Chris Del Conte, your 2011 football scheduling problems are over. We have a can't miss proposal for you and your counterparts at UTEP and USF.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Up until the day a TCU blog joins the network, I am declaring myself SB Nation's unofficial defender of TCU football justice, on account of I live down the street from them and they are generally good people. Besides, this is an awesome idea.)
TO: Chris Del Conte, Director of Athletics, Texas Christian University
Bob Stull, Director of Athletics, University of Texas-El Paso
Doug Woolard, Director of Athletics, University of South Florida
FROM: Voodoo Five, Crackpot Bloggers
We saw where TCU is in a serious bind with their 2011 football schedule. First, the Mountain West is considering moving the Frogs' one and only conference meeting with Boise State from Fort Worth to Boise, for what we assume is a "screw you" to TCU for leaving the league. And then yesterday, Texas Tech bailed out of a scheduled game in Fort Worth on September 3, even though TCU offered to play the game in Cowboys Stadium instead of the under-renovation Amon G. Carter Stadium.
There are only eight Mountain West teams next season, so that leaves the Horned Frogs having to schedule five non-conference games. If the Boise game flips, TCU might only have three home Mountain West games.
Here's what the non-conference schedule looks like for TCU right now.
September 3 - @ Baylor
October 1 - SMU
That leaves three open dates - September 10, 17, and 24. Let's assume TCU plans to schedule a home game against a local FCS team for one of those dates, like Stephen F. Austin or Texas State. Then they still need two games to finish the schedule. Now here's how USF can solve the Frogs' problems in one fell swoop. We think this is brilliant.
USF has a home game scheduled with UTEP on September 24. The Bulls are paying the Miners $650,000 to travel to Tampa for the game. Meanwhile, TCU needs, at the very least, a home game and a road game, so they can have six of each. So here's our idea:
1. USF hands off its home game with UTEP to TCU, and the two schools agree on how to divide up the payment of UTEP's guarantee.
2. TCU travels to Tampa to play USF.
Only minor scheduling modifications would be necessary. UTEP has an open date on September 17, so their theoretical game with the Frogs in Fort Worth could slide to that date. And then both USF and TCU would have September 24 open for a game at Raymond James. It might even move to Thursday or Friday night for some ESPN prime time exposure.
Our rationale for TCU visiting USF is that we assume the Frogs will fill the imbalance of home games that currently exists in the Big East schedule. In 2012, and barring any scheduling changes or other additions to the league, USF will have four home Big East games and three road Big East games, which means they would play at TCU that year.
We think this works all the way around. TCU wins because it gets out of a nasty scheduling jam with a minimum of fuss, and they get an FBS home game and a pretty good BCS road game out of the deal. USF wins because they get an upgraded home game out of the deal. (Both teams would win if the game ends up being nationally televised.) And UTEP wins because they don't lose a game, they still get their $650,000, and their travel bill gets a lot smaller now that they don't have to leave Texas. They will even have a nice group of their own fans at the game, since there are some Miner alums in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Plus, it's a game that someone like CBS College Sports or Versus might be interested in televising.
It's rare that you can find a "win-win-win" scenario such as this one. (We would argue that all our blog does is WIN WIN WIN... but that's a whole other topic of conversation.) We hope you'll agree and make this very intriguing plan happen.
The Voodoo Five Staff