Realignment, TCU, the MWC and BCS

June, 15, 2010
6/15/10
5:58
PM CT
Since the breakup of the Southwest Conference, TCU has competed in the WAC, Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference. So, as the Big 12 situation unfolded day-by-day and hour-by-hour, TCU could at least marvel at the maneuverings without fretting where it might end up. It sure made it easier to celebrate its latest athletic triumph as the Frogs are headed to the school's first College World Series.

There was, however, an option being discussed by the five would-be leftover Big 12 schools to absorb some or all of the 10 MWC schools and retain the Big 12 name. Now that the Big 12 will carry on with 10 teams, TCU isn't going anywhere. But, the MWC might still be affected if the Pac-10, now sitting with 11 teams after adding Colorado, invites MWC cornerstone Utah.

If Utah were to leave, it would reduce the MWC to nine teams almost immediately after it expanded to 10 by adding Boise State last week. The Broncos were considered the final piece to the MWC gaining BCS status and an automatic BCS bid in two years when the four-year evaluation period ends.

"We feel like we are on the cusp of becoming a BCS conference," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said Tuesday afternoon. "If you look at the mathematical equations, in two years when we're being reviewed, if all the things play out like the way they've been playing out, we have a great shot at being a BCS conference and having an automatic bid. With or without Utah."

Within the MWC, Boise State is now thought of as an insurance policy in case Utah heads to the Pac-10. Boise has played in two BCS games -- defeating Oklahoma in a classic 2007 Fiesta Bowl and beating TCU, 17-10, last year in the Fiesta Bowl.

MWC officials believe the conference's run at achieving BCS standing will be successful -- with or without Utah.

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