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Speculating on TCU's final 2011 football schedule

Is TCU headed back to the Death Star in 2011?  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Is TCU headed back to the Death Star in 2011? (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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So as of now we know with some degree of certainty that TCU's schedule looks like this:

MWC Home- UNLV, CSU, New Mexico
MWC Away- Boise, SDSU, Air Force, Wyoming
OOC Away- Baylor

That's 4 home, 5 away, and 9 total.  Throw in the obligatory FCS home opponent(rumored to be Lamar) to make it an even 10.  The 11th game appears to be a neutral site road game against BYU at Cowboy's Stadium.  Now the 12th home game is where it gets tricky.  Originally the hot rumor was that Louisiana Monroe was coming to town until TCU beat writer Stefan Stevenson dropped this juicy nugget this afternoon:

"Another high profile potential nonconference opponent for TCU (besides BYU), which moves to the Big East in 2012, is being negotiated currently for a potential neutral site stadium, not necessarily Cowboys Stadium in Arlington."



Based on that information the prime suspect becomes the Cal Bears. Cal has 2 open spots with currently only one OOC game against Fresno State so they have availability and flexibility.  Cal's home stadium is also under construction so they are playing their home games at AT&T Park, but I'm not sure if that really fits the qualification of a "neutral site."  Though Cal is playing Fresno State in Candlestick Park so possibly that is an option or maybe the Oakland Coliseum. 

If it's not Cal the neutral site could be the home of the Carolina Panthers:

To fill the schedule, a source told Sporting News TCU explored a September non-conference game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Panthers president Danny Morrison, a former TCU athletic director, helped try to create a game. The source indicated that North Carolina, which this summer lost a scheduled 2011 home game with Tennessee, emerged as a possible opponent. Despite interest from television, plans never materialized, and the Tar Heels later completed this fall's non-conference schedule by signing to play host to Louisville.

An ACC team would seem to be a prime candidate for this venue but currently all the ACC teams appear to be full for 2011, though games being moved for the greater good of television revenue is not unheard of.  I will continue to keep my ear to the ground and keep you posted on any news.  Feel free to speculate on potential matchups in the comments section.