Is Temple close to playing football in the merging Conference USA-Mountain West?

More likely, the Owls are keeping their options open. Those options reportedly include Temple president Ann Weaver Hart and athletic director Bill Bradshaw meeting with C-USA and Mountain West officials Sunday in Dallas. The Philadelphia Daily News first reported plans for the meeting to discuss Temple's joining the league for football only.

Multiple sources say the status of the Big East's interest in Temple - and Temple's interest in the Big East - hasn't changed. The Big East is scrambling to fill its football schedule for 2012 and 2013 now that West Virginia is paying its way out of the conference for $20 million and will join the Big 12 in 2012. The Big East's top option is to get Boise State to join the conference early, but the Newark Star-Ledger reported it would cost Boise $13 million to $14 million to get out of the Mountain West this year.

"Fluid is the best word," said one source involved in the Big East discussions that have included interest in Temple. "If anybody tells you they know exactly what's going to happen, they're lying."

Bradshaw did not respond to an interview request on Sunday.

Big East sources said that if the league expands beyond 12 football schools - or if there are additional defections, such as Louisville's moving to the Big 12 - then Temple would be a primary candidate.

- Mike Jensen