TCU's Jump to the Big East Conference Benefits Both Sides

Rachel MarcusCorrespondent INovember 29, 2010

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 16:  Cornerback Elisha Olabode #6 of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates with starting quarterback Andy Dalton #14 after TCU beat the BYU Cougars 31-3 at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The news of TCU heading to the Big East conference in 2012 is great for the conference, even if the only true reason for their move is football-based. But football is what drives college athletics.

Even though most of the country only knows TCU because of their football team, that's just fine. The Big East is a decent conference, but is often weighed down by its paltry football teams. The conference just doesn't get respect when it comes to football.

TCU, meanwhile, is a consistently great team. They just need a conference with an automatic BCS berth and they're golden.

West Virginia may have salvaged the season for Big East teams by jumping into the rankings. But UCONN could still be in a BCS bowl and be unranked, which is a bit of an embarrassment for the conference. 

The Big East is known for basketball, but it has had its glory days in football. West Virginia is always pretty good, and Cincinnati almost played in the BCS Championship game last year. Pitt is a solid program, Syracuse is on the rise and has great history, and Louisville was great as recently as 2007. South Florida and UCONN are generally decent too, and despite Rutgers' down year, they usually provide tough competition.

TCU will add to that mix. TCU is an elite team. None of the teams I just mentioned are. So even though TCU is coming in as a newbie, they are already a step ahead of the incumbents because of their performances the past few seasons.

TCU is an undefeated team. Even though they're not currently in a BCS conference, they are really good. Ranked No. 3. The Horned Frogs will bring more respectability to the Big East come 2012.

As for other sports, no, they're not being craved. TCU would be a 17th basketball team for the conference. But if the Big East wants the powerful football team, I guess they thought they had to take on every other sport. And it's not like TCU is downright putrid at everything but football.

With all the change in the BCS conferences, the Big East made the right move here. TCU gets the automatic qualifying berth for football, and they improve the conference as a whole. 

They may be in Texas, but that shouldn't be too much of an issue. Both sides need each other. Come 2012, don't be surprised to see TCU atop the Big East.

Let's hope the conference can provide some competition for it in football.