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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:55 pm 
I would agree that TCU has the whole package - except geographic fit and natural rivalries. The problem is if their program stagnates, is everyone way out west intrested in watching them (or anyone in Texas for that matter), and is the potential of the TV market ever realized. I believe the problem with the 16 team WAC was not that it was too big, but that it was organized in such a way that rivalries werent fostered and fans had to watch opponents they didnt care about. Thats my only hesitation with TCU.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:49 pm 
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This just in:

TCU to join the NFC South in 2005.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:41 am 
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Thanks Westwolf. Now I have to go get the coffee out of my nose. ;D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:56 am 
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MWC trying to decide by the end of the month.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/Sports/story.asp?ID=59081


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:37 am 
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TCU apparently has decided and the move to the Mountain West will be announced January 30:

http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/spt/colleges/topstories/stories/012403dnspotcu.45a73495.html


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:51 am 
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Quote:
I would agree that TCU has the whole package - except geographic fit and natural rivalries. The problem is if their program stagnates, is everyone way out west intrested in watching them (or anyone in Texas for that matter), and is the potential of the TV market ever realized.


Well said. The move could be sub-titled "BCS or Bust." :P



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:43 am 
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Fort Worth: Where the Mountain West begins.

After months of deliberating and number-crunching, Texas Christian University will accept an invitation next week to join the Mountain West Conference beginning in the 2005-06 school year, high-ranking university officials said.

TCU expects to receive a formal invitation as early as Monday, the sources said, adding that the school's athletic committee will recommend to trustees that the school leave Conference USA.

Such a move could bring the school millions of dollars more in TV revenue than it would make by staying in Conference USA. Also, although the Mountain West is not a Bowl Championship Series conference, adding TCU could put the league in position to replace the Big East, which is losing three of its strongest football schools.

The athletic committee, which has studied a possible move for months, is expected to make its recommendation to the board of trustees at the board's regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 30. The board can veto the move but is expected to approve it.

"I think there were a few board members who were initially neutral about making the move, but once they got all the details from the athletic committee back in November, they've been supportive of the change," a source said.

Another source confirmed that an invitation is imminent but cautioned that the final decision belongs to trustees.

"If and when an invitation comes from the Mountain West, it will be up to the board to process it," the source said.

Another high-ranking official said that the decision is a "foregone conclusion" and that the school plans to announce the move after the board meeting.

TCU athletic director Eric Hyman said, "Right now, it's inappropriate for me to comment."

The move would end months of speculation about TCU's athletic future and solidify a place for the Horned Frogs in a major conference. TCU would join Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Utah and Wyoming in a nine-team league.

The Mountain West could expand further to add a travel partner for TCU. One possibility is Boise State, which defeated TCU in the inaugural Fort Worth Bowl. TCU would be the only Mountain West school in the Central time zone.

TCU has been on the move since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1995. The Mountain West would be TCU's fourth conference in 10 years. TCU joined the Western Athletic Conference in 1996 and left for Conference USA after the 2000-01 season.

This move will be costly.

TCU will pay an entrance fee to the Mountain West in "the neighborhood of $1 million," one of the sources said.

The university will also pay Conference USA a $400,000 exit fee despite giving the league two years' notice. But the conference can demand even more under its bylaws. The league is expected to seek extra compensation from TCU equal to any expected decrease in TV or other revenue caused by the school's departure.

TCU would become the eighth Conference USA member to announce plans to leave the league. Current members Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, Louisville and South Florida are leaving for the Big East, and Saint Louis and Charlotte plan to join the Atlantic 10. Louisville and Cincinnati have offered to offset the revenue loss by playing nonconference games against schools remaining in the league.

TCU also expects higher travel costs. But a source said the future financial benefits and long-term stability of the Mountain West appear more promising than staying in Conference USA.

The Mountain West Conference, like Conference USA, is not included in the Bowl Championship Series system that determines a national football champion. But by adding TCU, the Mountain West hopes to better position itself for possible inclusion in the BCS when the contract expires after the 2005-06 season.

For nearly two months, TCU's football team captured the attention of the nation as it became the first non-BCS school to crack the top six of the BCS rankings. Earning a top-six ranking or winning the championship of a BCS conference are the only avenues for guaranteed inclusion in a BCS bowl game and the millions of dollars that come with it.

