Temple football recruits talking up Big East

Posted: July 05, 2011

Temple football coach Steve Addazio, who will begin his first season in a little less than 2 months, already has 21 verbal commitments for the recruiting class of 2012.

He believes that's because he has a lot to sell.

"We want to be one of the best programs in the East," the former Florida offensive coordinator said yesterday. "Our goal is to be the Boise State of the East. Even if you're not in a BCS conference, you can be a powerhouse team. That's why we're playing such an aggressive nonconference schedule. We want to be recognized."

In the past week, three recruits and the father of another were quoted as saying they were "hopeful" that the Owls "probably" would be in the Big East by 2012.

"Temple will hopefully be moving back to the Big East by the time I get there in 2012," linebacker Michael Kalaman, from Trinity Prep in Winter Park, Fla., told the Orlando Sentinel. "I believe they are on the verge of excellent things with their football program."

Temple was last a part of that BCS conference for football only in 2004. They've been in the non-BCS Mid-American Conference for football only since 2007.

Addazio is not allowed to comment on recruiting until players officially sign their national letters of intent in February. However, several sources close to the situation adamently denied that Addazio or any members of his staff had either told or implied that to any recruits.

The way the rules work, Temple could not join the Big East until 2013 at the earliest anyway. The conference is adding Texas Christian, the Boise of the Southwest, in 2012 as its ninth football school. It was set to add Villanova in April, yet at the last minute chose not to, at least for the time being. The Wildcats have been a part of the Big East for most other sports for 3 decades, but have played at the Division I-AA level since restoring the football program in 1985. Sources have said that Big East football schools are now trying to decide whether to expand to 10 teams or 12, which means the conference could have a title game. Other schools reportedly being considered are Central Florida, Houston and East Carolina.

So at the moment, things are pretty much in limbo.

"I think anybody talking about the future of college football and conferences right now, and it's widely debated, but there's so much uncertainty of who's going to be where," Addazio said. "Utah's going into a [new] conference [Pac-10], Nebraska's going into [the Big 10], so what's next? There's a lot of conversations about all that. And that's all good conversation. It's good for college football . . .

"I want to make it clear that we're very happy where we're at right now. What's the future? We could talk about that forever. You don't know what that's going to be, except there's all kind of possibities. And we've been in the conversations, as well as other teams. That's the mark of a good football team. That's really what I'm telling people."

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