College Football's Big East Expansion: TCU and Mutual Benefit for All

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIINovember 3, 2010

Looks like the TCU run game could do that and bubble screen its way through the Big East Conference.
Looks like the TCU run game could do that and bubble screen its way through the Big East Conference.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Luck is defined as preparation meeting opportunity.  Or, Big East meets TCU.

I'm not talking about West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck.  I've already addressed his potential in an article I submitted September 29, the link for which is below.  In that piece, I wrote about the nascent AD and his successful past performance giving him the experience and chutzpah to steer West Virginia and the Big East conference to success.

After reading that article, I think you might say I'm rather optimistic about the league and what it can do.

I am.

Thing is, though, it's going to be, like the Beatles' Paul McCartney said, a long and winding road.

The Big East has not gotten off to a stellar start with regard to this expansion stuff.  It seems the initial move to conference betterment is to convert Villanova from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

It'll eventually be advantageous to do that, but the FBS conversion of Villanova is down the list.

Number one should be cashing in on the mutual interest between the league of mostly old Eastern Indies and Texas Christian of the old Southwest Conference.  

Now known as TCU, the school resides in the Mountain West Conference.  They're doing rather well.  As No. 3 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, the Horned Frogs travel this weekend up to their conference rival, BCS No. 5 Utah, for what is certainly the Game of the Week.

Game of the Week nominally.  There is, however, no national television interest.


Sounds like a non-AQ league conspiracy.  Has that conspirator's scent.  We can probably get Chattanooga at Auburn.

Top 20 Big East matchups have been on ESPN or on the networks.  Cincinnati-Pittsburgh in 2009.  Louisville-West Virginia in 2006.  Rutgers-Louisville in 2006.  West Virginia-Rutgers in 2006.

So, TCU, outside of bowl season, has a problem getting national attention. 

And, you can see that if I can come up with only four top 20 Big East matchups in five years—and three of them were played five years ago—the league is hurting.

Looks like TCU and the Big East could save one another.

The Big East needs credence to keep its AQ status past 2012.

TCU needs the Big East's AQ status to walk through the BCS' doors of perception, as Aldous Huxley and Jim Morrison might have put it, had they been football fans.

Back to the present issues.  Look at it this way.  Jeff George, the old Illini quarterback, said it best.  In various media interviews, George the swashbuckler admitted on every pass play, at Illinois and as a journeyman in the NFL, he always first looked deep and progressed back.


I'm sure other passers sometimes did the same, but George always did it and let every defensive back know it and wasn't too bad at it.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has to look for the out and go, the hook and go or just the go.  To use this waning metaphor one more time, TCU has a step on a safety.  Villanova is a blocking back and is not doing it very well.

Cut loose, Mr. Marinatto.

Land TCU in the Big East before Thanksgiving, when the world is focused on American football. 

Keep looking elsewhere like Temple and Central Florida if you wish, with apologies to Skip Holtz. 

Approach Boston College.  Maybe they're disillusioned in the tundra of the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Go for Maryland.

The Big East is not a strong product, but that one first move could get it back.

Break on through to the other side.