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Posts Tagged ‘Temple’

As a Whole, The Big East Scheduled Up

As if getting only three Big East games at home wasn’t bad enough for Syracuse. At least the Orange aren’t alone in this regard: Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Connecticut also play four road games during Big East play.

Where Syracuse stands alone against the rest of the Big East is in its 2012 non-conference schedule, which ranks among the most difficult for a B.C.S. conference program. The Orange face four fellow B.C.S. conference teams during non-conference play; worse yet, only one, Northwestern, comes to the Carrier Dome.

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    No. 94: Temple

    Less than eight years ago, Temple came within one vote  of dropping football altogether. The following season, in 2005, Temple suffered its first winless season in a half-century. A year after that, Temple hired Al Golden. Four years later, Temple posted its first winning season in 19 years. Two years after that, Temple hired Steve Addazio. A year later, Temple rejoined the Big East. It’s an amazing, rags-to-riches tale that has gone largely unnoticed amid the other cautionary and cynical tales of conference realignment: Temple, through years of sweat and toil, regained a place at the table. Yes, it’s the Big East, but it’s a step up — a step back up, rather. All’s well that ends well, even if the story includes near-elimination, some of the worst football you can possibly imagine and the fairly horrific idea that Temple might be biting off a bit more than it can chew. For now, at least. The Owls have the pieces to compete in the Big East; however, I’d be remiss not to mention that despite the program’s recent climb, neither Golden nor Addazio beat a single MAC team with a winning record.

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      Comparing Lembo to MAC’s Recent Past

      A brief history of the MAC. As it pertains to quick turnarounds, to be more specific. Pete Lembo went 6-6 in his first season at Ball State, matching the Cardinals’ combined win total over the previous two years — a period otherwise known as the Stan Parrish era. If this sort of development continues, it stands to reason that Ball State will at least make a strong challenge for the MAC West title in 2012. But rarely does this sort of progression occur in the MAC; instead, it often takes at least two full seasons before a once-moribund program can surpass the rest of the pack.

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        At Long Last, the MAC’s 2012 Schedule

        @PeteThamelNYT @PreSnapRead Mid-week MAC is vital to me avoiding spending weeknights with my family. A lot riding on this.Thu Mar 29 18:03:26 via web

        The MAC would have released its conference schedule sooner — a month or so ago, in fact — had it not been for Temple, which left for the Big East on March 7. If you remember from earlier this month, the move was fairly devastating to the MAC, which was planning on entering the fall with 14 teams, seven in each division. Temple’s bolt returns the MAC to its customary 13-team layout, with Massachusetts the new face, but the move had another, largely untouched ramification: Bowling Green was pegged to be part of the MAC West with the addition of the Minutemen, but the Falcons will instead remain part of the East. That’s good news for Bowling Green.

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          Temple Officially Slides in for West Virginia

          Just as the Big 12 waited to unveil its conference schedule until West Virginia’s transition was official, the Big East needed to get its own ducks — or Owls, I guess — in a row before releasing its full 2012 slate. Unsurprisingly, the Big East avoided any difficulties by simply inserting Temple into the Mountaineers’ slot; the Owls will take on what would have been West Virginia’s conference schedule. For Temple, that means three home games and four road games in the Big East’s seven-game conference schedule. Credit the league for keeping things simple, as while it might have been fun to get imaginative it made too much sense to just have the Owls replace the Mountaineers in name, slot and schedule.

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            Falcons Gain Advantage in Staying East

            On paper, the MAC has simply replaced Temple with Massachusetts. That’s all — and not to downplay the difference between Temple, winners of 26 games over the last three years, and the Minutemen, who will join the MAC in August but will not be eligible for the conference title or a bowl berth until 2013. The MAC as a whole will retain its awkward, unmatched 13-team alignment. The East is the same, minus the Owls-for-Minutemen swap. The West will be exactly the same: six teams deep, five of which won at least six games last fall.

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              Eying the F.C.S. (Again) for No. 14 (Again)

              Since 2007, when Temple joined the fold, the MAC has featured a seven-and-six split between its East and West divisions. This led to a degree of scheduling awkwardness, as you’d expect. Teams from the West, which housed six teams, would play all five of its divisional rivals and another three teams from the East. Six of the seven teams in the East would play six games against divisional foes and two games against West teams. The seventh team, Bowling Green, played five games against the East and three against the West, with Toledo an annual rival.

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                Temple’s In; Big East and MAC Reshuffle

                It’s amazing what seven years, conference expansion and flexible travel plans can do to a once-mangled relationship. It wasn’t so long ago that Temple was being shown the door: The Big East was tired of carrying the Owls’ poor support, poor results and poor commitment to football, so it gave Temple the boot from the league altogether. Less than a decade later, the Owls are back to save the Big East’s bacon – with a smirk, perhaps, and definitely with a knowing glance. The non-football sports will join the league a year down the road; Temple will join the Big East for football immediately, helping the league offset West Virginia’s departure while it prepares for another influx of new arrivals for the 2013 season.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.