TCU fans have been lighting up message boards over the likelihood that the No. 18 Horned Frogs will play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 against Louisiana Tech.
Two TCU sources said Wednesday that San Diego is the Frogs' likely destination.
If sixth-ranked Houston (11-0) loses to Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship on Saturday (the game starts at 11 a.m.) and TCU (9-2, 6-0 in the Mountain West) beats UNLV (2-9, 1-5), the Frogs could be headed to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
But if that doesn't happen, TCU appears headed to San Diego, which has some fans disappointed for various reasons.
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Some would rather the team play in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22 against a Pac-12 team.
Others prefer the proximity of the Independence Bowl against an ACC team Dec. 26 in Shreveport.
Several sources at TCU said players and coaches would prefer to play in Las Vegas or San Diego, if for no other reason than that they are destination cities.
Boise State is likely preferred by the Las Vegas Bowl, which gets the first choice of teams among the four Mountain West Conference bowls, for how well Bronco fans travel.
Here are some pros and cons for TCU playing in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 in San Diego:
It's SoCal: There's hardly a nicer place in the nation than San Diego, which offers Pacific Ocean beaches, great weather and plenty of night life options in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Timing: The game is Dec. 21, which allows players, coaches and staff to be home for Christmas. The Vegas Bowl is Dec. 22, which cuts it closer, and the Independence Bowl is Dec. 26, which would require the team and many fans to be on the road for Christmas.
Better TV: The Poinsettia Bowl is on ESPN, the Independence Bowl is on ESPN2 (because of Monday Night Football).
Family destinations: A chance for fans to visit the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, or try one of the best burgers in California at Hodad's in Ocean Beach.
Tougher travel for fans: TCU fans could easily drive to Shreveport (222 miles from Fort Worth) and flights to San Diego can be pricey.
The payout: The $750,000 is less than the Las Vegas and Independence Bowls.
Opponent: Vegas offers the more prestigious Pac-12 (likely Arizona State), while the Independence offers the ACC (probably North Carolina or Wake Forest). Poinsettia has Louisiana Tech from the WAC.
Been there, done that: Many TCU fans have likely seen the team play in San Diego. The Frogs have played there six times (four times in the regular season and twice in the Poinsettia Bowl) since 2005.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760