TCU Accepts Invitation To Leave Mountain West for Big East in 2012

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer INovember 29, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - NOVEMBER 27: Braylon Broughton #99, Stansly Maponga #90 (C) and Jurell Thompson #16 of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrate after a touchdown against the University of New Mexico Lobos on November 27, 2010 at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. TCU won 66-17. (Photo by Eric Draper/Getty Images)
Eric Draper/Getty Images

Congratulations TCU, you got exactly what you wanted.

According to Brett McMurphy of AOL Fanhouse, Texas Christian University has officially accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference during the 2012-2013 seasons in all sports.

It has been speculated for some time that the Horned Frogs wanted to join an automatic qualifying conference for a few months. There had also been rumors that the Big East was interested, but there were also rumors that TCU was interested in Conference USA as well.

After Utah left the Mountain West Conference for the Pac-10 and BYU left for independence, the rumors still never ceased that TCU wanted out despite the MWC's additions of Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada and possibly Hawai'i. TCU still knew that even though the conference had added these three or possibly four teams, it was not in the spotlight.

Even being in a different conference this season kept TCU in the shadow of one team that can't quite seem to get enough attention, Boise State.

Now, what used to be the top of the MWC with Utah, BYU and TCU will now look like the top of the Western Athletic Conference with Boise State, Nevada and either Hawai'i or Fresno State. Not exactly what the MWC commissioner was hoping for when he brought Boise State on board.

The Horned Frogs will now have a shot at an automatic BCS bid, something other small schools would kill for. Not only will this give the school a better shot at a bigger bowl game, but it will do wonders for their recruiting.

While Boise State does get a lot of the national attention now, it won't for long with the Big East's new star in the making. If Gary Patterson remains and continues to bring the kind of product he has over the last few years, we could see more of TCU in the BCS picture for years to come.

The Mountain West now needs to find one more school to add to the top of its list, unless it sent the invitation to the University of Hawai'i knowing full well that the Horned Frogs were on their way out.

If Hawai'i isn't replacing TCU, the University of Houston could make the rounds in the expansion rumor mill.

The Cougars have long been rumored as a team that the Mountain West could have interest in, though there may be other schools as well.

For now, Gary Patterson and Texas Christian University are well on their way to becoming one of the best small schools in the country. They've already made noise over the last few seasons, and being in an automatic qualifying conference could not only bring success to their football program, but also do wonders for their other sports as well.

The Mountain West took a huge hit today. The conference is going to need to regroup and come up with a way to save face.

If not, they'll look no better than Karl Benson and the WAC. That in itself is reason enough to do something about it.