The Big East is expected to announce today at noon that after a vote this morning of the league's presidents, Temple will join the conference. University of Houston President Renu Khator already tweeted this morning that the conference had voted to add an additional member.
Its all over the place, and while it is not yet clear if it will be just for football, or for all sports, Temple is returning the to the Big East in 2012. I've heard 2012 for football and 2013 for all sports to help the Owls avoid a bigger A10 buyout. After all this is going to hurt the A10 a hell of a lot more than the MAC.
Temple football has been a decent addition to the MAC but really never fulfilled the promise of improving the conference brand. Despite outspending the entire conference for several years the Owls never managed to win the division, or beat a team that finished with a winning record.
In the Big East, on their current trajectory, they may end up like UConn. Respectable football with great basketball and they will profit greatly from it. The Big East solves their 2012 scheduling issue, Temple gets a fatter TV contract, and The MAC can hopefully drop the idea of football only members.
The only losers here are the A10 who lost one of their signature members and Villinova who's crusade to keep Philly all to themselves could not weather another round of Big East mismanagement. Villinova also just had their FBS future decided for them by the conference, their is no room in that conference to two Philly football schools.
What about UMass? Well the minutemen have a few options. With Temple leaving their buyout drops to 500K and the contract goes from open ended to two years. With all the investments put forth by UMass it would be awful for the MAC to try and force them out now.
UMass can leave, or run out their contract. The other option is to try and lure in another A10 school all sports to get UMass in for all sports.
The wild card might be the Alliance, a collection of left behinds from Conference USA and the Mountain West. A Umass invite to the Alliance might be best for everyone.
I won't really miss Temple too much. There was potential for a good rivalry with them but UB has fallen pretty far in the past two yeas. In that time OU and Temple became a thing. I'm happy for the temple fans who wanted to be a part of the MAC. The ones who sneered at every moment of MAC play can go somewhere very hot...