west once more
invitation to join the Mountain West Conference in 2005.
months of deliberation, TCU announced in January it would leave Conference
USA and join the Mountain West Conference, ending speculation about the
university's athletic future. Starting July 1, 2005, TCU becomes the ninth
member of the Mountain West, joining Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado
State, Nevada-Las Vegas, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah and Wyoming.
is expected to generate millions more in television revenue and ticket
sales than the university would have received by staying in C-USA.
USA helped elevate us to where we are today, and our experience in the
league was overwhelmingly positive," Athletics Director Eric Hyman
said at the press conference announcing the move. "However, for us
now the debate is over. We look forward to new and exciting opportunities
in the Mountain West as we continue to build our nationally prominent
West is believed to offer more stability in the future and could be in
position to gain access to college football's highly lucrative Bowl Championship
Series. Currently, the Mountain West, like C-USA, does not have an automatic
bid into the BCS.
TCU has been
on the move since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1995. The Mountain
West is TCU's fourth conference in 10 years. TCU joined the Western Athletic
Conference in 1996 and left for Conference USA after the 2000-01 season.
ho! or Westward, no?
it all when we asked TCU people past and present for a reaction to the
latest conference shuffle.
Athletics director 1975-97
are pros and cons both ways. I think a majority of TCU's students come
from Texas and the Midwest and it would be wise to stay in that region.
But with Cincinnati and Louisville leaving, Conference USA is diminished
and it certainly won't have BCS opportunities. The Mountain West is a
stronger football conference with more state schools. They have better
football atmosphere. The TV times will be later and that's a definite
con. But overall, if they keep the BCS as it is, it's not likely there
will be a championship tournament, so TCU is probably enhancing themselves
being in a more competitive league that will gain more television revenue."
"Frankly, I don't know what's best for us. But I remember how happy
we were to get out of the WAC and move into the Eastern time zone. Now
we've moved back West, where I'm troubled that Robert Merrill could gain
2,500 yards in a season, but nobody east of the Mississippi River will
ever know about it. And it looks like we're going to bring more than we
get. On the other hand, C-USA appears to be crumbling by the hour. It's
a roll of the dice whatever we do."
Football coach 2001-present
"I know it's supposed to be a tougher conference. I haven't looked
at everything, because my job is just to get my [team] ready. But the
other moves helped us, so I don't see why this one wouldn't do the same.
Both sides have plusses and minuses. What we as a university are trying
to decide is what is best long-term and how the landscape of college football
is going to change and the situation for the other sports, too."
Men's basketball coach 1994-2001
"What marriage is this one now for TCU? TCU reminds me of Elizabeth
Taylor. The thing I liked about C-USA better than the WAC was being in
the Eastern and Central time zones. It made our media coverage better
and got us away from those 11:00 p.m. [basketball] games. The other thing
is that the Mountain West is an altitude conference and it affects teams
dramatically, especially at Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming. But
football and finances drives this whole thing, and MWC will be a tougher
football conference, so I am not surprised."
Men's basketball coach 2002-present
"The Mountain West has some strong basketball programs, great coaches
and some great venues. The Pit in Albuquerque, the Huntsman Center in
Salt Lake City and Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas have all hosted NCAA
Regionals or conference tournaments. My only concern is geographically
going West with late tipoff times. But we're going to be ready to play
no matter what league we are in."
J. Boschini, Jr.
TCU Chancellor 2003-present
"I am extremely excited about the opportunities ahead in the Mountain
West Conference, but we also need to say that we had a great experience
competing with the fine universities in Conference USA and with that association.
We leave with nothing but high regard for those institutions and will
continue to work with them in many ways."
Baseball coach 2003-present
"I'm in it for what is best for the university as a whole. Certainly
I would much rather be the baseball coach at a school that is in one of
the five or six top leagues in the country as opposed to the coach where
the baseball program is in a good situation but everyone else is not.
That's not to say that the new C-USA isn't. I trust Eric Hyman on those
decisions. Rice has won the national championship in the WAC. We can be
successful in any direction we go."
Women's basketball coach 1998-present
"I like the move. I'll say this, in the past five years I haven't
had a problem accumulating frequent flyer miles. The Mountain West has
great venues. New Mexico draws over 10,000 each game and Colorado State
has a great tradition as well. It's great to be in a league that has had
success in the NCAA Tournament and in the stands. I like being in a nine-team
conference because it allows for a true round robin tournament and that's
the way a champion should be determined. I hope the move provides TCU
with some stability athletically and that we continue to develop rivalries
with other schools.
Football player 1957-61
"I think this is a wonderful move for TCU. The Mountain West is pretty
consolidated, not spread out the way Conference USA is. And our fans will
get a chance to see a part of the country they don't normally see. BYU
and Colorado State have good programs and New Mexico is improved. They're
good in basketball as well. I think it is a wonderful fit."