Staring: Jim Delany
In general I think TCU is in a pretty great position here’s why-
-TCU’s worst case scenario: The Big 12 stays together and it and/or the Pac 10 raids BYU and Utah
This looks to be a low probability and even if it does happen the MWC can add Boise and a Houston, Fresno, etc and still look competitive. Boise is our safety blanket b/c nobody is going to add them, and we can always pair up w/ them and have a perennial top 10 team to add football legitimacy to any conference we end up in. There’s also the off chance the Big 12 or Pac 10 adds TCU. TCU makes more TV/recruiting sense for the Pac 10, and as discussed here- UT is scared of us (I’m rolling w/ the conspiracy theory Lyle).
-UT and ATM part ways
UT to the Big 10 without Tetch baggage, Aggy to SEC. They’re meeting today and there are rumors that splitting up is on the table…even though they’re never going to split up…even if splitting up would be the best thing Aggy has ever done. For TCU, it’s MWC / Big 12 remnants detailed below.
-Implications of UT deciding that the Big 12 south will merge with the Pac 10
First of all, step back and think about how funny it is the mighty Big 12 is collapsing into the arms of a Pac 10 conference that is far inferior athletically. Big 12 sports across the board are better than the Pac 10, so congrats on merging with a conference that outside of some (cheating) years by USC has had very limited football success (vs the histories of OU and UT).
If this goes thru, MWC would either absorb Big 12 leftovers (KU, KSU, possibly Missouri, etc) or Big 12 leftovers would absorb MWC teams (Utah, TCU, and BYU). In either case TCU is a ‘top dog’- one of the gems that will be in the driver’s seat. Remember too, you can always add Boise. Could the remnants of the Big 12 jst add some teams and still keep their AQ status- that remains to be seen (more later).
- TCU’s best case: I can dream
Pac 16 merger happens and the SEC expands to 16. They add TCU to get a foothold in Texas for TV, recruiting, and TCU’s all-around-fratness. SEC would likely add Miami, Florida St., Clemson, Georgia Tech from the ACC or Va Tech. I guess West Va, UVA, and South Fl are also possibilities, but after Florida objects to the inclusion of Miami and/or Florida State- maybe the SEC turns to Texas and the best option by far is TCU (assuming ATM and UT are off the table). I admit this is a pipedream, but it’s my pipedream. If the SEC expands w/o TCU, that could be a bad thing for us (we’d prob rather they be a 12 team conf vs having 3 16-team conferences). I guess the Big 10 could be an option to add us for the same reasons (DFW, recruiting, etc- also, in their case, good demographic trends compared to their member schools), but I think even they know with our speed we’d win the conference every year.
-Chess vs Checkers
There’s a lot of herd mentality underway to “not be left behind”…for better or for worse. It has all been set in motion by the Big 10 commissioner. This guy is the orchestra conductor for this offseason craziness that has been in the works for a lot longer than jst the last few months (coincidence the Big 10 network is now fully operational??).
So what happens to a broken up ACC, Big East, and/or Big 12? Do they add teams and continue with business as usual? This is going to be a HUUUUGE question b/c what’s happening is about money- either making more with larger TV contracts (stated)…or splitting it with less people (not stated). This could be the end game, so keep an eye out. I get that UT will bring some more money to a Pac 16 TV contract, but does Tetch or OSU?? Even OU- Oklahoma City’s TV market is below Albuquerque’s (granted OU has a good following, esp in Dallas). So maybe your TV contract makes some more money, but a more likely scenario is you make your money by splitting w/ less people. Do the Big 16 and Pac 16 now get 2 AQ’s? SEC, ACC, Big East will oppose that- but let’s assume ACC and Big East fall apart after an SEC raid to increase to 16 teams. Do the 3 mega conferences jst have a 3-way tourney? These guys might have the balls to try it, but at the end of the day I don’t think you can ace out that many schools…not w/o the government getting involved.
-Final thoughts on Tetch and Baylor
I think a lot of TCU fans are dismayed at how Lubbock and Waco (and Stillwater for that matter) are in the mix to get in the Pac 16 and we aren’t. While Baylor being left out of the Pac 16 could be a hilarious karma bitch slap, I’d prefer they get in instead of Colorado so we could add Colorado to our new MWC / Big 12 conference… and their 16th ranked Denver TV market. As for Tetch, congrats on signing up to be the Baylor of the new Pac 16!!! Using politics and your large state school status to ride the coattails of UT to this new conference is probably going to work out great for you!! Your athletic department is on pretty shaky financial ground, and you jst signed up to fly your women’s softball team to play Washington State…have you even googled mapped Pullman Washington??? Even funnier will be to watch Cal Berkley come to Lubbock. Do they know you’re a Tier 3 school (google it, US News and World Report won’t even rank you)- oh man the Pac 10 is one of the snootiest conferences when it comes to academics. I know you’re tired of ATM, UT, and Baylor making jokes about your trade school status- now you’re dealing with Stanford. You’re about to make a lot of money…I’m sure UT is going to start splitting all this new $$ evenly with you even though they haven’t while in the Big 12. You’ve never been better than UT or OU and now to win your conference you’ll have to beat USC. Let me put it in vacation terms- Lubbock doesn’t compete with Austin, much less Southern California….you might never win a conference title…until this thing implodes 5 years from now when people actually do the math at how expensive it will be. So welcome, Baylor Tetch!