Southern Hospitality And 2012 Big East Football Scheduling?

The Big East will have to hold off on their mea culpas for another day.

Yesterday's previously scheduled Temple Board of Trustees athletics committee meeting was cancelled and no announcement on the Owls future conference affiliation was made. Though contracts were discussed so ... progress?

This is, of course, big news for the Big East and particularly the ACC's two newest adds Syracuse and Pittsburgh. You see, the Orange and the Panthers -- and the Bearcats, but, like, whatever -- are in need of not one but TWO additional opponents to fill their 2012 football schedule.

Temple joining the Big East for 2012 solves half of the equation, as the Owls would likely be slotted into West Virginia's spot on next year's sched. Syracuse and Pitt would then need one more game to complete their football schedule. Apparently, the pickings are slim -- Boise State or Nevada, by virtue of the Hawaii travel rule, Missouri, or the FCS route.

The problem is that both Syracuse and Pitt are already dipping into college football's lower division next season with Stony Brook and Youngstown State, respectively. And two FCS opponents in one season is less than ideal, unless you are Tom O'Brien and N.C. State.

With the ACC schedule finally released on Monday and Florida State and Georgia Tech making late changes to the schedule, I was wondering whether the ACC should have been more neighborly. Shouldn't the ACC have lent Syracuse and Pitt more of a helping hand in filling their 2012 football sched?

Virginia Tech already plays future Coastal Division rival Pitt in 2012, so the Hokies are in the clear, despite another embarrassingly weak non-conference slate. Maryland's cool too, considering the Terps are playing two once Big East teams in West Virginia and Connecticut. But what's everyone else's excuse?

Did Florida State and N.C. State really have to play two FCS opponents next season? Georgia Tech completed their 2012 sched with a team nicknamed the Blue Hose. No, that is not a typo.

Idaho, North Carolina? Louisiana Tech, Virginia?

Unfortunately, it all comes down to a simple problem: everyone wants a home game, and games against the most logical teams to drop to help Pitt / Syracuse out -- FCS games -- aren't going away any time soon. So both Florida State and N.C. State will face two FCS teams in 2012 and it's looking like future conference members Pitt and Syracuse will do the same.

It's a shame that the conference couldn't have helped out its future conference mates a little more in the scheduling department this year, but I suppose that's the price you pay for bailing on the Big East. Then again, Syracuse did opt out of its 2011 and 2012 non-conference game with BC, so Otto has no one to blame but himself?

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