Just over a week ago it was reported that Wisconsin, with the help of
ESPN an anonymous third-party, wanted a rematch against TCU. TCU declined the game and some thought they were ducking TCU, but when looking deeper there is more information to why they declined.
For starters, with a third-party involved it seemed that the game could be at a neutral site one-and-done game, but later news came out that the game was to be played at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisc., with no return date for TCU. For those who do not follow TCU all that closely they have made a policy where they will not go on the road unless they get a home game in return. They will do two-for-one games as they have done with Oklahoma, and they do have home-and-homes in the future with Arkansas and LSU.
Plus, the game would have been week one of the season and TCU already has a road game against Baylor. Moving that game would have proven too difficult now that the Big 12 is going to a nine-game conference schedule and that Baylor's bye week comes in week two, and it would make no sense to be off week on Baylor and then play 12 straight weeks. Plus, this game is important to TCU because the two schools were former SWC members, the two schools are only 90 miles apart and it is important in recruiting. Even though TCU has been the better team over the past decade, being in the Mountain West means that the two schools do battle for recruits since is Baylor is in the Big 12.
The other reason the game was not agreed upon by TCU was that Wisconsin wanted no part of a return game to TCU and TCU has a policy that they do not accept road games with no return dates. As mentioned above TCU has secured home games against quality BCS teams. Now, I can not blame Wisconsin for not wanting to play at TCU since playing a team in an inferior league -- even though by the time the two would meet at TCU the Horned Frogs would be in the Big East -- is a no win situation even though not many people thought that TCU's win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl was an upset.
Looking at Wisconsin's past schedules they want to play seven home games and to make that happen they have to play three of their four non-conference games at home to ensure they get the revenue to compete with the Big 10 heavy weights. So, we can not fault Wisconsin for not wanting to make the most money possible for their program.
Also, Wisconsin's non-conference scheduling has been traditionally light as they usually play one FCS team, a MAC team and then two other non-AQ schools. Last year they did bring in Arizona State and will play Oregon State in 2012, but overall they do not really challenge themselves until Big 10 play.
In the end, both schools are looking out for themselves, and that is perfectly fine. TCU wants a home game in return and Wisconsin did not want to travel to Fort Worth, Texas to play a really good TCU team, and it is too bad that this game did not get off the ground for the 2011 season.
If you want some more fun talk about this you should check out our twitter feed as I go back in forth with Michael Felder who runs In The Bleachers. The tweets are from Saturday around 7:45 a.m. eastern time for maybe an hour if that helps, too bad I don't know how to compile them all in an easy link. If you have time to care go check them out.