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Temple in Big East may go West

Temple will join the Big East for football in the fall, but a year later, when the conference divides into eastern and western divisions, the Owls could be heading to the West. According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Big East may be likely to place Temple in a division with Boise State, Houston, SMU, Memphis and San Diego State.

Notably missing from that alignment are the two westernmost members of the current Big East football conference, Louisville and Cincinnati. It is believed that both school prefer to remain together and to maintain their annual games against the other eastern Big East schools. That preference, combined with Temple's eagerness to join the conference, means that North Broad Street might be moving a little closer to San Diego.

The western schools promise to form a division with much more football clout than the eastern schools, giving Temple a bigger challenge in the short-term.

"It could play that way, which is fine," said Temple coach Steve Addazio told the Inquirer. "We don't really know that. But I've heard those things.

"You have to get in a plane and travel. So you know, you might have to travel 40 more minutes than you did the other. But you are still going to get on that plane and fly."

They may receive a reprieve from that travel when Navy joins the conference in 2015, when the divisions could be shuffled again. That move could be combined with the addition of a 14th member as well

No plans are official, but the move could carry over to basketball as well. The Big East will bloat to 18 members for basketball in 2013-14, and that could signal the creation of divisions in basketball as well. That scenario could also shift Temple to a western division with Louisville, Memphis and the Texas schools, or could have divisions that aren't based strictly on geography.

If the conference did opt to pursue a divisional set-up in basketball, it is very possible that Villanova and Temple would be in different divisions. That would create a scheduling scenario where each school would host a different slate of opponents annually with only a few opponents from the other division on each one's schedule.

If that were the case, expect that the Big East would maintain some cross-divisional rivalries by having protected cross-over games — and Villanova would likely play Temple annually regardless of divisions.

The Big East hasn't yet committed to any particular structure for the 18-team basketball league, but the idea of having a divisional alignment in basketball had been discussed as early as October.