Commentary: Pros and Cons of Temple Addition

The Temple Owls have officially rejoined the Big East. What does this mean for its nearest football neighbor Rutgers and the rest of the conference? ScarletReport.com takes a deeper look at the pros and cons of Temple joining a BCS conference from a Rutgers perspective.

The Big East and Temple made it official yesterday with a formal announcement of the return of the Owls to the conference. Striking a deal two weeks ago, the approval process is finished and Temple will be in the conference starting next season.

As always, the burning question among Rutgers fans in Piscataway is, "how does this affect me"?

ScarletReport.com is here with an in-depth look.

The Good

For the fans seeking instant gratification, look no farther than the fact that Rutgers has a complete schedule for 2012. Unlike Pittsburgh, which had to dig into the FCS ranks after TCU left, Rutgers proactively scheduled a home-and-home with Arkansas and rounds off its schedule with Temple.

Rutgers will travel to Lincoln Financial Field next year, sources said.

In recruiting, coach Kyle Flood can tell recruits about the chance to play in yet another NFL stadium and another game within driving distance of the recruiting base. Many Rutgers parents cannot see their kids go play at Boise State or San Diego State, but a game in Philadelphia is even closer than a home game for many.

Whether fans refuse to believe it or not, getting Temple strengthens the Big East as a whole, which remains the home for Rutgers athletics. The conference has a stronger presence in the Philadelphia market and adds another program well on the rise and hungry to prove it belongs.

The Bad

Temple is going to become a legitimate threat to New Jersey recruiting. That can be said without question.

Instead of the Owls looking like a backup or second option to Rutgers-level recruits, the two programs now play in the same conference and are easily accessible from anywhere in New Jersey. Though Rutgers has advantages over Temple now like stronger academics or the opportunity to stay home and represent New Jersey, the Owls now have much more to offer.

In the scheme of the conference, adding Temple means the Big East will work harder to bring Villanova in for football at some point in the future.

There could be positives down the road of adding the Wildcats for football, but there is no instant boost for football if Villanova comes in.

The Ugly

The two programs will now compete head-to-head on the field, in recruiting and in the Big East standings. Based an hour apart, this rivalry has the potential to turn ugly in a good way.

Think Seton Hall and Rutgers. Separated by half a dozen train stops, the Pirates and Scarlet Knights are archrivals on the basketball court and, regardless of rank or record, provide a thrilling and passionate game.

Look for Temple, eventually, to have the same effect but with five or six times as many fans involved on game day.

If the Villanova winds up in the Big East for football down the road somewhere, expect to file its first two seasons under the ugly category as well.


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