TCU's Big Move East, and Why It Should Be To the Big 12
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TCU has given up. They are tired of being labeled as a second class citizen in college football. They are fed up with hearing other university presidents tell them that they play "little sisters of the poor." So TCU is moving to the Big East, and boy is it a marriage made in heaven.
This year TCU is 12-0 and ranked third in the latest BCS rankings. However, TCU does not play in an automatic bid conference and does not have an automatic berth into a BCS game. This year they will most likely be playing in the Rose Bowl as an at large team regardless of whether or not Oregon and Auburn remain undefeated.
If Oregon or Auburn lose in their final game, many feel that TCU would be jumped by a one-loss team because of the disparity in the ever-controversial strength of schedule column. That's why this move makes so much sense, and not only for TCU.
Texas Christian's move to the Big East instantly legitimizes its conference games and also means that it will get a shot to play some of the big boys at home during their non-conference schedule. After all, if a Big East team was one of two undefeated programs left in the FBS, there is no doubt it would be playing in the National Title game. That means that if TCU was playing in the Big East this year, its shot at a national championship would be much more legitimate in many people's eyes.
The move also makes sense for the conference. The Big East has come under fire lately since it will be sending a mediocre football team to a BCS game. If UCONN wins on Saturday, it will win the conference championship and be the Big East's representative, and will most likely be unranked.
Does TCU's move to the Big East help or hurt its football program?
By adding TCU, the Big East instantly legitimizes its automatic qualifier, since TCU will be that team more often than not. If the Horned Frogs continue their success, the move also gives the Big East a legitimate championship contender for years to come.
The move does bring up a few concerns, most of them geographic. TCU is justifying the switch by stating that the Dallas Cowboys play in the NFC East and has for a very long time. This reasoning is laughable. Dallas plays three games a year where it must travel east to play a divisional game.
TCU's football team will have to do this at least that many times, if not more. TCU also has 19 other athletic programs that will have to travel great distances much more frequently.
Let's be honest, this was not a move in the best interests of the athletic department, but rather a move in the best interest of TCU football. After all, football is the money maker, and if you don't think college football is a business then you are sorely mistaken.
The only other issue that comes to mind with this decision has nothing to do with the Big East or TCU, but rather with the Big 12. Why in the world would the Big 12 not invite TCU, or Boise State for that matter, to join them? The Big 12 just lost two of its long time, staple members in Colorado and Nebraska. Sure, Colorado's loss didn't hurt too bad, but Nebraska has a solid football program once again with an extremely loyal fanbase.
Some forget that the Big 12 had a shot at inviting TCU out of the now defunct Southwest Conference, but instead invited Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor. Sure Texas and Texas A&M have had success, but the other two, especially Baylor, have done very little.
Now would have been the perfect time to right the ship and invite in one of the hottest programs in college football. Had TCU accepted an invitation from the Big 12, which it almost certainly would have, the conference would once again be a superpower in college football, rivaling the SEC for dominance.
It certainly would've made much more sense than TCU joining the Big East both geographically and competitively. It would have set up some intense rivalries with Texas, Texas A&M and possibly Oklahoma. The Big 12 would have also reversed some of the embarrassment of losing two schools by adding at least one, if not two of the most popular and noteworthy football programs in TCU and Boise State.
The Big 12's loss is the Big East's gain. No longer will critics be able to say that TCU is not worthy of playing for titles because they play in a mid-major conference. No longer will teams like UCONN or Pittsburgh get to play in BCS games with three or four losses, while a one loss or even undefeated TCU team plays in a second-class bowl game. The move makes sense for all involved and should forever put TCU on the forefront of college football.
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