Read the opposing argument from Loyal Homer.
Want to know a Sports Geek fun fact? Whenever I am in the mood to job hunt I always leave the comfy confines of my suburban home and head to Mongolia. Because, after all, that just makes sense, right?
Uh, no. But, that is what TCU has decided to do. The program has decided it is best to gain the recognition it seeks by turning its back on its region in search of a fat payday.
Seems like we’ve heard this story before in a Greek tragedy or two, haven’t we?
Before diving into the logistical and geographic challenges to TCU joining the Big East, consider the most important point that has gotten very little focus from the talking faces in other national sports media outlets. Ask yourselves – would it have made any difference this season if TCU were in a supposedly major, elite BCS conference? Do you really think that if TCU were in the Big East for the 2010 season that the team would have received stronger consideration for a national championship game bid and more overall respect from the computers and voters alike? No way.
Do not misinterpret. TCU is a really solid program that is up and coming. And I think we can all agree that some pretty strong financial incentives – whether those are disclosed in the press or not – were part of this deal. TCU of course stands to gain a lot of notoriety by now being classified in “the club” as a BCS team. But, even elite clubs have clicks, and the Big East does not sit at the cool kids table.
TCU has really made a foolish decision. There was a time when TCU cared a great deal about leading the Mountain West into the Promised Land. In fact, Utah began a bid three years ago to lead the MWC to legitimacy and fight for an automatic BCS bid. TCU is – rather, was – as much a part of that fight as any other program in the conference. Now, with just one more year of legitimate elite play from the conference as a whole – a conference that is losing Utah but gaining Boise State – TCU has turned its back for the logistical nightmare of the Big East.
By “logistical nightmare” I am, of course, referring to the idea that the TCU women’s rifle team now has to travel to Syracuse, New York to play a regular season conference match. That takes real money, real time from class (these are still amateur athletes, ya know… just ask the NCAA rules infraction committee), real resources, and real effort. Sure, the windfall of cash the BCS will infuse into the ranks of the many athletic programs at TCU is great, but the effort now required to compete will be no doubt exhausting. Texas is not anywhere close to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. It is clear the only commonality between TCU and its Eastern Time Zone conference comrades is a love and affection for money.
It really does not make any sense for TCU to choose the Big East, either, because it does not stand to gain much through the newfound exposure to Big East media markets. It is not as if TCU needs to leave the state for Texas, for example, to recruit elite football players for the program. Moreover, the hotbed of high school football talent does not reside in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. Any college football fan worth his (or her) salt knows the elite players are found in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. Those are simply the facts.
In the end it does not matter if Sports Geek from The Sports Debates believes TCU sold its soul for money. All that really matters is that TCU made a move but did not guarantee itself anything. The program acted out of desperation, as if the only path to elite conference status was by nonsensically joining the Big East. The big thinkers at TCU got lazy, and now they are left to deal with an irrational Big East commitment that simply does not make sense to anyone but the few with thicker wallets.