While it's becoming increasingly apparent loyalty in sports is a thing of the past, news that Steve Addazio is bolting Temple after just two seasons to return to his New England roots at Boston College shouldn't come as a great shock.

 

It didn't take much for the fiery Addazio to read the tea leaves and realize the Big East Conference he thought the Owls were signing up for was becoming a shell of itself.

 

If upper-tier schools like Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Rutgers were going to defect -- the majority of them heading to the ACC -- then why shouldn't a coach? Especially one who knew if he stuck around he'd have a hard time selling prospective recruits on proposed replacements Tulane, Boise St., East Carolina, Houston, Central Florida, SMU and San Diego St.

 

That, as much as any longing to get back in New England, is likely what prompted Addazio to become the second Owls' coach to vacate North Broad Street in the last two years. Predecessor Al Golden left for Miami in 2010 after transforming Temple from a laughingstock into a winner.

 

Addazio came in preaching what a perfect spot this was for him personally, as well as professionally.

Following a 4-7 season and mindful he'd have to replace his top two running backs and other key players, the lure of a much-higher profile conference (ACC) was too great to resist.

What now for Temple?

Early speculation centers on Matt Rhule, a former Owls assistant under both Golden and Addazio. Rhule is serving as Tom Coughlin's assistant offensive line coach with the Giants. Another name high in the mix is Tom Bradley, who performed so admirably when he took the reins from Joe Paterno in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.