Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw didn't try to spin the latest Big East news (too much). He knows a league split - losing Villanova and Georgetown and other basketball schools which announced Saturday they are bolting the league - isn't the best scenario on North Broad Street.
"Probably nobody in FBS has been more resilient," Bradshaw said Friday, referring to the top division of football, what used to be I-A football. "We're pretty good at getting back up."
The basketball games that Temple will miss most, Bradshaw said, are the ones with Georgetown and to a lesser extent St. John's, since that would have meant trips to Madison Square Garden. The Owls will still play Villanova in Big Five games.
As for the rest of the departing hoops schools, he said, "I'm not sure those all resonate in Philadelphia. We've lived a nice life in basketball without all of them. That won't be an issue."
His larger basketball point is that from the Litwack years through the Chaney years into the Dunphy years, Temple has been nationally competitive, no matter its league.
"We've not had a problem scheduling games and slugging it out with top teams in the country," Bradshaw said over the phone. "That will always work. If we're in a league where the competition isn't quite as strong, we can schedule up with nonconference games. I have no doubts we'll be fine there."
Good point, and so is this one - "Where we've really needed something that had structure was football."
Since Temple joined the Big East, Louisville has defected to the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers left for the Big Ten. The Owls walked in with their eyes open, aware how fluid the situation remained, that Connecticut and Cincinnati could still head out the door, and there's no guarantee Boise State will even walk in.
Bradshaw's point is that the teams left in the Big East offer better football competition than the Mid-American Conference and are in bigger markets. He's right. Two Florida schools and two Texas schools compared to directional schools in Michigan and campuses dotted all over Ohio. Temple fans have to calm down about wondering if life would be better back in the MAC and the A-10.
"The sky is falling for a lot of people," Bradshaw said. "I'm lasered in on what this means."
He knows that the television dollars for a new league will be less than if Louisville were still there, for instance, that there will be less available revenue for his department.
"I don't think significantly," Bradshaw said of a drop in potential revenue projections, although that sounds like a hope as much as an analysis depending on which schools remain in Temple's league.
Bradshaw said the league uncertainty never came up in his search for a new football coach. Maybe that's true, but it probably limited the pool. Not to say that new coach Matt Rhule won't turn out to be the perfect fit and the next Wayne Hardin. But somebody like Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson just wasn't going to take this job right now. Maybe he wouldn't have two months ago either, though.
"There's a commitment here," Bradshaw said. "Temple has to look above the fray, above everything, and we're going to be committed to being exceptional. We want to be in that conversation, whatever those conversations are, whenever they are . . ."
What he was saying, if a league such as the Atlantic Coast Conference keeps changing, Temple has to position itself to be considered for membership, whether it's two years from now or whenever.
"Our goals are bigger as a program," Bradshaw said.
These same kinds of words are being used in Cincinnati and on other campuses that are currently left out of the biggest-money leagues. Bradshaw is used to pitching. He had to do it for years before Temple got back into the Big East.
"Philadelphia cannot be ignored in the big picture," Bradshaw said, returning to a familiar theme as he jumps back on an old but uncertain road.