Temple likely to be in Big East's West Division

Posted: April 10, 2012

It is likely that Temple will play in the Western Division once the Big East Conference splits into two divisions for football at the start of the 2013 season.

The Owls could be lumped into the same division with distant rivals Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Southern Methodist, and Memphis.

The alignment could change in 2015 when Navy joins the conference as a football-only member.

"It could play that way, which is fine," said Temple coach Steve Addazio, whose squad will officially leave the Mid-American Conference for the Big East in July. "We don't really know that. But I've heard those things."

Having to face Boise State and Houston, the Owls will likely be in the tougher division. And for their away games, they would have to travel to faraway Idaho, Texas, and California.

Addazio isn't concerned about the competition or the travel.

"Boise is a good team," Addazio said. "The other teams are the same teams we are.

"You have to get in a plane and travel. So you know, you might have to travel 40 more minutes than you did the other. But you are still going to get on that plane and fly."

The Big East football conference will consist of Temple, Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, and Pittsburgh next season.

Pitt and Syracuse will leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference as early as 2013. The Big East then will add Boise State and San Diego State for football only for the 2013 season. At the same time, Memphis, Houston, Southern Methodist, and Central Florida will join as all-sports members.

The Owls will join the conference for all other sports in 2013.

Temple is currently a member of the Atlantic Ten Conference for those sports.

New-look line

Temple's offensive line was probably the team's most experienced unit last season. The Owls started four seniors and a junior in right tackle Martin Wallace.

But with the four departures, the line is suddenly largely untested.

Other than Wallace, senior center Sean Boyle, who missed the last two seasons due to shoulder injuries, is the only projected starting lineman with starter's experience.

And Boyle's lone start came in the 2009 season opener against Villanova.

Redshirt junior guard Jeff Whittingham, redshirt sophomore guard Jaimen Newman, and redshirt freshman left tackle Zach Hooks are this season's other projected starters.

Cell-phone collection

Verizon Wireless will collect donated used cell phones on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field before the 11 a.m. Cherry & White scrimmage.

The phones will be recycled, sold, or donated to advocacy groups to support victims of domestic violence.

Verizon is doing this through its recycling program and donation drive, HopeLine by Verizon.

Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939, kpompey@phillynews.com, or @pompeysgridlock on Twitter. Read his blog "Owls Inq," at www.philly.com/owlsinq.

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