TCU set to join Big East in 2012
Texas Christian has accepted an invitation to join the Big East as an all-sport member of the conference, the school and conference announced Monday afternoon. TCU will become the 17th conference member on July 1, 2012, and its athletic programs will begin competing within the league at the start of the 2012-13 academic year.
For Syracuse and other members of the current conference, this means traveling down to Fort Worth, Texas for away games. That is a 1,557-mile trip for the Orange. Currently, the furthest SU has to travel within the Big East is to Tampa, Fla., a 1,284-mile trip. A major reason for the Big East’s desire to add TCU is due to the Horned Frog’s success on the football field as well as the media market where they play.
‘Our membership is genuinely excited to add an institution of the caliber of TCU to our Conference,’ Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement. ’…Located in one of the top five media markets in the country, TCU also enables the Big East to extend its media footprint, which already encompasses more than a quarter of the country.’
Despite the travel and distance between TCU and the Big East’s current members, the addition makes a lot of sense for both parties. In football, TCU is currently third in the BCS standings and its presence could add validity to a conference without a powerhouse program at the moment. Connecticut, at 7-4, is currently in position to represent the Big East in a BCS bowl this season.
TCU will become the league’s ninth football team. The Big East has also invited Villanova, making the conference a 10-team league.
On the other hand, with the Big East’s automatic BCS bowl bid in football, the Horned Frogs will no longer have to hope for an at-Large bid to get into the national title conversation. At the very least, TCU would be secured a BCS bowl bid if it were to win the conference regularly.
‘We dare to be great academically and athletically. This move, today, is great for TCU,’ TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said. ‘We’re moving into a realm and an arena that we’ve always dreamed about. The academic institutions we are going to be associated with are unbelievable. The people in this building are so excited about this opportunity. We’ll have West Virginia playing here at Amon Carter Stadium. We’ll have Connecticut playing our women’s basketball program right in here. We’ve got Villanova coming. We’ve got Syracuse coming.’
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