TCU's Move Is Bad For MWC, Even Worse For Boise State
by Dave Congrove
November 30, 2010
TCU announced its fourth conference switch since 2000 when it agreed on Monday to leave the Mountain West in 2012 and join the Big East for all sports. The Horned Frogs have been members of the WAC (1996-2000), Conference USA (2001-2004) and the Mountain West (2005-present).
TCU was also a member of the Southwest Conference from 1923 until it disbanded in 1995.
The obvious benefit to TCU is that the school is joining an automatic qualifying conference of the Bowl Championship Series, and one which enjoys rich basketball television contracts. The Big East benefits by entering the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, one of the nation's largest media markets.
Given its history in recent years, TCU should win the 2012 Big East title and nab the automatic invitation to a BCS bowl. The Horned Frogs have won or shared six conference titles over the last 12 years.
Right now, UConn controls its destiny to the 2010 Big East football title even though it can finish no better than 8-4. The other football members of the conference are Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Eight more schools are non-football members: DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova.
The immediate negative for TCU is that the school will once again have to form new rivalries with schools which are located hundreds of miles from the Lone Star state. Holding out for a Big 12 invitation would seem like a more logical strategy, but who's to say they won't make another switch if that opportunity arises.
Meanwhile, Boise State must feel like it's been run over, backed over and run over again. The Broncos announced it was leaving the WAC to join the Mountain West on June 11. At the time, the school had no reason to believe that it wasn't joining TCU, Utah and BYU in a league that was becoming more relevant as a football conference.
Utah opted for the PAC-10 a week later. Then, BYU announced it was going independent in football on August 31.
With the departure of BYU, TCU and Utah, and the addition of Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada, the Mountain West has become the new WAC and the WAC has become irrelevant. Especially since the inevitable next step for the Mountain West is to go after Hawaii which has no intention being left behind in a watered down WAC.
In the meantime, TCU's move to the Big East completely eliminates the thought of any other conference becoming a 7th non-AQ member of the BCS, something which the Mountain West was well on the way toward achieving on June 11.