The Big East is about to get bigger. According to a report at FanHouse, TCU has accepted an offer from the Big East and will join the conference in all sports beginning with the 2012-13 season. The school has scheduled a press conference for 2 p.m. ET Monday.
The Horned Frogs have been a member of the Mountain West Conference since 1995, when the Southwest Conference folded. The move indicates that TCU is done waiting for a BCS automatic qualifier to come to the MWC, and will instead go to where the AQ already exists.
The downside of the move for TCU means that they'll now be one of 17 teams in a brutally difficult basketball conference, with the likes of Syracuse and Connecticut. But that's a small speed bump on the road to a BCS AQ in the Big East, where they will likely be immediate favorites -- this was a football move.
Our Boston College blog, BC Interruption, says it's a win-win for both sides.
This move would give the league a legitimate BCS contender, something the league has failed to produce this season, while it would give TCU an automatic berth to a BCS bowl with a conference title.
But the move produces an almost unwieldy 17-team basketball conference, and it's unlikely the conference will stop at nine teams for football. If the Big East doesn't coax Villanova football out of their cushy little I-AA home, they might be forced to pick up an 18th basketball program in Central Florida or Houston.
I'm happy for TCU, but to me, this move reaffirms that Boston College's decision to move to the ACC along with Virginia Tech and Miami back in 2005 was absolutely the right decision. Unless the football-playing members of the Big East break away to form their own 10 team conference, a 17 or 18-team conference is way too large for basketball, and the addition of a team from Dallas-Fort Worth all but renders the increased travel costs argument all but irrelevant for the Eagles.