On July first, College football fans saw a shift in the foundation for the local teams. Both North Texas and Southern Methodist changed conferences to begin strengthening the quality of football played in the Dallas Area. Last year we saw TCU join the Big XII conference and hold their own against what some consider some of the best talent in the country. Meanwhile SMU and North Texas had been left floundering near the bottom of the Football food chain in the metroplex.
While these moves will not put them on a national stage game in and game out, it will help improve their visibility locally and regionally. North Texas will begin the 2013 season in Conference USA, and SMU will now be part of the American Athletic Conference. SMU seems to be making a bigger jump because they will be playing teams like Louisville, UConn, Central Florida and Cincinnati. North Texas will now see a more regional schedule year in and year out, because they will be playing teams like Rice, UT-San Antonio, UT-El Paso, Tulsa and Louisiana Tech. But it is still a step up from the Sun Belt conference days.
Both teams presumably took a nice step up in conference affiliation from their previous one. While both teams still have a ways to go to achieve any hope of TCU’s success, it is a building block toward the future. College Football fans will be the winners locally because there will be an exciting slate of teams making the trek into the metroplex for both of these teams. Some of the teams coming into the area will be making their first trip here and will be the first time a lot of fans in this area will have seen them in person.
This year shapes up to be exciting, between TCU, SMU and North Texas there will not be a shortage of quality football to watch on any given Saturday. Here is hoping SMU and North Texas can start to live up to the challenge and make all three local teams something fun to watch going forward.