February 03, 2004
brings tougher schedule
in the Mountain West Conference are looking forward to
the stiff competition and national media exposure TCU
The Horned Frogs are officially headed west, and their
new Mountain West Conference peers say TCUs 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 TCUs addition
to the MWC mix will improve the conference at all levels.
(TCUs) football program is very successful
and it cant help but raise the level of competition,
Noble said. Without question, TCUs 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, TCUs athletics director Eric Hyman
This will be TCUs 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
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 its
good for those kids to get some publicity close to home,
he said. Wed be kidding ourselves if we said
TCUs football program wasnt 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.