NEWPORT, R.I. – It’s official.
Temple has been picked to finish last in the Big East Conference in the conference’s preseason media poll.
Louisville received 24 of a possible 28 first-place votes en route to being tabbed the favorite to win the eight-team conference.
South Florida (four first-place votes) is projected to finish second, followed in the top five by Rutgers, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Connecticut and Syracuse are picked to finish sixth and seventh.
What’s interesting about the voting is the lack of respect for newcomer Temple. The Owls are coming off their best three-season stretch in school history. They capped last season with a 37-15 victory over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.
But perhaps in the eyes of many of the voters, the fact that Temple returns just eight full-time starters from a 9-4 squad is hard to overlook.
The Owls are making their second go-round in the conference for football after spending the past five seasons as a football-only member of the Mid-American Conference.