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Temple gets a second chance

Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater is doused by

Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater is doused by players at the New Mexico Bowl NCAA college football game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. Temple defeated Wyoming 37-15. (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf) Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf

The question isn’t does Temple have what it takes to compete in the Big East. The Owls have the resources. The question is can the Owls excel, especially in football?

Temple was in the Big East for football from 1991 through 2004, but was kicked out, citing low attendance figures, questionable facilities, etc.

"We didn't deserve, truthfully, to be in the football competition in those years. But it's hard to get kicked out," said Lewis Katz, chairman of Temple's athletic committee.

After a few years as an independent, the Owls joined the MAC in 2007 and have thrived. Under first-year coach Steve Addazio, who took over for Al Golden, the Owls (9-4) completed their third straight winning season in 2011 and defeated Wyoming in the Eagle Bank Bowl.

Will Temple seriously be able to compete in football in the Big East? There will be many skeptics. 

The Big East is a different conference these days. Although much maligned through the years, the league had several powerful teams at the time of its inception, including Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College. There was also West Virginia and Syracuse, who were both perennial bowl teams.

The conference doesn’t have those types of power programs but should still be competitive. And Temple should fit right in. There’s no reason to think Temple can’t compete with the likes of Connecticut, Louisville, Houston, SMU, Cincinnati, Rutgers, etc.


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