Geography: An Idea That Makes Too Much Sense


Pat Forde’s ideas in SI about college football realignment make sense now and probably will make sense 100 years from now.

One of my favorite things as a kid was to get out every map I could find (there were no google ones then) and find places of interest.

By the time I was 10, I virtually memorized every city and town in the United States. When I moved from one grade school to another, the “new kid” would win all of the Geography bees.

Knowing Geography, unlike, say, Algebra makes sense and can be put to good use for your entire life.

Penn State v Temple

Penn State-Temple would pack the Linc every other year.

The powers-that-be in college football have lost their way and a recent article by Pat Forde in Sports Illustrated beautifully pointed out why.

The Big 10 was a good idea for the land grant colleges of the midwest, not so much for Penn State, Maryland and Rutgers.

The Southwest Conference was a great idea for the Texas schools.

The Southeast Conference makes sense for Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida.

Forde has Temple in a “Yankee Conference” with UConn and UMass and Navy, but the ideal scenario for the Owls would be to lump them with the other two FBS schools in Pennsylvania and the other large media markets in the East.

For Temple, the ideal scenario would to be in with schools from the traditional East (Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Maryland, Syracuse, West Virginia, Boston College, maybe even Navy).

That’s not going to happen now but it makes sense for a lot of reasons.

  • Rivalries: Penn State and Pitt and Maryland vs. Navy and Temple vs. Rutgers and Pitt and West Virginia, among others.
  • Travel costs: Football isn’t the only sport and having all an-East conference would cut costs considerably.
  • Attendance: Just from a Temple football standpoint, a steady diet of games against Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State and Pitt would kick the current average up from 28K to 38K or more easily.
  • TV markets: A Big East type conference would have the No. 1 market (New York), the No. 4 one, Philadelphia and the No. 10 one (D.C.)  It would be a catalyst for driving up revenue in any cable network competition.

Let the Big 10 have the midwest schools and the SEC and PAC-12 thrive but at some point, maybe long after even the current students at Temple are gone, someone should wise up and let geography dictate the college football landscape for everyone. Money dictates everything but what happens 50 years from now if the cable money runs out? Do the conferences return to a more regional landscape? Hope so.

Right now, this current setup does not benefit Temple nor many of the traditional Eastern schools.

Friday: Only The Shouting Is Over (Probably)

Monday: A Revamped AAC Schedule

31 thoughts on “Geography: An Idea That Makes Too Much Sense

  1. I posted that article by Pat Forde in the Temple Owls Football Fans group the other day and got lots of favorable comment. But of course, as you say, it isn’t going to happen. I really like his re-imagined geographically realigned conference setup. Owls in Yankee Conference along with Penn State,, Syracuse, Navy, BC, Maryland, Pitt, Army, Rutgers, Buffalo, Uconn and Umass. Great regional arrangement! Great rivalry potential and reasonably easy drive for fans between member schools. It’s something like Joe Pa envisioned some years back. Makes a hell of a lot of sense to me! I would probably consider replacing Uconn and Umass with Va. Tech and West Virginia. Maybe replace Buffalo with UVA..Just a pipe dream at this point of course! I find it remarkable that apparently no one (other than Joe Pa) ever really thought seriously about this kind of setup!

    • Well, JoePa supposedly pushed for it but when the offer from the B10 came he flew the coop real fast. it’s always about money so wherever the green flows so goes the decisions. The AAC has got to be the most spread out conference of them all. And for the “minor” sports the travel expenses must be ridiculous. I guess it would help to schedule contiguous games with both FL teams and the TX teams/Tulsa? Whatever….

  2. As you know Mike I suggested this many times. PSU finally flew the coop because it and Pitt never could agree to an all sports conference and that started in the 1970’s. TU was caught in the middle and wanted there to be an eastern all sports conference. With no real influence all they could do was wait and hope for Pitt and PSU to agree or so they thought. Unfortunately, waiting caused TU to turn down an invite to the Big East. That’s when Nova was asked to join because the Big East needed Philly’s TV market. Can’t blame TU but a little foresight would have led them to the conclusion that they had nothing to lose by joining the Big East. If the league failed they would have eventually found a home for basketball. And if the Big East succeeded, which it did, an all-sports conference would have followed ten years earlier and would have included PSU which at that time would have had no choice but to join. That’s why PSU joined the A-10 for basketball. All I know is is that Nova would be a mid major BB team now in the A-10 had TU joined the Big East. I bet Nova still laughs about TU’s blunder.

  3. Flexibility is key. Football in the American is competitive and getting better.
    Olympic sports are a different story. A Yankee Conference (or A-10) would make great sense for Temple. I’d like to see the Owls fly to San Diego or Boise for football and not so much for basketball or soccer.

  4. There goes the football season with fans because of Philly’s pronouncement today that fans will not be permitted to attend Eagles’ games.

