Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Late Thoughts on TCU to the Big East

First of all, let me say this is a no-brainer decision for TCU. The move to the Big East gets them to the big kids’ table of college football.

Second, Don Beebe should be fired. When the WTF Conference remained intact after the Bugeaters left for the Big 10 + 2 and Dan Hawkins Farewell Tour bolted for the Pac 10 + 2, there was some talk of inviting TCU, Air Force and/or Houston to round out the Big 12 again. Somewhere along the line, the Big 12 decided it was not in their member interests, presumably b/c with Texas and Texas A&M, you already control the DFW and Houston TV market much more so than with TCU and Houston. While the Denver market is big, CU football has rarely dominated the TV space there, unless it was the crime watch during the McCartney/ Neuheisel eras.

So, here’s the present state of the conference: 1) you have now if the flagship member of your conference struggling with a 5-7 record this year and offseason questions abound; 2) the South Division co-champion Oklahoma State Cowboys have 9,000 empty seats for an intrastate rivalry game for the South Division title in which they’re favored by 2 points; 3) you’ve just given eight other schools in the country every other year access to visit your state, weekly in season coverage by your local media of the conference, and television exposure at some level to the DFW area.

The Tulsa World did some fine work with the 2009 FBS rosters. 1,714 FBS recruits came from Texas. That’s 200 more than the next closest state, California. By being pissy, the Big 12 just invited Rutgers, Louisville, Pitt, West Virginia, Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida and Syracuse into the state to share the recruits. Let’s say each team nabs two recruits. It’s only sixteen, but which sixteen? Are they the top ones? Some of them will be. You’ve reduced your margin for error considerably by giving more ready access to this talent pool, and giving the talent pool visibility into those schools. Maybe the next Todd Reesing, spurned by Texas because they already had Colt McCoy and Vince Young, now goes to Syracuse. Texas made the right decision with pursuing McCoy obviously, but Reesing was one of the best QBs in Kansas history. The fact that you don’t know how the second best QB in Kansas history also means something, but that’s another column (it’s either Frank Seurer, Bobby Douglas or Nolan Cromwell). Maybe Drew Allen, spurned by Texas for Garrett Gilbert (looks good so far), is now in a Pitt jersey, suffering under the Wannstache as opposed to being a capable backup for the Sooners.

Back in the day before 85 scholarship limits, the Oklahomas of the world would stockpile players on their roster just to keep them from playing somewhere else. It was unfair to the player who’s languishing on the bench, but great for building a dynasty. See Jimmy Rogers…you never heard of him at OU, but he played five years of NFL ball. He was stuck behind Billy Sims, Kenny King, David Overstreet and Elvis Peacock, to name a few. Stockpiling TCU in the conference keeps others from those resources, and another quality football team in the mix doesn’t hurt.

Congratulations to TCU, and bring me the head of Don Beebe. Professionally speaking, of course.

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