Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Villanova rejection: The gift that keeps on giving

I guess this is what Villanova fans look like to Villanova revisionists.

Full disclosure.
I like Villanova football.
I always have.
It was pretty much been my second-favorite college team from the time I was, oh, about 10 until just about two years ago when the Mayor's Cup series started.
I still (secretly) root for Villanova when it plays anyone but Temple only because Villanova wins make Temple look good, especially last year when Temple won the game.
Andy Talley is one of my favorite coaches of all time. As great a coach as Andy Talley is (and he is a great coach), he's an even better person.
But I've had it up to here (I'm holding one hand way over my head while typing with the other) with Villanova fans.
And because of them, with Villanova football itself.
There's some delicious irony in this story in that Villanova blocked Temple from full all-sports admission to the Big East in 1991 and, 20 years later, Temple's ironclad 15-year lease to Lincoln Financial Field is blocking Villanova football from admission to that same conference.
It's a beautiful thing.
That's why I'm not weeping for Villanova today.
They were, as Walt Frazier says in the Just For Men commercial:
The Big East courted them the last few months like a girl who looks good 40 yards away.
In college, we'd call them 40-yarders.
The closer they got, the uglier they looked.
As you walked closer with two drinks in hand (one to offer her), you would veer off at the last second.
There's some delicious irony in this story in that Villanova blocked Temple from full all-sports admission to the Big East in 1991 and, 20 years later, Temple's ironclad 15-year lease to Lincoln Financial Field is blocking Villanova football from admission to that same conference.

"Mike, that's a dude," my friend would say.
"Not a dude, but not as pretty as I thought she looked."
Then we'd both veer away, drinks in hand.
Any way you slice it, that's pretty much what the Big East football members did to Villanova on Sunday.
For Big East courting purposes, if Villanova isn't a dude, it's one butt-ugly girl.
No stadium.
No fans.
No hope of getting a stadium. (Temple has an ironclad exclusivity clause in its lease on Lincoln Financial Field through the 2018 season and probably well beyond that.)
No hope of getting fans.
It's over.
Villanova is not going to the Big East for football, no matter how its Board of Trustees votes.
If it ever does vote.
Heck, the Villanova fanbase makes Temple look like Penn State by comparison.
The Mayor's Cup figures show it.
By most objective estimates, Temple had 22K of the 27K fans for the first Mayor's Cup.
Temple had about 25-28K of the 32K last year, maybe more.
Yet you have some crazy revisonist Villanova fans saying it was more of a 60-40 split in favor of Temple. It was, if Villanova fans were wearing Temple sweatshirts and hats and painted in Cherry and White and filling both sides of the lower bowl of the stadium.

Eigthy/20 if anything.
It's important because if one thing Al Golden accomplished in five years, it was to make Temple Philadelphia's No. 1 college football team in terms of interest.
Temple not only proved that in two meetings with Villanova on the field of play, it proved that in the TV ratings when the Temple-UCLA bowl numbers showed it was the highest rated bowl game on ESPN in the Philly market since the 2007 Alamo Bowl that featured Penn State.
Temple delivers hard numbers in football.
It is also the best option for delivering the nation's fourth-largest TV market.
Those numbers only figure to get better as a team that has won 17 games over the last two years returning 14 starters is handed over to a battle-tested national championship level SEC staff.
If I was Temple, I would take that fourth-largest market and deliver it to Conference USA tomorrow. The Big East doesn't figure to come calling and Temple should act in its own best interests if it doesn't.
All I heard about was how it was "a lock" for the Big East for the past few weeks. Done deal, they said.
Done deal.
Yeah, I guess it is.
I'm enjoying seeing a lot of people wearing blue wipe egg off their faces.
Almost as much as I'm looking forward to the epic level beatdown that now becomes mandatory for Steve Addazio and company on Sept. 1.


Ant said...

I too secretly like V athletics except when playing TU of course. I certainly did not want them in the big east for football as for many of the reasons you mentioned, I'm just tired of TU always getting the shaft. I would love for the program to be back in the big east along with every other sport because I think they belong there,an institution like TU needs to be in a "top " place to truly turn around the perception. The MAC is simply not that place, and I'm not sure c-usa is either but its def. better but still not BE with TCU coming. How great would that sched. be with us back in BIG east
PITT, CUSE, RUTGERS, TCU ALL AT THE LINC, some good games in the 4th largest market---why can't they see that??

Northern VA Football Owl said...


there is no way we can lose to Villanova this year, NO WAY! If we can't even get to the MAC Championship game what make you believe we can successfully compete in Conf-USA?

Temple Football Forever said...

I think we will win the MAC this year and that will be a jumping off point for competing in CUSA.
If we can't win the MAC with a national championship SEC staff, our next jumping off point is the Walt Whitman Bridge.
(I don't think it will come to that, though.)
We belong back in the Big East.
As a school we are more similar to RU and Syracuse than we are to Marshall and East Carolina.
We can't make them love us, though.
If we go to CUSA, we get to go to attractive bowls and continue the process of building our fan base, which we have done in the MAC (35 percent season ticket increase in 2010 over 2009, etc., etc., etc.).

Rick said...

I would like to see TU in the Big East, But as long as V is there to block it, I don't see that happening.
So here is my plan, Umass has indicated it would like to join the MAC for football only. Charlotte has plans to start at FCS then move up to FBS. Ga State and Old Dominion have newly added football teams with large stadiums, Delaware has an established program. Stony Brook is a great school with a smaller stadium.
All of these schools are large public universities. If five of these schools joined TU in the MAC for football only, this would create a MAC with 3 six team divisions.
The current 13 team MAC requires 10 weeks to play the conference schedule. The conference with 3 divisions with 6 teams each can be played in 8 weeks, just like the 12 team conferences.
Umass and Charlotte are in the A-10, so add the three other teams to the A-10 for Bball etc. If URI were to drop out of the A-10 when they leave the CAA for football, then the total Bball teams would be 16. With 6 football teams, the A-10 would be a Division 1 FBS football and basketball conference.

Temple Football Forever said...

Well-conceived ... except:
1) Delaware has no interest in FBS football
2) MAC wants UMass only if Temple stays
3) Temple wants no parts of being in a football conference with Old Dominion, Stony Brook, Charlotte or Georgia State.
Here's my plan:
1) UCF moves to Big East instead of Nova
2) Nova and Umass stay 1AA
3) Temple replaces UCF in CUSA

Rick said...

Yes, If TU gets invited into C-USA, they will go, if they think it is the best move for them. Being in an 18 team MAC with 5 other A-10 teams does not change the fact that TU would move to a better conference, given the chance.
The question is, does adding A-10 teams to the MAC improve TU's chances of increasing game attendance, revenue and other good things? I think it does.

I saw mention of Fordham and Stony Brook on a MAC web page as possible MAC additions.
Also, I saw a post that said Umass is waiting for TU before they announce plans to move to the MAC. They do not want to join the MAC if TU is not there. TU is at the end of their 6 year deal in 2011 with the MAC, and apparently have not renewed yet.