Monday, November 21, 2011
The BCS Balloon lost a bit of air when the latest BCS rankings came out last night and TCU dropped a spot to #20. Not to say that it's inconceivable, because this past weekend showed us that just about anything is possible in college football- but it's readily apparent that, even if Houston stumbles down the stretch, the Frogs may have a tough time jumping the necessary four spots to get to #16. We're definitely not giving up hope of a trip to New Orleans or Miami, but it's definitely time to think about alternatives.
Should the Frogs fall short of a third straight BCS trip (and really, isn't it already a successful season that we're even talking about this with such a young team?), they'll be headed to one of the Mountain West's four affiliated bowls, Las Vegas (who gets the first pick), Poinsettia (second), Independence (third) and New Mexico (fourth). A common misconception is that teams are automatically slotted according to their place in the standings- which couldn't be further from the truth. These bowl games are for-profit businesses, and care far less about a team's on-field record than they do that same team's potential impact on their own bottom line.
This is where you, the consumers, come in.
If you're a TCU season ticket holder or a Frog Club member, you should've received an email yesterday about pre-purchasing bowl tickets for any of the potential destinations. Don't be foolish and think that this is all about expediting the request & dispersal process- this is a valuable tool for the school and the MWC bowl partners to gauge fan interest for certain scenarios. If TCU can tell a bowl game that they've pre-sold "X" amount of tickets to their event compared to "Y" amount for the other, it helps all of the involved parties reach decisions that are as mutually-beneficial as possible. So in a way, you can vote for the Frogs' bowl destination by filling out your bowl ticket request form. If you didn't get the email, or (more likely) deleted it without reading, you can simply log on to your account on gofrogs.com and then click on "season renewals" to find the form. It needs to be turned in by December 9th, but the decisions will all be made by then so the sooner you turn it in, the more your "vote" counts.
To help you in the process, here is a handy-dandy pro/con list:
Las Vegas Bowl:
-Pro: Vegas is always a good time, and who knows the next time you'll have a chance to see TCU football in Sin City? Also, the opponent will be from the Pac 12- take your pick from the middle of that mediocre conference's pack, but think along the lines of UCLA or Cal.
-Con: The game is on December 22nd (a Thursday) and that stadium is a dump. Vegas may be fun, but buying a plane ticket there on short notice probably is not.
-Pro: Shreveport is a ridiculously easy drive for just about all TCU fans, and the Independence Bowl actually has a higher per-team payout than Vegas. If you're into gambling, Louisiana will take your money just as quickly as will Nevada. The opponent will be from the ACC, giving Frog fans a chance to see their team against some fresh blood.
-Con: Is a 3.5-hour bus trip down I-20 the day after Christmas really much of a reward for the winningest senior class in school history? The folks in Shreveport are pretty far down on the ACC's bowl pecking order, which means they'll be picking a very mediocre team- and it won't be the very mediocre Miami Hurricanes, either.
-Pro: Like Las Vegas, San Diego is always a fun place to visit. I'm sure the Frogs have plenty of fans in Southern California that will miss seeing TCU play out that way with regularity.
-Con: Where do I start? The game is on Wednesday, December 21st. It's played in a cavernous NFL stadium that will make even a decent crowd look like nothing. The opponent would be from the WAC, so think either Nevada or Louisiana Tech. We've been down this exact same road already.
New Mexico Bowl:
-Pro: I guess if you live in Albuquerque, this would be convenient for you. Since the Pac 12 may not be able to fill their slot in this game, you could see a lower-tier Big Ten team playing there. Also, I hear there's a sweet party at Pinkman's place.
-Con: A bowl game on December 17th? Yikes. Although there is that slight chance of getting a Big Ten opponent, it's probably much more likely that the Pac 12's slot would be filled by a team from the MAC. Also, you'd probably hope to avoid the disastrous afternoon of driving around Albuquerque on an increasingly empty stomach before coming to the realization that Los Pollos Hermanos is not a real restaurant.
Posted by Lyle Lanley at Monday, November 21, 2011