Reports: TCU to join Big East in 2012-13
In a move that is a major coup for the Big East's national football reputation, the conference has convinced TCU to leave the Mountain West Conference and join the Big East in all sports, starting with the 2012-13 school year.
The news, first reported by the New York Daily News' Dick "Hoops" Weiss this morning, is a much-needed boost for Big East football, which will have a BCS representative with at least three losses this year and has gone 3-12 this season in games against teams from other BCS conferences. TCU is undefeated and ranked No. 3 nationally and has gone 35-3 over the last three seasons.
Since leaving Conference USA for the MWC in 2005, TCU is 65-11 under coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs' C-USA background gives them ties to three Big East football schools -- USF, Cincinnati and Louisville. By adding a ninth team, the Big East will also avoid the problems that have come with an unbalanced seven-game conference schedule, as has been the model since the league went to its current eight-team model in 2005.
Adding TCU greatly expands the Big East's geographic footprint, which is largely in the northeast with the exception of USF, with expansion westward with the addition of basketball schools like Marquette and DePaul in 2005-06. USF football actually won at TCU in 2004, an impressive feat when you consider that the Horned Frogs are 36-3 at home since that loss.
The Daily News report called for an official announcement from the Big East in Texas early this afternoon. National outlets such as Fanhouse.com and Foxsports.com have issued similar reports confirming the addition.