Big East Expansion: Temple's Second Chance Would Be a Redemption Story

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Steve Addazio (3R) of the Temple Owls hugs athletic director Bill Bradshaw after the Owls defeated the Maryland Terrapins 38-7 at Byrd Stadium on September 24, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Temple was kicked out of the Big East back in 2004 for consistently underperforming.

However, after the Big East lost West Virginia to the Big 12, the conference is now in discussions with Temple about rejoining the conference, according to the New York Times.

This would be a redemption story for the Owls.

West Virginia's move to the Big 12 and the $20 million exit fee were completed within the last month, giving the Big East little time to fill out the conference. However, years removed from being sent packing, Temple now looks like a prime program for the Big East.

First off, Temple would replace West Virginia in football. Once disappointing, the Owls have regained their swagger over the past two seasons. They beat eventual Big East champ Connecticut in 2010 and went 9-4 in 2011, rocking Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl by a score of 37-15.

On top of that, the basketball program figures to be a big help for the Big East. In addition to losing West Virginia next season, the conference will also be losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse in the next few years.

Temple has made the NCAA tournament the past four years. Louisville coach Rick Pitino has been very vocal about adding the Owls to the Big East. They are 21-5 this season, upsetting Duke on Jan. 4.

With its resurgence in several sports, the Owls must have the Big East practically begging them to come back.

This just goes to show that nothing is ever final and you can always work your way back from tough times.

If Temple ends up excelling in the Big East, it would be a great story and yet another example of how perseverance can overcome almost anything.

Follow RyanRudnansky on Twitter