  5. At this point with some of the latest research, I have my doubts about a 2021 season as well unless fans are willing to accept some risk. If the story I read about antibody’s to this virus producing a non durable, short-lived response, any vaccine that comes out between now and 2021 will probably be almost worthless. That’s on top of the fact that no successful, long term coronavirus vaccine has ever been successfully developed, either for humans or animals. Hopefully Temple will be quick with the refunds for this season

    • Hope you are wrong because it could mean the death of the entire sports program. How do you justify the expense with no seasons? Moreover, how do you maintain the program with multiple classes missing whole seasons.

      • I hope so too, the antibody information was from 2 new studies so I would think there needs to be a deeper dive.

  6. Look, we can’t just throw in the towel and stay on lock down for another year/year and 1/2! No football or other sports? No inside restaurant dining, no singing in church, no screaming on roller coasters (law in Japan)! Things just have to open up or we’ll all become loonie birds. Mob rule will prevail! Wear masks, keep a safe distance from strangers, try not to sneeze, and let the players play ball, dammit! On the bright side (in spite of all the negative nabobs) there does seem to be some positive results in the development of a vaccine!

    • i know it’s a politics free zone but this is just an observation. If Trump loses, everything will open up the day after the election because the lock down has a large political component to it. Take away the deaths in NY and other states that sent sick patients, which mostly were elderly people with underlying conditions, back to nursing homes, the total death rate from the virus would be almost half of what it is now.

      • Totally agree with all of the observations you made with this post.

      • There were about 6400 deaths in New York of people in long term care facilities, about 20% of total deaths in New York.

      • What are you talking about John? Trumps the one whose been wanting to open everything up and attacks anyone who says we shouldn’t (Dr. Fauci the latest). Also there’s a chance the virus could burn itself out by November anyway which is why the brain trusts waver on what to do, like postponing the season. And now Narducci posts a very skeptical article questioning the use of masks while quoting, of all people, VP Pence. Want some fans? Then use all the suggested available protocols. Narducci should spend more time writing more detailed and, well, more TU articles. Sorry Mike but this had to be said and the proverbial can of worms had been opened.

  7. Health concerns 25% factor.
    Political ambitions 75% factor.
    Anything to get to Trump it’s what I think
    Feel free to dump this post.
    But just saying what I think.
    Just like dumping the Mummers New Years parade, mostly all politics

  8. Now Mayor McDrunky is saying that fans may be permitted to attend Eagles’ games. He must have realized that he would have had another riot on his hands by locking out fans. Have no idea what it means for TU football or its fans.

  9. What ramifications to future scheduling will this year have? I think it is obvious by now that the Owls ain’t going to Miami in September.

    Will that game be rescheduled? How so? I mean, there is no way the Hurricanes are coming here in a few years if we don’t play there right?

    • I think Miami will be contractually obligated to come here. I doubt that the away game in a home and away series is contingent upon the home game being played when it is canceled by an act of God. Frankly, it’s a win for them because they’ll get their appearance fee without having to pay TU their fee.

      • It’s the same as a Hurricane canceling a game in Miami, which has been done a few times and the team playing at Miami was not obligated to return the date.

  10. Miami has cancelled workouts after “significant number of players tested positive”.

    I just wonder how long this is going to drag on. Will it be drips and drabs or is College Football going to collectively say “the hell with it, we can’t play”?

    Certainly seems to be inevitable anymore.

    • My dream scenario would be a Temple home season with social distancing and masks (really don’t think it can be done the old way this year) and have the Eagles cancel the home season giving Temple the only football at the Linc with fans but I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the NFL will try for a season with no fans and college will bag it entirely.

  11. I think I saw somewhere that players’ temperatures would be taken right before the start of every game. This sounds like a good idea but some key players might not be able to compete on any given game day. And what about the status of players who have tested positive within a two week self-isolation period prior to a game? It all seems like one giant mess! But I just can’t imagine a year without college football!

    • If you told me this would happen a year ago, I would have told you to stop watching science fiction movies These are the strangest times we’ve ever lived it. Wished this would have happened 20 years after I was dead but I wake up to this reality every day. We all do.

      • Yep! Between this Coronavirus thing and growing mayhem in our major cities, we do indeed live in strange and very troubling times! My grandson is a senior this fall in the Fox School of Business; let’s hope our beautiful campus remains safe from mob intrusion!

  12. Here’s what AAC commish Mike Aresco says about football with regard to strict COVID-19 regulations:
    “With guidance from our COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, our conference has established pre-competition testing protocols for football that will require all teams to be tested at least 72 hours prior to each competition. The testing protocols will apply throughout the regular and bowl seasons. Our overall operational protocols will be finalized shortly and may be revised as circumstances and new information warrant.”
    Sounds like there just might be a season for football after all? But it will be weird for sure!

    • I live in DC. Stories of mayhem are overblown. It’s just a few hundred people demonstrating peacefully. The exceptions are minor in number.
      Most of just keep working normally with masks on.

  13. If all the other conferences cancel, we can become a top 10 team in the country!!!! (LOL …. attempt at some humor here)

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