Las Vegas Bowl
-December 22nd in Las Vegas
-ESPN's projected opponent: Cal
-Payout: $1 million per team
-December 21st in San Diego
-ESPN's projected opponent: Nevada
-Payout: $500k per team
-December 26th in Shreveport
-ESPN's projected opponent: Wake Forest or Miami
-Payout: $1.1 million per team
New Mexico Bowl
-December 17th in Albuquerque
-ESPN projected opponent: Eastern Michigan or Ohio
-Payout: $750k per team
Now, there are probably some of you out there thinking that TCU could run the table, have 8-0 Houston drop a game and the Frogs end up in the BCS again this year. I suppose less likely things have ended up happening, but because I'm using company time to type this up I'm going to just table that one for a later date. That's what the comments section is for, you crazies.
Barring a miracle BCS run, the Frogs have a decent shot at facing a familiar problem. I say likely because I'm confident that they can end up either winning the conference (but not being deemed BCS-worthy) or finishing in second to a BCS-bound Boise squad. In either case, they would give the Las Vegas Bowl the opportunity to pass on them for the third time in seven seasons. You might recall that the MWC Champion and 10-1 Frogs were passed on by the Vegas folks in 2005, and had to pull quite a few strings to get a Houston Bowl match up with Iowa State. Then again in 2008, when the 10-2 Frogs finished second behind a Sugar Bowl-bound Utah squad, Vegas again gave TCU the thumbs-down in favor of 3rd place BYU. Thankfully, the Poinsettia Bowl folks felt they owed TCU (after having matched them up against an inferior Northern Illinois team in 2006) and managed to snag Boise State to face the Frogs in San Diego.
So what if the Frogs are the top team available to the Las Vegas folks again? Would they take them this time? Here's another question...after having been brushed aside twice, would TCU even want to be invited to a pre-Christmas bowl game nearly 1,200 miles away? Am I the only one who thinks they'd be better off telling the Vegas Bowl "thanks but no thanks" and taking their talents to Shreveport? Think about it- it pays $100,000 more per team (more money is more gooder), it's less than a four-hour drive from Fort Worth (more fans could come), it has the possibility of being against a high-profile ACC team (or maybe just an ACC team, but whatever) and it's after Christmas (when most of you will be off of work and itching to get out of the house).
To me, it seems like a no-brainer. And you've got to know that the Independence Bowl folks signed on with the MWC with just three teams in mind: Air Force (who they had last year), BYU (who is no longer available), and TCU. I'm not trying to get you all fired up for a trip to the Independence Bowl, but my money's on the Frogs- win or lose in Laramie and win or lose in Boise- heading to Shreveport the day after JC's birthday. I'll be there.