Temple grad Barry Petchesky, of Deadspin, sheds some light on why this happened:

Temple, an urban, Northeastern university with a large commuter student body and a long basketball tradition, noticed the wave of big TV contracts being handed out and wanted a piece of the pie. But the Big East had kicked them out. Rather than drop out of Division 1A, as seemed likely and logical, Temple stayed independent and decided to spend. They moved into an NFL stadium, paying more than $265,000 per home game in rent. They clambered into the MAC, but kept their eyes on a bigger prize. Moderate on-field success spurred further budget inflation. Finally, they made the leap back to the Big East—just as the Big East fell apart.

Temple, once the program that no conference wanted, finds itself in a conference no program wants to be a part of. The realignment era in college football has been insanely lucrative for those teams savvy enough to jump at the right time and to the right place, but that naturally came at the expense of those left behind—or more painfully, those who made the wrong choices.

via reader Ryan