Would TCU be better off back in WAC?

Now that it appears BYU's escape from the Moutain West Conference will happen, TCU must carefully evaluate its future -- and perhaps it shouldn't include the MWC.

The biggest problem the MWC faces moving forward is the low-revenue television arrangement it created on its low-visibility The Mtn., a network which came about because of MWC frustration with weekday football scheduling on ESPN.

TCU fans surely remember those odd Tuesday night kickoffs. Of course, actually locating The Mtn., might provoke more frustration.

Without Utah and BYU in the league after this season, the MWC is down to eight teams, and it could be seven if Boise State, added this summer to start competing in 2011, opts to return to the WAC.

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte might be on the phone right now with Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier to discuss a WAC strategy. Why? The WAC has television agreements with ESPN for football and basketball. If Boise State went back to the WAC, TCU, if invited, could follow as that league's 10th football team.

Such a revised WAC would include Boise State, TCU and Hawaii, three programs that have played in recent BCS bowl games.

If Boise State decides to stay in the MWC, the league would have to raid, likely, Conference USA for two more teams, but no matter what, its bid to become a BCS automatic qualifier is dead. Even so, an argument could be made that TCU would have an easier path to the BCS in a revamped and weakened MWC than in a stronger WAC.

But, considering its automatic qualifer hopes are history, coupled with the MWC's poor television situation, it's hard to see how the MWC is a better deal than going back to the WAC and playing games on ESPN again. TCU's new national prestige could likely keep it off the field on Tuesday nights.