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MAC might lose Temple, add a couple more members

Expansion and attrition involving the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12 were all the rage late this past spring and into the early portion of summer, not to mention on two fronts Tuesday as well.

The Big East made a mini-splash earlier this month by acknowledging their official interest in Villanova joining the conference in football.

Now the Mid-American Conference is looking like the next league that will take a serious look into expanding.  At least, that’s what one conference athletic director is stating publicly.

Speaking to AnnArbor.com, Eastern Michigan AD Derrick Gragg said that he “think[s] the MAC is going to try to extend invitations to one or two institutions in the next year or two.”  Gragg did not divulge what schools may be of interest to the MAC.

The conference will hold a “retreat” in the middle of October, and additional information could come out of that get-together.

The news from Gragg that could raise the most eyebrows involves the newest member of the conference.  According to the AD, he wouldn’t be surprised to see Temple, whose football-only deal expires after this season, leave for another conference at the end of the agreement.

Based on the words of the Owls’ head coach less than 24 hours ago, that prediction from Gragg comes as a surprise.

The MAC is a great fit for Temple from where we were five years ago,” Al Golden said. “The commitment is growing, our success is growing, and it’s nice to be in a league where you can be competitive.”

Exactly where Temple would move to after this year is unknown.  They were basically booted from the Big East in 2004 due to being an abysmal football program and also lacking support both attendance-wise and in facilities.

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4 Responses to “MAC might lose Temple, add a couple more members”
  1. edgy1957 says: Sep 22, 2010 2:58 PM

    I just don’t buy it, either. Even as they NOW play in LFF, they still can’t fill it up, unless they get a team like Penn State to show up and it’s probably mostly Nittany Lions fans in the stands. The MAC makes a lot more sense for them and they’d be fools to leave.

  2. burntorangehorn says: Sep 22, 2010 3:15 PM

    So football fans don’t show up to Temple games. How is that different from the majority of the Big East, or even the ACC for that matter?

  3. edgy1957 says: Sep 22, 2010 4:56 PM

    # burntorangehorn says:
    So football fans don’t show up to Temple games. How is that different from the majority of the Big East, or even the ACC for that matter?
    *************************
    On the average, the ACC and Big East TRIPLE what Temple brings in and they fill up their stadiums by an average of 90%. Among BCS conferences, that’s a smaller % than all but the Pac-10 but it’s a hell of a lot better than the rest and especially, Temple.
    Heck, last year, Temple went 9-4 and to a bowl and they averaged 17,000+ fans while playing at Lincoln Financial Field and that’s WITH a game against Villanova, that drew almost 28,000.

  4. husky92 says: Sep 22, 2010 10:48 PM

    No offense to Temple, but where are they going to go. Let’s face it, they ought to be playing against the likes of Villanova, Navy, Army, Delaware, Syracuse, Maryland, Rutgers, Buffalo and 2-3 money games against teams like Penn State, Pitt, etc. As a couple people have said, no one goes to their games and never will. It’s basically a commuter school and the Philly folks like the Eagles and Penn State. They only turn out when they play the Nittany Lions. The MAC is an odd fit because they have no natural rivals in that league. They’ve been successful because that is the level of their program — MAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA, WAC. It’s not Big 10 or even Big East. Al Golden is an excellent coach but he has his work cut out for him recruiting to the school and it isn’t going to change. If they’d play Villanova, Delaware and the likes each year they’d draw well as shown by the ‘Nova game last year. The arrogance of the Big East people years ago cost it the chance to have a good FB conference when Joe Paterno talked about it. They did not want Penn State in hoops but think of that FB conference now with Penn State, BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers. Instead BC is playing conference games in the south and Penn State is playing in the midwest. They blew this one.

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