Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Temple and the Big East in layman's terms

When I think of Temple's courtship of the Big East, I think of the classic romantic movie "Say Anything" starring John Cusack as Lloyd Dobbler and Iona Skye as Diane Court. John Mahoney is the overprotective and general sleazebag father.
In the iconic scene, Dobbler raises a boombox and plays Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" and Court eventually sees the two were meant to be together.
In the Temple football courting Big East version, playing the role of overprotective father and overall sleazebag is Villanova. Playing the role of the Mid-American Football Conference has been every other girl Dobbler has met up until that moment who paled in comparison to Court.
Temple was all set for a Big East invite in October until Villanova lobbied the other Catholic schools in that conference to keep Temple out.
In the movies, Temple's boombox moment would have been its football TV ratings (tops in the MAC and among the best in the nation, rising attendance figures in football and its world-class basketball program). Seeing all this potential in its backyard, the Big East would have rolled out of bed into Temple's arms.
It's a wrap.
In this Temple reality version of Say Anything, the dirty dad (Villanova) tells the daughter he'll cut her off if she's got anything to do with the new guy and she makes the incorrect decision of doing what her dad tells her to do and not following her heart.
She then goes all over the country looking for the perfect man, wishing she could find someone as perfect as the guy in her backyard with the boombox. She spents the rest of her life regretting that decision and withers off and dies. That pretty much sums up the Big East and Temple these days.
On Dec. 7, 2011, a day that will live in Big East infamy, the Big East traveled 3,000 miles to get the Temple of the West (Boise State) and a San Diego State football program that averages far less in attendance and TV ratings than the Owls do. Not to mention SMU and Houston, so we won't.
Temple has a world-class stadium, a football program that has averaged more than eight wins in each of the last three seasons, and is within easy driving distance of the original Big East footprint.
Sadly, the boombox moment appears to be over and this Big East girl does not want Temple. Time to move on to someone (Conference USA, perhaps) who will appreciate Temple and help the Owls realize their full potential. The other girls, the MAC, will understand.
If the Big East withers off and dies, and it will, that's their loss.