Temple placed in West in Big East football alignment

Posted: November 15, 2012

TEMPLE - as many had speculated from the time it moved from the MAC back to the Big East in March - will be playing in the West when the reconfigured conference splits into two six-team divisions next season for football.

The Owls will be joined by five new members - Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State and SMU. San Diego and Boise are joining for football only.

"That was our agreement going in for the first 2 years, and I'm good with that," Temple coach Steve Addazio said in a statement. "That was part of the deal, and we're going to go in there and play on that side for 2 years and then that will change.

"Whether they still go East/West or they go Red/Blue, I'm not involved with all these meetings here, but for the beginning part of this thing, we will be on the Western side. I'm excited to do that. I think that'll be good. We'll still have some of our regional games in here, and I think it's a great new beginning and I'm excited for it."

Navy is scheduled to join for just football in 2015, and the conference is also looking to possibly add another team. So new commissioner Mike Aresco said this alignment will "likely" be revisited at that time.

The expansion means that there will be a Big East title game, to be held at the home field of one team.

"This new alignment gives the conference and its fans the best of both worlds - national exposure that is a result of the Big East being in six of the top 10 U.S. media markets - with a schedule that focuses on spirited regional rivalries," Aresco said in a statement.

"This unique combination of nationwide scope and regional flavor reflects our commitment to innovation in response to the changing landscape in college football, while honoring a tradition of success on the field and in the classroom."

The East is comprised of Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, Louisville, Rutgers and newcomer Central Florida.

Each team will play eight conference games. The home and away opponents for 2013 will be announced in early December.

"Despite the fact that Temple will be in the West Division during the 2013 and 2014 football seasons, we will have every opportunity to play institutions from the East Division and be eligible for the first Big East championship game," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said in a statement.

"Beginning with the 2015 football season, there will be two seven-team divisions with the addition of Navy and another football school [to be announced later] with every indication that division alignment will be reconstructed."

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