The BCS consists of six conferences: the Big 12, Big Ten, Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Pacific-10 and Big East. The Big East could be in danger of being excluded in the next contract after losing Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the ACC.

If the BCS looks to replace the Big East, the Mountain West could be a leading contender, based on an argument that it will be more competitive, especially in football.

TCU officials are also concerned about the attendance of the schools recently added to Conference USA. Central Florida, Marshall, Southern Methodist, Tulsa and Rice have accepted invitations to join the conference. TCU compared football attendance figures of both leagues and found the Mountain West to be the more stable conference.

Based on 2003 home attendance figures, the average draw for TCU and the Mountain West schools was 34,248 per game; the average draw for TCU and the teams expected to make up Conference USA in 2005 was 26,393.

Only three schools in the Mountain West ranked worse than 70th in average attendance last season. Only two of Conference USA's expected members ranked better than 70th.

Brigham Young (61,501) and Utah (41,478) were the Mountain West's top draws. TCU would have ranked fourth, with an average of 36,155 -- 62nd in the NCAA.

Attendance can translate into TV revenue, another area in which the Mountain West is expected to surpass Conference USA.

Conference USA is in the third year of an eight-year, $80 million broadcasting deal with ESPN, but the TV network is expected to push for change because of realignment.

TCU officials have contacted ESPN and learned that Conference USA's next TV contract will be a "drop in the bucket" compared with its current deal.

The TCU officials said that Conference USA is considering a more regional package with Fox Sports, which would not appeal to TCU.

The Mountain West's seven-year, $48 million contract with ESPN will expire in 2006. The addition of TCU would put the league in prime position to negotiate a new contract.

Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said he has not been informed by TCU of any decision to leave.

"Even as of this week, TCU continued to participate and was involved in our planning for the future with new members," Banowsky said. "Until notified otherwise, TCU is a member of Conference USA. In the event they decide to do something different, it certainly won't diminish our enthusiasm for the future of our league."

Louisiana Tech and North Texas have been mentioned as possible replacements for TCU in Conference USA.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson was unavailable for comment but said in a statement that any speculation of movement is "premature and nothing has been offered to any school."

During a teleconference this month, Thompson said that he hoped to resolve the Mountain West's expansion plans by the end of January.

New Mexico athletic director Rudy Davalos, whose school is a member of the league, said he hasn't heard a definitive answer but wasn't surprised to hear that an invitation would be extended.

"When these expansion conversations first started, the talk has always centered around TCU," he said.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:44 am 
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So does the MWC invite Boise St too and will they invite 3 more along with TCU?

So who does the CUSA go after Louisiana Tech or North Texas?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:46 am 
U-T-E-P


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:31 pm 
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I guess it depends on whether UTEP wants to be the eastern-most or western-most school in its conference.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:33 am 
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Been traveling awhile, and glad to see things are moving along in the MWC/TCU area. Think its a good move for both, with the obvious exception of the Central Time Zone thing. Dallas News article is very informative--the entrance/exit fees info is a clear indication of the relative position of MWC visavis CUSA. We had already been aware of the attendance differences from the good attendance and stadium capacity figures many of the members had posted earlier. This should enhance the position of both TCU and MWC in the future. Curious as to whether another school will join as well.

8-)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:10 pm 
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UTEP under consideration for CUSA

http://www.borderlandnews.com/stories/sports/todaysstories/20040125-72877.shtml

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:28 am 
If C-USA were to invite UTEP (is there any reason why they would not accept that invitation?), then the WAC would be entirely composed of former PCAA/Big West members (Louisiana Tech was an associate member in football, 1993-1995 and Hawaii's women's sports competed in the PCAA prior to the WAC's formal sponsorship of women's athletics). Interesting. However, an invitation for UTEP would further complicate geography/membership issues for the WAC and presumably the Sun Belt. Temple is also an intriguing possibility. Is Louisiana Tech really the front-runner to replace TCU or has that just posited as the likely solution simply for the convenience of all other parties involved (e.g. WAC, Sun Belt, Louisiana Tech)?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:33 pm 
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TCU - BYU:

I can see the tee shirts now -

Christians vs. Mormons


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:43 am 
Why don't cusa invite Louisiana Tech Temple and UTEP make an 14 team conference. Revenue and TV deals will go up if they did this.


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