November 05, 2003

College athletic conference dumb move of the week award goes to...

TCU.
Well, I still think that the Big East and Boston College should win this award over and over and over, but I digress.
Actually, I don't digress that far.
Let's look at one school, and I'll tie it in to how TCU is being boneheaded, and how the Big East made a stupid, stupid choice in one of its expansion schools.
Ok. You're the Big East. You've made your decision to ignore the second word in your name and add Cincinnati, Lousiville, Marquette and DePaul. Fine. You are now arguably the best basketball league in all the land. But, but, what gets you more money? Basketball? Or a membership in the BCS club?
BC$.
Louisville is actually an average mid-major football program that could step up to the level, well, lets be honest here, the level isn't that high in the new Big East. When Syracuse is the only school left to even qualify for a BCS bowl (in the history of the BCS), it's not that high a level. But I have confidence Louisville can make that small hop up.

Cincinnati. Cincy is a mid-major also-ran in football. Losing to Sun Belt teams, MAC teams, WAC teams, and beating some of them, but a mid-level program even for the mid-majors. But they can probably make that hop, too, and let's be honest, you really wanted all of these schools to make your basketball the LEAGUE OF DOOM. And that's cool.

Then you need another school that plays football. Hmmm, who to pick...
Let me see.
How about a school that has been to 6 straight bowl games?
A school that has won 5 straight bowl games?
Over Cincy, Louisville, BYU, etc.?
A school that beat then 6th ranked K-State at K-State?
A school that has made consistent appearances in the top 25 over the last 5 years?
A school that is a natural in-state rival to those pyros at WVU?
A school less than 200 miles from Louisville and Cincinnati?
Naah.

Let's go with USF.
Yeah. A school with no football history to speak of, and one that is nowhere near any of our other schools.
That's smart.

Marshall would have lent creedence to your attempts to stay in the BCS, would have been geographically logical (not only logical, but it also would have filled in that gap between the old eastern schools and your new midwest basketball cadre of doom).

But whatever.

Your mistake is CUSA's gain.

So, now, you're TCU.
Your league just got coldcocked and robbed.
It tried to make up for it by adding:
the best non-bcs football program around (better than any one it lost, that's for damn sure)
a basketball team that has been to the NCAA tourney 8 times in the last 10 years, and one of those times it didn't go, it won the NIT
the reigning NCAA baseball champion
another one of those "up-and-coming" Florida schools that everyone wants so badly
and, well, SMU. Who has been good in football (long, long ago in a galaxy before the death penalty). And occasionally basketball. And is your cross metroplex rival (Who you always play. And if playing them is now a conference game... wait for it... that's right! You get to schedule another non-conference opponent! So now you can play the big boys and see how you stack up. Like Marshall over there.).

Ok, so you're TCU and you're thinking of leaving for the... MWC?
WTF?
"An unidentified TCU official" estimates travel costs will rise by $200,000 per year.
And what are you leaving for?
The MWC?
Seriously?
You're leaving a conference where you have nice regional rivalries with Tulsa, SMU, Rice, Houston and Tulane, and and AND, the opportunity to play a mid-major perennial powerhouse like Marshall in a title game every year (that is, if you're actually as good as you think you are), a conference with 5 bowl tie-ins, a conference whose champion has beaten the MWC champ in one of those bowls four out of the last five years, for what?

For eight schools that snubbed you once before when they left the WAC you had just joined for the MWC?
For eight schools that think they're somehow worth you leaving the up and coming football conference you're in (and honestly, the conference is now better in football than it was- Marshall alone makes sure of that) for a conference that is mid-level in football, and mid-level in basketball. Yes, they have Utah in basketball, and the storied tradition on BYU in football, but where is Steve Young now?
And how exactly is that better than Marshall in football and Memphis and Tulsa in basketball?

And then add exit fees from CUSA and entrance fees to the MWC to that $200,000 increase a year.

In any event, TCU wins the dumb move of the week award for even considering an MWC bid.

Stay in CUSA, let them take Boise St. and whoever else those haughty bastards deem worthy from the WAC.

And if you want to leave to a better football conference, you should go to the MAC.

Posted by orion at November 5, 2003 07:06 PM | TrackBack