TCU football will be moving on to the Big East Conference.
At first glance, this may sound like a great move for the entire university and their sports programs.
With the expected move coming during the 2012-13 season, TCU football now jumps into a conference with an automatic BCS bid.
But it's not that simple. It could turn into a big mess for the Horned Frogs. Let's look at the big picture.
The BCS big wigs and the guys at the Big East must think of the eastern part of Texas as an East Coast location.
Or, geography is no longer a consideration when it comes to evaluating possible new invites to the Big East.
Their biggest competitors will be Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Connecticut, all thousands of miles away.
Take a look at a map, it doesn't add up. This move doesn't make sense geographically.
Going off on that geography thing one more time. This move to the Big East will cause their travel to become more taxing.
These are not professional football players that get paid to play football. These are college students that have full course loads to manage on top of their football responsibilities.
They may play strong to start the college football season. But inevitably, playing against bigger-market teams and traveling longer distances could affect their play.
Not to mention the added traveling expenses for this small-time school.
Texas Christian is a ranked school with a relatively small student body, estimated at under 9,000 students.
Now they'll be moving to a conference and playing against schools with bigger and more loyal fans.
TCU is already having problems selling out their stadium of 50,000 seats as a ranked football team.
What's going to happen when they start playing Pitt and WVU? The trip to West Virginia and playing in the mountains in front of their loyal fans could prove to be very daunting for a small-school football team.
They can't really expect their already small fan base to travel to East Coast locations in order to support them.
What could actually happen, instead, would be their rival teams drawing more of their fans to games because they'll want to see their school play against TCU.
This is has been an off season for the Big East.
In fact, it can be argued that the Mountain West and the WAC are a much tougher conference than the Big East this year.
Just check out the BCS rankings: The Big East is short of representatives who rank in the Top 25 of college football.
West Virginia is the only ranked Big East team heading into the last week of the season but it could be the Connecticut Huskies that come out with the Big East title.
This doesn't exactly sound like a tougher conference to move to.
TCU must be flattered that they got an invitation from a conference with an automatic BCS bid.
But wait a second. What's going on here?
Earlier this year there were reports that Villanova was exploring the possibility of joining the Big East.
In case you need a refresher, Villanova is an FCS school playing in the CAA with under 10,000 students.
"The Big East very recently communicated its interest in adding Villanova as a football member," Vince Nicastro told the Philadelphia Daily News. " As a result, we have decided to embark on an in-depth evaluation of this opportunity."
Obviously Villanova, an FCS champion, hasn't exactly jumped at the invitation. But TCU, a Top Five football team in the nation, did. Did Villanova see problems with the move that TCU didn't?
There's a reason why teams such as Virginia Tech, Miami (Fl.) and Boston College left in 2005—the Big East is turning into a disaster.
Since leaving the Big Ten, VaTech and Miami have gone on to have more successful seasons in the ACC.
But the Big East was so eager to replenish their conference that South Florida was given an invitation to join.
This conference is reeling and they invited Texas Christian as an act of desperation. TCU will now have the daunting task of helping save this conference from a downward spiral after the Horned Frogs took the bait.
Starting next season, the Mountain West will be bringing in other quality teams such as Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State, which were expecting to join the conference out of the WAC.
Add to that a rising San Diego State team and a quality Air Force squad already in the MWC, and this conference had the potential to be extremely good.
After next season, there will be a strong argument that Horned Frogs left a much better conference than what they joined.
Clearly, TCU was looking at the short-term gains of this move, such as moving to a conference with an automatic bid.
Once they start the 2012-13 season, they probably foresee an easy road to the Big East title.
They would be able to avoid playing BCS-busters Boise State and other upstart squads in the MWC.
And then what? It's obviously not that easy. They didn't look at the big picture.
Had they stayed with the Mountain West, that conference could have possibly stolen the automatic bid from the Big East.
Come 2014, the BCS just might hand over the AQ bid to the Mountain West when they re-evaluate the conferences. As a result, the Horned Frogs could be left hanging.
After a season in an automatic BCS berth conference, it could all just go away.
That's the long-term problem with this shortsighted move by the Horned Frogs. Factor in the strong play from the MWC and the poor play out of the Big East of late, and that might just happen.
The Horned Frogs could have just stayed where they were.
But TCU was hungry to shed the label of a non-BCS team, while the Big East was desperate enough to let them join.
Why? TCU wanted more notoriety and more money while the Big East predictably wanted to be saved from extinction.
Now the Horned Frogs could get screwed with their move away from the MWC and will have to face the challenge of having to save the Big East conference.
When all is said and done, TCU will wish they just stayed in the Mountain West.