Rumors have also surfaced on some of these threads from time to time about another Texas Team joining as a rival/travel partner for TCU. Would it be possbile for either Rice or SMU to legally consider moving to the MWC now that they have already announced a move from the WAC to C-USA? UTEP would move in a heartbeat to MWC. But I don't know if any of them would be a good choice for MWC. Maybe another Texas team in C-USA?
A. Articles elsewhere have stated the MWC officials have officially named TCU as one of 6 schools they've considered for their short list, with a likely decision who to invite coming in January. No mention of a travel partner, from what I've seen.
B. While SMU and Rice physically could turn their backs on CUSA and become thatb possible travel partner in the MWC, the sheer logistics of it would probably not be worth it (IMO). Especially after having just climbed out of a situation where claimed unhappiness with all that western travel. Further, SMU would be overkill on the part of the MWC; Why take two small schools from the same market?
C. As such, IMO the travel partner thing may be overrated. It appears the schools that fit that partner profile are either in the same market (SMU, UNT), would not bring as much of their market to warrant inviting (Tulsa, La. Tech), or simply wouldn't find the move as compelling (Rice, Houston).
D. At this point I suspect SMU and company are lobbying TCU to stay. For their current prowess, their decent academics, and the prospect of a championship game as soon as all this reshuffling is over. (Not to mention making sure all this reshuffling is over as far as their conference is concerned.) Speculation has that game taking place in Texas early and often, as a move to both appease TCU and begin burning the chaps of Texas, A&M and others.
To recap what the conference commissioner has pointed out, the MWC has found that minimal expansion is the best option financially. Outside sources project that leaves a top three of TCU, Fresno St. and Boise St., roughly in that order. Obviously the decision won't be purely on the new market issue, but the MWC has less leeway for these considerations than the BE or ACC had. My bet? Invite for just TCU first, and if they accept Boise St gets #2. If TCU says "No thank you," Fresno St, gets a strong second look, as does the concept of no expansion at all.