The main reason TCU didn’t go to the Las Vegas Bowl is because bowl organizers were weary of TCU’s travel base and were confident in Boise State’s, associate athletics director for internal relations, Jack Hesselbrock said.
TCU took the title as Mountain West Champions as they ended with a perfect conference season. Boise’s defeat left their team in the dust with one conference loss to TCU.
“The Las Vegas Bowl has the first choice,”Hesselbrock said. “There’s kind of a perception out there that the champion goes there.”
Before bowl announcements came out, fans and sports reporters pegged TCU to go to the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas or the Allstate Sugar Bowl. When it was announced TCU did not meet the requirements to go to a BCS bowl and will go to the Poinsettia Bowl, Horned Frogs around the nation were dumbfounded.
The Las Vegas Bowl is tied with the Pacific 10 conference and decided on Arizona State, which finished 6-6, recently fired their head coach and doesn’t usually have a great travel base, Hesselbrock said.
The Las Vegas Bowl organizers were concerned about ticket sales at the stadium and with Nevada bordering Idaho, which is home to Boise State, and the university having a good fan base they decided on the Broncos.
“I think it’s purely a financial decision on their part,” Hesselbrock said. “If the opponent would have been somebody else from the Pac 10 with a strong fan base… I think that game would have been just fine.”
"Although we took close to 20,000 to the Rose Bowl, [bowl organizers] were uncertain about the travel to Las Vegas a few days before Christmas," Hesselbrock said. There was also a disappointment when TCU did not qualify for a BCS bowl, he said.
“I think there was an appeal for playing a Pac-10 team but I think it just came down to finances for the Las Vegas bowl,” Hesselbrock said.
Las Vegas Bowl media relations have yet to respond to TCU 360.
This story was clarified to attribute Rose Bowl attendance.