Temple finally gets into the changing college football landscaping business.
It's one thing when an anonymous blogger throws out a rumor. Those kind of things happen all the time.
It's another when a respected college football journalist like Rivals.com's Tom Dienhart does it, followed a few hours later by an assistant AD at Rice adding the "exciting news" coming later today that Temple and one other school will join Conference USA for football only, effective starting in the 2011 season. Dienhart has broken many stories and his reputation is impeccable in the business, so his word is nothing to be trifled with and when the Rice AD says "exciting news" coming today that's as close to a two-source confirmation that you'll get in today's increasingly electronic media.
When Owlscoop.com editor John DiCarlo asked Bill Bradshaw for a comment regarding the proposed move, Bradshaw said he couldn't comment.
If nothing was happening, don't you think Bill Bradshaw would have said nothing was happening?
Something is happening.
So I'm buying it.
Temple to CUSA. Since this has to be approved by the Board of Trustees, the time frame could be a little longer than expected.
It will be released not by Temple first but by the CUSA office. Only after it is made official will Temple have some kind of comment.
2010 C-USA BOWL SCHEDULEThe Owls were wooed by CUSA a few years ago before accepting the MAC's football-only invite and that turned out to be a life-preserver for a then-drowning program.
(2011 sked is similar to this one)
Date Bowl (Site) Time (CT) Network
Fri., Dec. 31 AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tenn.) 2:30p ESPN
Thu., Dec. 30 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas) 11:00a ESPN
Wed., Dec. 29 EagleBank Bowl (Washington, D.C.) 1:30p ESPN
Fri., Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu, Hawai'i) 7:00p ESPN
Tue., Dec. 21 Beef O'Brady's Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 7:00p ESPN
Sat., Dec. 18 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans, La.) 7:00p ESPN
The move was first mentioned by a Tulane blogger a couple of weeks ago and it turns out he had some pretty good sources.
Truth be told, the CUSA Bowl lineup is so much better than the MAC's it's not even funny.
Even if Temple wins the MAC this year, the, err, reward for Temple fans is a trip to Detroit for the championship game followed by another trip to Detroit for the bowl game.
No offense Detroit, but that's dreadful. I can just imagine the Temple fan now complaining that he can't go to Detroit because the walk from his car to the indoor stadium will be "too cold."
The only way Temple can avoid that is to win out, beat Penn State, Villanova and UConn and sweep the MAC. Something like that could ... could ... put Temple in the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl and more likely mean a certain Heisman Trophy for Bernard Pierce.
That's my mantra this year "12-0 and we're Golden."
I'd love to meet the Temple fan who went to the last Sugar Bowl involving Temple (1934). If he/she is still alive and, say, 20 then, he/she would be 96 now.
Possible, not likely.
Still, if this turns out to be true, I'm ambivalent about this.
Seriously, I've always liked the MAC.
I liked the MAC when I was a kid.
I liked the MAC when Big Ben was at Miami.
I liked the MAC when Garrett Wolfe was making his run at the Heisman.
I liked the MAC when Northern Illinois upset Alabama a few years ago and when Central Michigan beat Michigan State last year.
I liked the MAC long before Temple even got involved with that conference.
Now that Temple's in it, I follow all the MAC games even more closely.
I don't see how Rice will put more opposing fans at Lincoln Financial Field than, say, Bowling Green but, let's face it, BG never put more than a few hundred in there anyway.
It's a step up for football certainly and Owl hoop heads will probably like the nonleague schedule a lot more than they do now.
If Temple wins the MAC this year and THEN Conference USA next, I'm loving the move and the history that comes with winning two leagues in consecutive seasons.