TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, February 03, 2004
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Switch brings tougher schedule
Schools in the Mountain West Conference are looking forward to the stiff competition and national media exposure TCU will provide.

By Erin Clark
Staff Reporte

The Horned Frogs are officially headed west, and their new Mountain West Conference peers say TCU’s presence will bring added competition and media coverage.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to accept an invitation from the MWC, which includes Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, New Mexico, Nevada-Las Vegas, San Diego State, Utah and Wyoming. TCU will leave Conference USA for the MWC in fall 2005.

Wyoming assistant athletics director Kent Noble and New Mexico spokesman Greg Remington said TCU’s addition to the MWC mix will improve the conference at all levels.

“(TCU’s) football program is very successful and it can’t help but raise the level of competition,” Noble said. “Without question, TCU’s addition strengthens the conference, both academically and athletically.”

In the 2003 season, three MWC teams played in a bowl game: Utah, Colorado State and New Mexico. Utah was the only MWC team to win its game, defeating Southern Miss 17-0 in the AXA Liberty Bowl.

One benefit to the MWC members could be an increased strength of schedule. Had TCU been affiliated with the conference last year, the MWC would have been the fourth-rated conference in the nation, behind only the Southeast Conference, Big Ten, and Big 12, TCU’s athletics director Eric Hyman said.

This will be TCU’s fourth conference switch in the last decade. TCU joined the Western Athletic Conference in 1996 after the Southwest Conference split up and then they moved to C-USA following the 2000-01 season.

Craig Thompson, commissioner of the MWC, said six out of the eight teams in the conference have played in at least one bowl game and that the addition of TCU will only increase that number, resulting in an even more competitive league.

Remington said the biggest advantage TCU brings to the MWC is its nationally ranked football team.

“We recruit in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, so it’s good for those kids to get some publicity close to home,” he said. “We’d be kidding ourselves if we said TCU’s football program wasn’t a huge deal.

“New Mexico recruits heavily in Texas for all sports, so the change will help our parents with (their) kids coming back home to play.”

Other MWC schools said they are also looking forward to the national attention TCU will bring to the conference. New Mexico said the Frogs will provide the conference with greater media coverage.

“Not only does TCU strengthen the conference, but it also brings along the Dallas-Fort Worth television market,” Remington said.
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