Read the opposing argument from Sports Geek.
It’s been a mighty fine seven days for TCU, not only for its football program, but the university as a whole. Going to the Rose Bowl is something that those players on the football team will cherish forever. Most teams outside of the Big Ten and Pac-10 never even come close to taking a sniff of Pasadena on January 1. TCU isn’t supposed to have opportunities like this. Can all of you even tell me where TCU is located in Texas? However, with the recent announcement that TCU is joining the Big East in 2012, recognition and opportunity will surely improve.
Obviously, there is the guaranteed BCS bid for the Big East conference champion. That’s guaranteed big money for the school, even if they don’t win the conference. This season the Big East will receive $17M for having a participant in the Fiesta Bowl, and those funds will be split amongst its members. The Mountain West Conference doesn’t currently have that type of AUTOMATIC revenue coming in for making a BCS game.
Besides that, look at the other bowls that the Big East currently ties in to: the Champs Sports (Tampa), Meineke Car Care (Charlotte), and Pinstripe (New York City) are some of the highlights. These are nice places to spend the holidays, they each offer decent payouts, and opponents from other BCS conferences. Now, take a look at the guaranteed spots for the Mountain West. Las Vegas (Las Vegas Bowl) and San Diego (Poinsettia Bowl) are definitely nice destinations, but Shreveport? Albuquerque? Do these excite you? These are also not marquee bowls, but the bottom line is that there is more bowl revenue available for Big East members.
Being in the Big East definitely brings more exposure to TCU. Why wouldn’t it? The majority of the games are broadcast on one of the ESPN channels. This is huge because despite being in the fifth-largest market in the country (Dallas), I feel like TCU is often overlooked in its own state. I have cousins that live 60 miles from TCU’s campus, and they rarely talk about the Horned Frogs. They remain in the shadows of the likes of Texas and Texas A&M in the Lonestar State. By going to the Big East, the awareness of the school should improve.
People are focusing so much on football, and deservedly so since it brings home the bacon, but let’s explore the basketball angle. I couldn’t tell you much about TCU’s basketball program. But I can tell you that the entire Big East tournament is televised on ESPN and is played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That’s exposure folks. It’s yet to be determined how the conference will be divided as far as basketball goes. However, it’s important t to note that last season the Big East earned $23.1M from the NCAA tournament, which was more than any other conference. The Mountain West, meanwhile, split a measly $4M. You do the math. Plus, having the likes of UConn, Georgetown, Syracuse, and other traditional Big East basketball powers make a trip to Fort Worth will only improve the TCU basketball program over time.
It’s a win-win situation. The Big East wins because whatever danger it had of losing an automatic bid with the BCS went out the window. But TCU is the real winner. No more Mountain West. No more stressing about going undefeated just to have a chance to go to a BCS game. Let’s face it… if Boise State hadn’t lost to Nevada, where would TCU be? If they had lost to Utah and finished 11-1, where would they be playing this holiday season? Definitely not a BCS game! However, if they go 11-1 in the Big East, they are almost assured of going to a BCS game and earning a lot of money.