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January 20, 2011If you harken back to last fall, RRS reported that it appeared TCU would not be on Texas Tech's 2011 schedule after the Big 12 decided to go to a nine game conference schedule.
The reason for that can be traced back to ESPN-facilitated schedule maneuverings last season, as described by this report by the AP's Barry Horn, which also impacted a scheduled Tech-TCU matchup.
Horn reported that TCU was "less hungry to play Texas Tech" after ESPN arranged a season-opening matchup with Oregon State at Cowboys Stadium and, as a result, the network "helped move" Tennessee Tech onto the Horned Frogs' schedule in place of Texas Tech.
What is not reported in that article, however, is that when that change was made in 2010, it voided the scheduling contract between Tech and TCU. Yes, the game in Fort Worth remained on the 2011 schedule, but there was no contract in place to ensure a return trip by TCU. Also, the voided contract stated that the 2011 game would be played at Amon G. Carter Stadium, which is not really an option because of ongoing construction. In essence, the game remained on the slate but there was no contractual obligation on either side to play it. Tech knew this and acknowledged as much when we spoke with athletic director Gerald Myers in the fall.
Tech has actually reached out to TCU to work on a new contract, a home and home, to be scheduled for a couple of years down the road, but those overtures have so far been met with no response.
The bottom line is that it doesn't make sense for Tech to play a road game against a non-conference opponent -- any non-conference opponent -- without a contract in place to oblige them to return the favor.
Tech officials have duly noted the bad blood played out in the press between Ohio State and TCU, and are not interested in getting into a war of words in the press. If you're waiting for a return salvo, don't hold your breath.
Texas Tech NEWS