Report: Temple could return to ever-growing Big East, join before Navy

Kettani Navy football Temple

Before his on-again, off-again relationship with the New England Patriots, Eric Kettani led the Midshipmen to a 33-27 overtime win over Temple in Annapolis on Nov. 1, 2008. (Navy photo by MC2 David P. Coleman)

The Navy’s commitment to join the Big East as a football-only member in 2015 was one in a series of rapid-fire realignment moves by the conference, which recently parted ways with West Virginia and will lose Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the Atlantic Coast Conference in the next year or two (probably not two).

Farewell, Mountaineers, Panthers and Orange. Hello, Boise State, Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist and, straining the dictionary definition of “East” to the breaking point, San Diego State.

And now, according to a New York Times report, Temple.

The Owls’ last stay in the Big East ended poorly — after years as the conference doormat, they were politely shown the door in 2004. Two changes this time around: The Owls have won at least eight games in each of the last three seasons, including a 9-4 mark last year, and the invite, according to the report, would include all of the school’s sports, adding a traditional East Coast basketball power to a slew of other Big East traditional basketball powers.

Navy’s 5-5 all-time against the Owls, including a 27-24 loss in 2009 that ended a string of five annual meetings.

Backers of the Navy-Big East move could see this as a welcome addition to the conference, providing a regional rival in an increasingly non-regional league. Critics could see it as a sign the Big East is approaching critical mass — 13 football teams in 2015, likely more to even out the scheduling, possibly leading to a 16-team “superconference” — and league commitments could come at the expense of nonleague traditions. (Not that anybody’s brought that up recently.)

Temple’s membership issues should be resolved this month, according to the Times report.


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