The Temple Owls have spurned the MAC and joined the Big East. This means they'll make the leap from Tuesday nights to Wednesday nights, and it also means they'll face teams that play an entirely different brand of football, a brand in which games often do not end with back-to-back touchdowns in the closing 30 seconds. How will the Owls, a team known for "run plays" and other oddities, fit in with their new league?
To the spreadsheets!
It's easy to say Temple football didn't make sense in the MAC. They ranked last in the conference on Bill Connelly's 2011 MACtion Scale, which aimed to rank teams by their talents at playing in games that end in utter chaos. The Owls' stately and reserved manner wasn't limited to last year, either.
First up, Temple's offensive scoring rankings over the past five years, both nationally and in the points-happy MAC. Yes, yardage is a better metric than points, but that's when we're going for accuracy. We're going for MACcuracy. Whatcha got, Temple?
As you can see, they've been more MAC-compliant since Al Golden got things bolted together. Scoring 30 points a game in two of the last three years is perfectly MACcommodating. But here's the problem. Temple's defense has been good-to-really good for the past five years, which is completely unMACceptable.
It's awesome and perfect that the second best defense in the MAC once ranked No. 53 in the country. I think we're seeing Temple really is a fine fit for the Big East, especially with divemaster Steve Addazio at the helm.
The MAC will replace Temple with UMass, which is making its way up from FCS. Last year the Minutemen ranked No. 61 in the country in scoring, putting up 25.2 points per outing. On the bright side, UMass allowed 27.9 points a game, meaning they'll give up approximately 30,000 to whichever random MAC team leads the country in scoring for like six weeks this year.
Thus, on the whole, the Big East has gotten more Big East, and the MAC has gotten more MAC. Also, the MAC has gotten more money. Everybody's happy?