The rationale for TCU to the MWC is as follows:
for MWC, it is a market outside their footprint (Dallas-Ft. Worth) and opens the state up to recruiting. MWC puts out a quality product, but no one is watching. What do they have, San Diego? That's it. Granted, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are growing metropolises, but still nothing like DFW.
I agree that this their rationale. Too bad its based on a faulty view of that TV market. When it comes to TV, TCU is way behind Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma in viewership. I would argue that it is also behind Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, given the number of alumni in town, but that may be up for debate.
How much viewership are they really going to get from the #4 to #6 most popular team in the metro area?
It sure isn't the rationale I would use in selecting an MWC school. It would seem to me that the Mountain West could make a bigger dent recruiting in California where there is only one BCS conference, than they could in Texas, which is fair game for the Big 12 and SEC. I am not sold on TCU as a perrenial power, nor am I sold on them delivering the Dallas-Ft. Worth market to the degree they would expect.
I would think that Fresno State, year in and year out, is hands down the #1 program in California outside of the Pac-10. They have a 41,000 seat stadium and if they don't sell out, they come awful close. To me that would open up a lot more opportunities to the Mountain West TV and otherwise. They fit geographically with San Diego State and UNLV.
Boise State is a program I'm also sold on. Hawaii is expensive and Nevada hasn't achieved to the extent Fresno and Boise have to my knowledge. As someone mentioned, Boise might deliver the Humanitarian Bowl.
If you want a Texas school, I'd think UTEP would be a better geographical fit, but I really think the MWC would be best served by going West.
Evidently the Mountain West members are gridlocked on who to add or else we'd have a decision by now.