Although, maybe in five years when the Owls continue to regularly win eight or nine games in the post-Al Golden Era, then maybe you have yourself a defector.
This silly rumor began when Rivals.com writer Tom Dienhart mentioned in passing a possible C-USA realignment scenario, born from Mountain West/WAC/Pac-10 teamswapping:
Rather than a 20-team C-USA/MWC, I'm told it may be more likely that C-USA adds two teams to grow to 14. The additions: TCU and Temple.
Also more likely than a 20-team C-USA/MWC: Michael Cera as the next James Bond.
But all things considered, TU is the most likely of any MAC school to leave. They're football-only, and they've always made the conference a little cumbersome by being the 13th member, which -- believe what you will -- has seemed to wrought bad luck on all the schools in bowl games.
But Temple is not joining the Conference USA, according to any report. Except this one: Mike Gibson of the blog Temple Football Forever wrote late last night that it's a done deal. He chose to believe this because he trusts the reputation of Dienhart and an official from Rice University, which mentioned "exciting news" around the same time. Gibson assumed that exciting news to be Temple joining C-USA. It turned out to be a story about Rice sports landing a TV coverage deal.
Go back and ask either one of those sources (I have not done this, FYI) and I'm 99.8 percent sure they'll say Temple's not going anywhere.
But first, why would they leave in the first place? Consider Marshall: when they made the jump from I-AA powerhouse to MAC champions, they had the allure of a runaway hovercraft hellbent on climbing up the NCAA ladder. When they moved to C-USA in 2005, they didn't enjoy a winning season until last year, when a win over OHIO BOBCATS UNIVERSITY in a bowl game gave them a 7-6 mark. Thundering Herd fans would probably venture that this wasn't what they bargained for when they traded up. Your best chance to make bowls and win them right now is in the MAC.
But like I mentioned earlier, perhaps in a few years if Temple becomes New Marshall, then maybe they'll be better aligned to be plucked by Conference USA or perhaps even the geographically-friendly Big East or ACC. But this is all speculating deep into the crystalline sphere, where conference alliances and championship formats could change at the drop of a sack of money.
I don't know Mike Gibson, and I trust this was a naive mistake (perhaps one built out of anxiousness and the thrill of being "first" in online media), but it's never responsible to aver a story without independent verification. It wouldn't be nearly as egregious if he wrote "Temple to join C-USA?" and show his work. Because speculation is fun and drives half of the blogosphere by creating something out of spare atomic material. "Is Doug Martin done at Kent State if his team doesn't win the MAC East? Discuss!" And so forth. Hopefully Gibson learned his lesson.
But ... ugh, then he had to go and post the same damn story again on Bleacher Report. (Not linking to it.)