TCU Bails on Big East, Will Join Big 12 Instead

Posted by rtmsf on October 6th, 2011

Perhaps the most peculiar geographic realignment that we had seen in the last year of schools moving around was Texas Christian University‘s decision to join the Big East.  Located nearly a thousand miles from the two closest other schools (Louisville and South Florida), it made about as much sense as the Dallas Cowboys playing in the NFC East.  And yet, thanks to the meteoric rise in the last decade of Gary Patterson’s Horned Frog football program and its location in the nation’s fifth largest television market, TCU’s cachet had outgrown its affiliation with the Mountain West to the point where it could entertain options.  Well, at least one option, and that option was to join a BCS football conference centered in the Northeast regardless of its culture, religion and location.

Cheer Up Buddy, You're Staying Near Home

But if we’ve learned one thing about the rapaciousness of conference realignment in college sports, your best option today is tomorrow’s $1 pastry in the day-old bin. With the Big 12 seemingly getting picked apart by vultures on all sides, and all indications leaning toward Missouri as only the latest defector, the conference had to make a splash soon.  That happened today, with the pending announcement that TCU will reunite with some of its old Southwest Conference brethren Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor in the new-and-improved Big 12.  An invitation has been extended, and TCU is expected to accept the offer immediately.

What seemed unfathomable to TCU fans a little over a year ago is coming to fruition with a seat at the same table with its former rivals, but it makes a lot of sense.  TCU will earn much more money than it ever would have with a struggling Big East, and its centralized location along with its burgeoning football program put it squarely in position to succeed in this conference.  From a basketball standpoint, the Horned Frogs are downright terrible (1-15 in the Mountain West last year), but its location in the fertile DFW recruiting area as well as its affiliation with a legitimately strong basketball league can only help its status.   As a relevant example, just look at what Baylor has been able to do in recent years.

As for the Big East, well, it’s looking more and more like this league will become a mid-major football conference and that its basketball core will once again revert to the northeastern Catholic schools from which it started over 30 years ago — Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, Villanova, and Seton Hall — with the retention of a few others like Marquette, DePaul and Notre Dame (in sports other than football).  If the Big East wanted to really return to its roots and differentiate itself, why not make a play for the biggest and baddest basketball-only Catholic schools around the nation?  Try this on for size:

  • Creighton
  • Dayton
  • Duquesne
  • Gonzaga
  • La Salle
  • St. Joseph’s
  • St. Mary’s
  • Xavier

The new hoops-only Big East could recruit and get every one of those schools, and in so doing, build a pretty substantial national basketball powerhouse with enough legitimacy to challenge the inevitable football-centric superconferences that are coming.  In times of crisis, conferences have to be creative.  This would be one way for the Big East to save itself from complete and total irrelevance on the national scene while getting back to what it was always good at — college basketball.

rtmsf (3737 Posts)


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5 Responses to “TCU Bails on Big East, Will Join Big 12 Instead”

  1. Greg Vacek says:

    Attend St Joes but was in athletic office and heard them talking about going to the Big East. Not sure if true but heard the buy is 3 million dollars into the big east.

  2. D..Doctor says:

    Michael Jordan, North Carolina, Duke and all the Tobacco Road alumni killed the Big East basketball world years ago. Right now, its sad to say that as a whole when you break it down, the ACC is basically responsible for the total demise of the Big East conference……….basketball and football. Even with just a basketball conference, they still have to bow down to the ACC. So if the Big East doesn’t quickly come up with some serious strategy, it could actually mean the end of the Big East conference period…..point blank!!!!!!! But you are sleeping on the opportunity to bring in a top notch program like East Carolina in football who are competing with and beating your top football schools and will bring more fans to most of the football schools in the Big East home games than they can actually convince to come out?????? North Carolina and Florida are two of the top recruiting areas in the entire nation, especially for the SEC???CMON MAN…. are you serious??? Navy is waiting in the shadows, but they are not coming on board until they know you have some real college football knowledge…..not media knowledge, but real knowledge. Get UCF, ECU and Houston before the opportunity passes you by. CMON MAN….TCU just changed their mind. Everybody is playing their hands, win…lose…or draw. Guess what Big East??….It’s your move!!!!!!!

  3. Couple things: (1) how exactly did Michael Jordan, et al, kill the Big East basketball world years ago? And (2) are East Carolina, Navy, UCF, and Houston really going to do anything besides make the Big East into Conference USA version 2.0?

  4. [...] Rush the Court has also started floating the idea of a Catholic Schools Conference if this conference realignment continues. [...]

  5. D..Doctor says:

    O.K. I’m almost 100% sure that 99% of everyone you know has at some point or currently owns Jordan attire, even you. Ever thought to wonder why?? That’s the marketing side of the game. For those who are not familiar with Tobacco Road basketball, If the whole world is wearing MJ attire, what do you think created those Tobacco Road Monsters of the Midway in the first place? Everyone has accused Dick Vitale of being biased towards Duke. That’s not it. He has been to the mountain top (Cameron), and seen with his own eyes what devastation takes place on Tobacco Road. There is nothing in college basketball that can compare to it. Kansas runs a very close second, but nothing in the Big East can touch it. How many Big East teams can actually come or have come into Cameron Indoor Stadium or the Dean Dome and walked out with victories and you can go back decades if you like. If someone is counting with their fingers, they will still have fingers left. Now, reverse that question and you have no fingers left. There’s no magic in it, both Syracuse and Pitt and UCONN and Rutgers understand this well about the ACC. What person actually thinks that these schools are trying to leave the Big East because the ACC is a powerhouse football conference?? CMON MAN!!!
    If the Big East is not looking at UCF, East Carolina and Houston as the tops for their expansion, they really don’t have great college football I.Q. Conference USA is a title. Ask Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Boise State, South Carolina, N.C. State, Miami, etc. about what they think about any of those programs.
    There is a major reason that the Big East is failing and losing their members: They use the wrong criteria to select and support current football schools. Somebody told me that they are looking at television markets. CMON MAN!!! What television markets does Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, South Carolina etc. represent????? Schools are practically in the middle of the woods. But I tell you what, I bet you anything the Big East can’t compete down in SEC country. It’s not about TV market, its about program and who the hell in the US is going to come to your games and help build your conference.
    Truthfully, I don’t think that football is important to the Big East. If I were these schools I would be very careful how I pursued the Big East, especially East Carolina, now that the SEC is has said that they have a SEC type football program and they are interested in the school if they decide to expand further.

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