Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! Poor Villanova!
All that those poor, poor Wildcats (and by "poor" I mean very affluent) ever did was to repeatedly black-ball Temple for decades. They were merely looking after their own interests you see and it's not their fault of concern that their actions have irreparably harmed the Owls' athletic program.
While Villanova was cashing all of those big fat checks from ESPN for all those years for the rights to their games versus Georgetown, Syracuse and Connecticut, Temple was banished to the A-10 and was forced to slum it against teams like Fordham, St. Bonaventure and Duquesne.
Now that the Big East has run out of realistic options - save for ECU who has been continually hosed throughout this process, IMHO - the league had no choice but to turn to Temple. I mean the Big East literally looked almost everywhere else first.
Just think about this for a second. A league that calls itself "The Big East" added teams from California, Idaho, Tennessee and not one but TWO
teams from Texas before
adding the largest school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for christ's sake!
And we're supposed to feel badly for Villanova because it may adversely impact that school's recruiting and ticket sales?
Gimme a freaking break!
If I was a Temple fan and read this I would be breathing fire right now. Hell, I could care less about Temple and I'm still annoyed with this piece because it is a PERFECT
illustration of the shameless sense of entitlement that Villanova has ALWAYS
had and it is sickening.
Having said all of that, as a Pitt fan I would like to take this opportunity to thank Villanova for their brazen selfishness because I am absolutely convinced that it was the Wildcats' half-arse plan to play in that 18K seat soccer stadium - and the Big East brass' inexplicable support of that moronic plan - that finally convinced the notoriously slow on the uptake Pitt administration to look around for better opportunities which we ultimately found (thank you, Jesus).
And the worst part of this whole deal is I think Villanova's fears are completely unfounded. I believe that adding a legitimate rival to their slate will actually help
in areas like recruitment and attendance because their hatred for each other will garner attention in a market where college athletics are often ignored. I said the same thing about USF when they were blocking UCF's admittance into the Big East. That rivalry will prove to be the very best
thing that happened to the Bulls, not the worst. The same is true of Villanova and Temple.
Now, does it help the rest of the Big East? I'm not so sure. I think the jury will remain out on that issue for some time. However that pure hatred for each other will DEFINITELY
increase Philadelphia's interest in the Big East in general and that will trickle down to both of the market's Big East universities.
Also, I now believe that it at least makes some
sense for VU to upgrade to FBS football whereas before it made no sense whatsoever. Instead of focusing on Lincoln Financial Field - which neither program will never, ever fill - perhaps the schools would each be better served pooling their resources together to upgrade PPL Park to somewhere between 30-40K seats. On the rare
occasion when a Notre Dame or a Penn State comes to town, simply play that game at the Linc. However when it is the far more common occurance like a game versus Memphis, UConn or UCF, play it in the more intimate facility. That will create a better atmosphere for fans at the game, it will look better on television and it will be attractive to recruits. That is what I would do if I were those two schools. But it has to be at least 30-40K seats. It can't be 18-19K seats like it is now as that is simply too small a venue for a league that wants to be considred a part of big time college football. That is big time for FCS football, but it does not pass the threshold of big time FBS football.