The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported recently that TCU and Oregon State are close to finalizing a deal that would bring Oregon State to play TCU at the new Cowboy Stadium in Arlington (aka “Jerry’s World”). Apparently, the deal is being maneuvered by the media honchos over at ESPN, with an eye toward bringing a high interest and high rating inter-conference matchup to the nation’s eyes and TV sets.
Previously, TCU had announced out of conference games with traditional foe SMU, Big 12 cellar dweller Baylor, and Texas Tech. Tech then turned around and said, on its site, that the TCU-Tech game was being pushed forward to 2011 to accommodate the other teams on their schedule (I guess they just couldn’t give up the excitement of their scheduled date with powerhouse Weber State).
But then Tech took it back. Sort of.
So as of now, the Tech game with TCU is still scheduled, but the Star-Telegram is reporting that it will be cancelled if the Oregon State-TCU matchup goes forward.
So, assuming that the reports are correct, we have TCU with three confirmed out of conference games for 2010—SMU, Baylor, and Oregon State. Thus, the question begs, who will be the fourth?
I will be the first to say, TCU should NOT schedule some 1-AA team like Texas Southern or Sam Houston State or some Sun Belt patsy like North Texas. TCU should utilize that fourth out of conference slot to get themselves a quality opponent. It’s not right for schools from the BCS conferences to load up on lousy teams, and it’s not right for TCU either.
Given their conference, they can always expect tough games against BYU and Utah and then another decent mid-tier contest versus someone like an Air Force. But they’ll also have some conference cupcakes. Therefore, they need to schedule another tough game. So what are the alternatives for 2010?
Keep Texas Tech
Try to get Tech to keep TCU on the 2010 schedule. It revives an old SWC rivalry, and allows the fans to travel and see the game. But perhaps Tech, seeing the 16 returning players due back next year from this years powerhouse TCU team, is not too eager for the game. Although the last time the Frogs visited the high plains of Lubbock Tech hung 70 on them back in '04, in '06 (the last time they played) Gary Patterson had obviously made adjustments; the Frogs beat Tech 12-3 in Fort Worth, holding their high powered offense in check all day and preventing them from reaching the end zone. Maybe they don't want any more of that Froggie D crammed down their throats.
The Irish were looking for an opponent for two open slots in 2010. Preliminary indications were they were looking at TCU and TCU said no. This was a mistake for TCU, as the Golden Domers offered big time media coverage. Unfortunatly, it appears this chance is past, as Notre Dame has set their schedule for next year with Western Michigan and Toledo taking those open spots. TCU versus the Irish would have been a nice match.
The Tigers owe TCU a home game. Paid a cool $1 million to appear in death valley, the arrangment also calls for TCU to entertain the Tigers at Fort Worth. Can they do it in 2010?
TCU visited the Huskers several years back up in Lincoln, and Nebraska has an opening on their schedule. Would be a nice fit based on style of play and is also doable for the fans.
The Golden Bears have an opening in 2010 and would give both schools exposure in another part of the country.
They have replaced the game previously scheduled with 1-AA Northeastern, which dumped its football program this year, but still may be able to move their schedule around a bit. UConn should have a decent team and they play in the media rich Big East. The Huskies are familiar with Texas, as they came down to Texas last year and pasted Baylor.
They have a few holes on their schedule. Why not TCU? The Frogs visited Texas three years ago, so a matchup at Fort Worth where Texas has a huge alumni base would be an easy sell out.
These are all viable alternatives for the Frogs. But whatever they do, the Froggies need to schedule a decent team.
Look no further than the 2009 schedule. If TCU had scheduled a BCS team instead of Texas State, even one that was in a down year such as Washington State or Colorado, they still would have garnered more votes in both the human and computer polls. And if they had scheduled and beat a team like an 8-4 Texas Tech or California, who knows, we might be looking at an Alabama-TCU BCS Championship Game.