Because it's Baylor Week around TCU it's time to re-visit a fun story from June to add something to a game that really doesn't need many additives.
On June 13 I wrote: "On the same day the Mountain West officially added Boise State, sources said TCU will lobby the conference against Baylor's inclusion should the Big 12 school be left out of the impending conference realignment."
You might remember that time - the Big 12 was busy imploding, and MWC boss Craig Thompson was trying to be there to grab whatever schools he could when the rich and mighty fled to the Pac 10, or SEC.
TCU AD Chris Del Conte passionately denied the school did not want Baylor in a conference with the school. In his defense, what was he going to say?
I stand by what I wrote - there were "big timers" and officially-affiliated higher ups at TCU who did not want Baylor in their conference, even if it makes geographical sense, and planned to fight it. Doesn't mean they would have been successful, but there would have been a push.
The logic behind it had little to do with the bad feelings generated from the breakup of the Southwest Conference, and the inclusion of Baylor in the Big 12 and the exclusion of TCU. The reason to fight had everything to do with football recruiting. Had Baylor been stuck looking for a new home there were those at TCU who did not want to invite the Bears to join the MWC. From a recruiting standpoint, TCU would have been in a better position against Baylor because its conference affiliation would have been stronger, and perhaps closer to a potential BCS Bowl. Baylor, potentially, would have been left to join Conference USA, which is a non-AQ conference and has yet to place a team in a BCS Bowl. TCU has a clear advantage over rival SMU, a CUSA member, in recruiting in conference affiliation; the MWC is closer to AQ status than CUSA, although it can be debated how close either actually is.
Had the Big 12 breakup happened, this would have been a fascinating back cat fight between athletic departments, two of the state's most prominent private universities, politicians, wealthy boosters and conferences.
History changed its mind and Baylor remains in a Big 12 that lost but two members. TCU remains in a MWC that seems to change by the month, continually losing and adding. Perhaps one day they will be back together again in the same house, but it's likely if that day should happen not all of the roomates will be thrilled with the living conditions.
- Mac Engel