So much for the Big 12 not wanting to expand within the state of Texas. It is being reported by CBSSports.com Brett McMurphy and Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman that the TCU Horned Frogs will be the newest member of the Big 12. The move is to be officially made over the next few days. TCU will have to pay a $5 million penalty for leaving the Big East, but since they are not officially in the league they are not bound to the 27-month waiting period.
This is interesting on a few levels. Reports have been out there that the Big 12 has interest in Louisville, West Virginia Cincinnati as well as BYU. Getting those Big East schools may have been difficult if there was a chance for the league to survive, however adding TCU is a brilliant move because TCU has ties with the former SWC schools who are now part of the Big 12 and would jump at the chance. Bringing in TCU hurts the Big East a lot and gives that league only six football members going forward once Syracuse and Pitt leave to the ACC and with the Big East hurting for quality teams it would make the move much easier for those Big East teams to make the plunge.
Missouri still plays a key roll, because the Big 12 at this moment is a 10-team league when TCU is considered and there is a small chance that the league may stat at 10, but the perceived notion is that they want to be on par with the other BCS schools who have 12 teams. If the Big 12 is to add two Big East teams then it means that West Virginia and Louisville make the most sense and leaving Cincinnati and BYU out in the cold, well unless the Big 12 wants to go to 14 teams. However, if Missouri does leave then it will be down to BYU or Cincinnati for that 12th spot.
Also, we all know that BYU has been a top target for the Big 12, but did BYU say no to the Big 12? That is a possibility and is something we do not know for sure. We do know that there have been negotiations between the two and specifically about BYUtv.
Also, Boise State is most likely out of the Big 12 picture as is Air Force to the Big East, so the Mountain West has a ton to gain by this move. Ideally, it would have been nice to somehow keep TCU.
As written yesterday in a great fan post by TowerPower who said that Missouri to the SEC would help the Mountain West, and it is looking like he is correct, well outside of TCU staying, but the original premise is the same. If the Big East fails then it opens up a sixth league to earn an automatic BCS berth, and the BCS has stated that they would need six leagues to be viable.
Congrats to TCU to getting into the league they wanted to be a part of since way back in 1995 when the SWC fell apart, and the only thing missing for them is playing Texas A&M who is out of the league as TCU arrives. The Aggies are the only former SWC team to not have played TCU, maybe one day in the Cotton Bowl.