MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- TCU's eventual Big East arrival affects more than credibility and exposure for conference members.
Scheduling is greatly impacted, because adding one conference game - and two if and when a 10th football school joins - reduces the number of non-conference games Big East members can schedule.
That in turn reduces the money paid or received for guaranteed games, as well as the attention garnered for playing a team from a BCS league. At West Virginia, the Coal Bowl series with Marshall becomes more difficult to schedule.
"It is affected," WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck said. "Everything is affected."
TCU will play a Big East schedule beginning in the 2012 season, which is the final year for the current WVU-Marshall series.
The Mountaineers will play eight Big East games - four home, four road - and plays host to the Thundering Herd and Maryland and goes Florida State. WVU is likely to find a single game at home against a Football Championship Subdivision team to complete the schedule.
If a 10th team joins the Big East soon enough to begin play in 2012, the Mountaineers might not add an FCS team, but also could add an FCS foe and try to reschedule one of the three FBS non-conference games.
In 2013, WVU will play eight or nine Big East games and already is scheduled to play host to the Seminoles, East Carolina and William & Mary of the FCS, plus play at Maryland. That's 12 or 13 games, meaning WVU would not only have to find a way to get to 12, if necessary, but also would have no room for Marshall.
The same would be true for 2014, when WVU plays its eight or nine conference games, plays at Maryland and ECU and plays host to Michigan State and Towson of the FCS.
A year later, WVU has its eight or nine Big East games, plays host to ECU and Maryland and plays at Michigan State. If there are nine Big East teams, WVU would have room for Marshall, but is more inclined to schedule a FCS opponent.
The same goes for 2016, when WVU has eight or nine Big East games, faces BYU at FedEx Field, plays host to Maryland and plays at ECU.
In 2017, WVU's non-conference schedule includes only a home game against ECU and a game at Maryland. In 2018, WVU has only a game at ECU scheduled.
"The conference told us going back a couple months, because this didn't happen overnight, to keep our schedule open for two potential members," Luck said. "We have to keep that in mind because it does have an effect on everything.