Temple exits Mid-American Conference, headed for Big East



Matt Lofgren

Temple University, a member of the Mid-American Conference in football since 2007, will be moving to the Big East in all sports by 2013.

The MAC released a brief statement Wednesday afternoon stating: “The Conference and its member institutions engaged in a dialogue with Temple regarding an appropriate resolution. We have come to an agreement that is fair to the parties involved.”

With Temple’s departure, the East will be made up of: Kent State, Akron, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Miami, Ohio and the UMass. On the other side, the West will have: Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Temple will pay the MAC $6 million for the early exit while paying the Atlantic-10 Conference $2 million for leaving in all other sports.

Kent State head football coach Darrell Hazell said he was “happy for those guys” for getting what they wanted.

“I’m happy for Temple,” Hazell said. “I wish them the best of luck in the Big East. I’m sure people in our conference will do a good job of, at some point in time, finding a replacement to even the sides out.”

Last season, the Flashes fell to the Owls 34-16. The Owls finished last season with a 9-4 record and a 37-15 win over Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

The Owls will be making their second appearance in the Big East after being kicked out in 2004 for poor records accumulating over several seasons. From 2005 to 2006, the Temple football team was independent before coming to the MAC.

“I’m sure that there are a lot of smart people who put a lot of effort into whether they should stay or go and thought that this was the right decision for them,” Hazell said.

With a void now looming in the MAC East, Bowling Green will fill the vacant spot on the schedule with the University of Massachusetts making its debut in the MAC later this year.

Hazell said Temple moving conferences doesn’t change anything for his team.

“We’re going to prepare to play whoever is on our schedule, whether it’s in conference or out of conference,” Hazell said. “We will do everything we can to win the football game is what it comes down to. It doesn’t matter who’s on the schedule or not.”

It is not clear yet if the MAC will make any more moves to replace Temple yet. Hazell said he trusts the MAC front office to make the right decision for a competitive atmosphere in the East.

“I’m sure the commissioner and the powers that be will be working hard to put the schedule together and who our crossover games will be,” Hazell said. “We’ll find out here pretty shortly.”

Temple will fill a void in the Big East that West Virginia left when it made the move to the Big 12. For Temple’s first year in the Big East, the Owls will fill the Mountaineers’ conference schedule.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] and @MLofgrenDKS