bowl games at that point, then just get used to the Boca, Miami and Bahamas bowls.
      Interesting point about the stadium Jon, I really can;t see a need for it either in a “watered down” AAC unless the Linc rent so out of control.

  7. the thing that kills me about this season (other than the 3-4 finish) is that we ended up in the very bowl we probably would have been in had we finished 6-6. It’s almost like the 4 extra wins mean nothing in this league.

  8. Big 12 doesn’t need to go to 12 now…..

    • good news because I don’t think Temple being in the B12 would go down well with our fans, even though we would have had no choice to jump. Probably was a moot point anyway. Temple is a hard sell in the Southwest. Houston would be a lot easier sell.

      • The teams available are certainly the reason they fought to stay @ 10 but still have their money grab game.

        Cincinnati was a lukewarm add as is Memphis. They knew Houston was a nonstarter with the Texas schools and UT pays the freight in that conference.

        We certainly would have had to accept an invite, no matter what. I don’t think the ACC is calling, ever. The pastel linen suit crowd just doesn’t want to come to North Philly for a basketball game and hoops still has enough sway in that conference for it to matter.

  9. It’s amazing that in March of 2012 we were in a power 5 conference with visions of hoops home and homes with Cuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Nova, Seton Hall, Pitt, and now we’re in a one-bid league for basketball. Football, we were with cuse, rutgers, louisville for a year but we weren’t ready. Now that we are better than them, they are gone. This kind of stuff only happens to Temple.

    • Rutgers having everything that we want is the thing that really kills me. Even in our darkest times in Early BE Football, Rutgers was just as bad and often worse than us. Their blip was a little higher, but they stink now and their BB program is a disaster. B1G has to have buyer’s remorse with them.

      But Temple is not a “Public Ivy” so the B1G will never come calling either. Perhaps that Boise of the East wish was too prophetic….Boise was a JUCO 30 years ago and that pretty much killed their chances of jumping up.

  10. Amen, Mike – typical Temple stuff. Oh well. Apparently the 4th largest TV market means little if Temple isn’t even in the running. Once again, it must be Temple’s problematic situation that is avoided by other conferences. Considering that, the Owls aren’t going to do any better than where they are right now and should thank their lucky stars they got into in the AAC to begin with. Unless all P5 conferences go up to 14 or more members (if they do, the Big 12 and B10 could come calling, but don’t hold your breath), Temple is stuck and needs to be happy with it. Anymore I’m wishing for some stability and just settle in with something we can get used to, because, considering everything, it’s probably the best we can expect anyway. Amen to that!

    • KJ pointed out on Pravda that his 3 goals in his lifetime were to 1) Beat PSU; 2) win a conference title, any conference; 3) on-campus stadium.

      No. 1 is checked off.
      We can do No. 2 this coming year.
      No. 3, who knows.

      Unfinished business should be totally focused on getting No. 1 done again and No. 2. If both are checked off after 2016, No. 3 has a whole better shot at happening.

  11. From everything I’ve read on these comments for a long time now, the most important reason by far for having a new stadium is to fulfill requirements for joining a P5 conference. If that now looks like a remote possibility, why should Temple invest in such a huge financial burden (unless they truly get the money on the table from outside donors – then who cares?)? It is highly questionable whether they’ll be able to fill the stadium week after week given their fickle student/fan base and even with rent increases at the Linc averaging 5K a year that’s 20 years of using a nice stadium that will help with recruiting. Who knows what will happen with Temple football (for that matter, football in general with the G5 conferences) within the next 20 years. The way Temple does things getting a stadium built could turn into a more expensive fiasco. They could even end up with an empty, unused building that cost a fortune. For me, I’d rather see those “Olympic” sports reinstated, even added on, like wrestling, while we see how the football landscape develops. Again I say this, looking at the very unlikely possibility for Temple going to a P5 conference.

  12. If they are going to spend only $100 million for a bigger version of Northeast High’s Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium, no thanks. If they are going to go near $300 million to build a Houston replica, it’s an exciting project and a big plus. Why do I think they are going to try to do this on the cheap?

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