fighting muskie wrote:
fighting muskie wrote:
While we are on the topic of the Southwest Conference, I always wondered why TCU, SMU, Houston, and Rice didn't try to keep the SWC alive. At the time of the SWC collapse the Great Midwest and Metro schools had not yet settled their blood feud. Tulsa was also looking for a conference at the time too. Maybe UTEP and New Mexico could have been enticed by the prospect of playing in those big Texas markets. The pool that those 4 core schools could have drawn from would have included:
I feel like they could have produced a credible 10 or 12 member league and a byproduct of that move would have been that the WAC would not have over expanded and led to the WAC-MWC split in 1999.
I agree, but I believe Houston already had one foot out the door....during the last season of the SWC. So, it would have only been SMU, TCU, and Rice. Which is still a nice trio...if they would have stuck together under the SWC flag.
Yes, Houston had a foot out the door but they were jumping in bed with many of the schools on this list. It would have just been a matter of the other 3 Texas schools being part of that conversation in place of the non-football schools from the Metro and Great Midwest. I'm thinking either 10 members of 12, pending whether or not UAB and USF were commited to FBS football at the time.
SWC-WEST: Tulsa, SMU, TCU, Rice, Houston, Tulane
SWC-EAST: Cincy, L'ville, Memphis, USM, UAB, USF
Houston was considered for the Big 12 when it started before Baylor lobbied its way in. Houston went to the new C-USA because they were actually a major program like the schools who went to the Big 12, whereas SMU had their scandal to set them back and Rice and TCU very rarely went to bowl games (TCU only went to bowl games 3 times from '60-'95, and Rice only in '60 and '61 in that time). C-USA from '96-'05 was comparable to today's American, the MW a few years ago, the WAC from '05-'09, and had at least 1 team ranked most years as if it was a major.
Rice, SMU and TCU didn't really have options to redo the Southwest. They could've made a conference with nearby schools who would've likely joined, but based on competitiveness and other factors it would've likely been-
Tulsa (from Independent/MVC)
UTEP (from WAC)
SW Louisiana (now UL-Laf) (from Big West FB/Sun Belt)
La. Tech (from Big West FB/Sun Belt)
North Texas (from Independent/Southland)
While that would be a decent conference now, collectively back then it would've had no high quality programs when it started. That combined with the bad rep the conference was getting, and the WAC was a far better option for the SWC leftovers.