So, much for the Mountain West getting an automatic bid to the BCS. AOL Fanhouse is reporting that TCU will leave the Mountain West and become a full member of the Big East beginning with the 2012 football season. TCU is not going to wait around for the Mountain West to attempt to get a BCS bid, but will join the Big East and will be able to compete for a title right away. The Big East is arguably a step down from the Mountain West in football, this year, and even with the adjustments of Utah, BYU, now TCU leaving coupled with adding Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai'i and Nevada the Big East is still only slightly better.
Boise State is feeling very much left out now as they are getting a league upgrade, but not as much as they thought. They are now in a league that consists of San Diego State, Wyoming, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawai'i and Fresno State. That is half of the old WAC with a bump in competition with San Diego State, Air Force and possibly Wyoming based on their youth on the roster.
This will be TCU's fifth conference since 1994 and most likely their last move for a very long time. As for the other sports for TCU, they are all second fiddle, except for baseball which will probably be one of the best in the Big East from day one. A monetary move this surely is while being centered around football.
TCU will not longer be regulated to Versus, CBS College and The Mtn. even though games for TCU on The Mtn. were few and far between because Time Warner did not carry the channel in the area.
Basketball will be in a very odd 17 team league where they will no doubtingly be near the basement for the foreseeable future, but that is not really a difference from where they are right now. TCU will no longer have to be perfect in football to gain an automatic bid to the BCS, they could go 8-4 and get in ( a shame). Plus, they will not have to fight against Boise State for the only non-AQ spot for the BCS.
Back in June the Mountain West had the potential membership to be on par with the current six BCS leagues and better then a few, but now they have taken a step back and will be once again the seventh best football conference.
There is no way to blame TCU, they are just acting in their best interests just as Utah and BYU did when they were able to leave the Mountain West. They are chasing the easy money, BCS access and exposure; that is why teams move to better leagues.