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Rick Pitino: Add Temple Into The Big East 'Immediately'

Still the best Pitino photo in history.
Still the best Pitino photo in history.

We've spun this record before. Temple gets a big win, has huge ratings, is an entitled East coast institution, and deserves better than the MAC. "They're going to Conference USA! They're going to the Big East!" And with a 38-7 torching of Maryland, the voices are getting even louder for Temple University to realign themselves with someone who isn't the MAC.

Now Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino isn't going to take the contraction of the Big East sitting down, and while John Chaney is not walking through that door, Steve Addazio oughta. One of his many points toward strengthening his conference:

Admit Temple immediately. They have a highly competitive football program with outstanding basketball tradition. They are a past BIG EAST member and an excellent school academically. And as all my friends say in Philadelphia, they are located in BIG EAST territory.

Bear in mind that Pitino has been premature about things in the past. Other than that ... oh, where to begin.

"Highly competitive football program." Yes, they are now. Their commitment to football has been re-energized. They beat Big East champ UConn last year, and ACC contender Maryland this year. Since 2009 they've gone 13-5 in conference play with one bowl appearance (a loss) and zero MAC East titles.

Understood that this cry isn't coming from Temple directly, but rather a third party. That can only help their cause in trading back up to an AQ conference in football. If their basketball/other sports want to move to the Big East, they can take that up with the Atlantic 10. It's of no consequence to the MAC. If the Big East wants to fork over $2.5 million paid to the order of Dr. Steinbrecher, I'm sure he'll take it.

Another test is coming into town for the Owls: the Rockets are beaten and battered but desperate for a win over somebody that isn't New Hampshire. If Temple wins that game by 21 points and then proceeds to finish 8-0 in the MAC, wins the championship in Ford Field and kills their tepid AQ conference opponent in the Little Caesar's Bowl, then maybe they can finally aver that they're too good for the MAC. Bear in mind that Central Michigan never stated this during their four-year dominance, nor did Miami in 2003. But everybody has their own personality. And if the MAC is Gilligan's Island, Temple is Ginger Grant. They can reach for the stars all they want and should they pine to build a raft out of cherry paint buckets and cash and escape our island, then all the best. If they'd like to realize that being the "Boise of the East" (Addazio's goal for the program) is best served by being a mid-major powerhouse, then that'd be cool too. I don't like writing this same post every three months.