I hope you don't think I'm too cruel after what I posted about Fresno State. Its possible they could grow into an 800 pound football Gorrila, with the city Fresno not in contention for a NFL franchise. More likely I think is Fresno State begins to die on the vine as demographics shift, as what happened to San Jose State.
I couldn't disagree with you more. The major advantage that Fresno has is that there is only one BCS conference in its region, the PAC-10, and it certainly appears to me that the Bulldogs have had the No. 1 football team in California outside of the PAC-10 for quite some time. The immediate area in which TCU resides is a large market, but there are two BCS conferences in the region, the Big XII and SEC. In my view the recruiting ground for the MWC is less crowded out in California. California also gets another MWC presence with SDSU already there and UNLV nearby. About the only advantage I can see for TCU over Fresno is that TCU has name recognition from its past association with the Southwest Conference.
If it were me, I'd definitely take Fresno State and Boise State to sew up the mountain state region of the country. You'll never conquer Dallas-Ft. Worth. A kid in Central California is more likely to attend Fresno State, a public school, than a kid in the D/FW area attending a relatively small private school.
TCU's joining the MWC was probably more a rejection of CUSA than a desire to get in the MWC due to the geographic isolation there. I'd probably go along with it if I were a fan of the Horned Frogs because the MWC's a better conference, but it would be a negative to me to be the only team in the Central Time Zone with the nearest conference mate (New Mexico) a 10-hour drive away. From a fan's standpoint, those who follow TCU could take short trips to Tulsa, Dallas, and Houston and therefore see his team in action a lot more than he will in the MWC.