Last week, I threw out my top three picks for non-AQ schools the Big East should be pursuing for conference expansion. That list had Temple at the top of it and apparently Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino agrees.
Of the Owls as a potential choice, Pitino had this to say:
"To me, Temple’s perfect," the Louisville coach told SNY.tv during an exclusive interview Tuesday at Hudson Catholic High School, which he was visiting on a recruiting trip. "They were already in the Big East. They are an excellent football program right now. They should’ve beaten Penn State. They blew out Maryland, who beats Miami. They’re 3-1
"And they’re a terrific school scholastically. They fit what we should’ve been doing from the beginning. They should’ve been our No. 1 priority four years ago, Temple, to get them back in. We made a mistake letting them go; they should’ve been our No. 1 priority."
Then, of course, there's the fact that Temple has a good basketball program. The team makes the NCAAs fairly regularly and has a solid tradition. Plus, there's Bill Cosby, so they've got that going for them ... which is nice.
The football program, as Pitino mentions has improved. Now, I don't know that I'd go as far to say that it was a mistake letting them go, though. With Villanova, the Big East had the Philly market and Temple was flat out abysmal in football. But at this point, it's probably the right time to bring them back in.
The biggest detractors will probably point out that Temple doesn't add a new TV market. There's even talk about how the conference, ridiculously, isn't looking for members in states where they already have a presence (...no, seriously. I can't make this stuff up). But the fact is that when you're in survival mode, you don't always get to pick and choose. Temple is a logical choice right now and if the Big East doesn't act, it would be a mistake in my opinion.
With that I give you my top ten reasons to admit Temple.
10. John Marinatto can have all the cheesesteaks he wants
9. Natural rivalry with
8. Heathcliff Huxtable. Seriously, think about it.
7. Football games in Lincoln Financial would be sweet
6. Incessant video images of annoying Rocky statue during games
5. They're undoubtedly better than Iowa State
4. Army/Navy - you're serious?
3. Any team that beat Penn State deserves to be in. Wait, they lost that game? Scratch that.
2. Dan Klecko was a beast
1. Temple-UConn football. Yum.