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TCU Joins Big East In All Sports

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte is stoked about his athletic program’s move to the Big East in all sports.

TCU has accepted a bid for full membership to become the 17th member of the Big East Conference, effective July 1, 2012.

“Having BCS automatic-qualifying status was a priority for our football program and a great reward for the success we’ve had the last decade,” TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement.

The conference change allows TCU to play in an automatic BCS-qualifying league beginning in the 2012-13 school year. TCU currently plays in the Mountain West Conference, which does not have an automatic bid to the BCS and is going through some changes of its own. BYU and Utah are leaving the conference just as Boise State enters.

TCU, which has an enrollment of 9,142, would become the Big East’s ninth football team. The conference has extended an invitation to Villanova to become its 10th football member.

“Located in one of the top five media markets in the country, TCU also enables the Big East to extend its media footprint, which already encompasses more than a quarter of the country,” league Commissioner John Marinatto said.

TCU is 12-0 and ranked No. 3 in the BCS. The Frogs are at the very least headed to the Rose Bowl. But if Auburn or Oregon slip up this weekend, TCU is poised to play for a national title.

The Frogs might not have been headed to a BCS game without Boise State’s loss Friday night in overtime at Nevada. Had the Broncos remained undefeated, there was a distinct possibility that the Broncos could have passed TCU in the BCS standings and been the only non-automatic qualifier school to get into one of the top-level bowls.If you don’t dream, you’re living in a memory,” Del Conte said. “Who wants to live in a memory? Every single time we have an opportunity to think about where we’re going to go, that’s the leadership of our chancellor that says, ‘Guess what? We dare to be great academically and athletically.’ This decision today is great for TCU. We’re heading in an arena that we’ve always dreamed about. The BCS does not define TCU, TCU defines the BCS. The academic institutions that we’re going to be associated with is unbelievable. This is a great time to be a Frog.

According to a MWC spokesperson, TCU will not have to pay an exit fee for leaving the league under conference bylaws. The same applied to Utah (Pac-12) and BYU (independent in football and WCC in all other sports) when both notified the MWC of their intentions to leave for the 2012 season. The only thing TCU had to do was notify the league by Sept. 1 to leave for the 2011-12 season. Since TCU didn’t, the Horned Frogs will leave on July 1, 2012, the same time Nevada and Fresno State enter the Mountain West from the WAC, for the 2012-13 season.TCU has accepted a bid for full membership to become the 17th member of the Big East Conference, effective July 1, 2012.

“Having BCS automatic-qualifying status was a priority for our football program and a great reward for the success we’ve had the last decade,” TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement.

The conference change allows TCU to play in an automatic BCS-qualifying league beginning in the 2012-13 school year. TCU currently plays in the Mountain West Conference, which does not have an automatic bid to the BCS and is going through some changes of its own. BYU and Utah are leaving the conference just as Boise State enters.

TCU, which has an enrollment of 9,142, would become the Big East’s ninth football team. The conference has extended an invitation to Villanova to become its 10th football member.

“Located in one of the top five media markets in the country, TCU also enables the Big East to extend its media footprint, which already encompasses more than a quarter of the country,” league Commissioner John Marinatto said.

TCU is 12-0 and ranked No. 3 in the BCS. The Frogs are at the very least headed to the Rose Bowl. But if Auburn or Oregon slip up this weekend, TCU is poised to play for a national title.

The Frogs might not have been headed to a BCS game without Boise State’s loss Friday night in overtime at Nevada. Had the Broncos remained undefeated, there was a distinct possibility that the Broncos could have passed TCU in the BCS standings and been the only non-automatic qualifier school to get into one of the top-level bowls.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=5862368&type=story

One thing Del Conte won’t say is how bad the Big East is in football right now. Having an automatic bid in the Big East, when the team that gets it this year won’t be in the top 20, puts TCU in the BCS mix every year. It also opens the door for a potential future move to another BCS conference, though that’s not guaranteed.

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