It's one thing when an anonymous blogger throws out a rumor. Those kind of things happen all the time.
It's another when a respected college football journalist like Rivals.com's Tom Dienhart does it, followed a few hours later by other internet rumors alluding to the same thing. Dienhart has broken many stories and his reputation is impeccable in the business, so his word is nothing to be trifled with and, when you combine it with a telling "no comment" from Temple AD Bill Bradshaw, there's a lot to those smoke signals.
Where there's smoke, fire comes along eventually.
So I'm buying it.
Temple to CUSA. I think the announcement will be made soon, but the holdup is the Temple Board of Trustees getting together to approve it.
This could take days, weeks or months but not more than that.
Temple was wooed by CUSA a few years ago before accepting the MAC's football-only invite and that turned out to be a life-preserver for a then-drowning program.
The move was first mentioned by a Tulane blogger a couple of weeks ago, and it turns out he had some pretty good sources.
Truth be told, the CUSA Bowl lineup is so much better than the MAC's, it's not even funny. Even if Temple wins the MAC this year, the, err, reward for Temple fans is a trip to Detroit for the championship game followed by another trip to Detroit for the bowl game.
No offense to Detroit, but that's dreadful. I can just imagine the Temple fan now complaining that he can't go to Detroit because the walk from his car to the indoor stadium will be "too cold."
The only way Temple can avoid that is to win out, beat Penn State, Villanova, and UConn and sweep the MAC. Something like that could—could—put Temple in the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl, and more likely means a certain Heisman Trophy for Bernard Pierce.
That's my mantra this year: "12-0 and we're Golden." I'd love to meet the Temple fan who went to the last Sugar Bowl involving Temple (1934). If he/she is still alive and, say, was 20 at the time, then he/she would be 96 now. Possible, but not likely.
Still, if this turns out to be true, I'm ambivalent about this. Seriously, I've always liked the MAC.
I liked the MAC when I was a kid. I liked the MAC when Big Ben was at Miami. I liked the MAC when Garrett Wolfe was making his run at the Heisman. I liked the MAC when Northern Illinois upset Alabama a few years ago and when Central Michigan beat Michigan State last year. I liked the MAC long before Temple even got involved with that conference. Now that Temple's in it, I follow all the MAC games even more closely.
I don't see how Rice will put more opposing fans at Lincoln Financial Field than, say, Bowling Green, but let's face it, BG never put more than a few hundred in there anyway. It's a step up for football certainly and Owl hoop heads will probably like the non-league schedule a lot more than they do now.
If Temple wins the MAC this year and THEN Conference USA next, I'm loving the move and the history that comes with winning two leagues in consecutive seasons.