TCU Big East Move Hurts Boise State, Mountain West and BCS
In early June, when Boise State decided to become a member of the Mountain West, it looked as though some of the BCS's problems were going to be solved.
This move ensured that the nation's three top non-automatic qualifying programs were going to be placed into the same conference.
It appeared there was going to be another big-time conference in college football. The Mountain West was in way going to match the caliber of conferences such as the SEC and the Pac-10, but it looked as though the conference was on it's way to match and surpass the likes of the Big East and ACC while earning an automatic BCS berth for its annual champion in the process.
Oh, how things can change rather quickly.
Not long after Boise's announcement came, Utah and BYU announced that they would be leaving the Mountain West as Utah planned to join the Pac-10 and BYU opted to go independent. This greatly reduced the level of play in the Mountain West reducing the conference to only two nationally relevant teams, Boise State and TCU.
But the biggest shift may be yet to come. Detroit News reports Cut’s board of trustees unanimously approved an invitation to join the Big East. The move becomes effective July 1, 2012.
With TCU out of the Mountain West, that leaves Boise in the same place that they are currently in, playing in a conference of inferior opponents. And while TCU may be able to gain an automatic BCS berth in this move, it does not place them in a much better situation in the eyes of voters.
Much controversy has surrounded the lack of a BCS-worthy team from the Big East the last few years. Although TCU will strengthen the conference, it will not boost the conference enough for the Big East to compete with other AQ conferences.
The upgrade in competition for TCU is minimal, but the upgrade in revenue is enormous, which is the only reason why this move was made. If TCU wants to be taken seriously in regards to national championship contention, a move from the best non-AQ conference to the worst-AQ conference will not suffice no matter how much more money it earns them.
Now that Boise remains alone in a less competitive conference, nothing is solved of the current fiasco that occurs whenever they go undefeated in the regular season. And now that Boise is gone from the WAC what happens when Louisiana Tech goes undefeated and win the conference in years to come?
Will people be hailing them as national title contenders? It appears as if these moves may have created more BCS “busters” instead of reducing them.
The lack of progress from these moves hurts the legitimacy of the BCS system and the “we will play anyone” mentality that schools supposedly have. It does, however, create more interesting postseason matchups, which will increase increase revenue for respective bowl games.
If anyone thinks these small schools are moving to larger conferences so that they can get a chance at better competition, they need to further examine the conferences these schools are gravitating towards (exception being Utah).
It will then be obvious that the schools are just going where they have the best chance to win and make more money. Small schools joining larger conferences to be challenged by stiffer competition remains a fairy tale in most instances.
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