Horned Frogs Jump Conferences
Texas Christian University becomes the newest member of the Big East Conference bringing the total membership to 17 teams. TCU begins competing in the Conference in July 2012.
The Horned Frogs bring a great football program to the Big East. They are ranked 3rd in the Bowl Championship Series Standings (BCS), and unbeaten. It looks like they will probably play in the Rose Bowl against Big Ten opponent, Wisconsin unless some upsets occur this weekend. Their only loss last year occurred against Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. They have won at least 11 games in 5 of their last 6 seasons.
Despite their excellent record, TCU’s membership in the Mountain West Conference has limited their opportunity to play in a BCS championship game. On the other hand, the winner of the Big East Conference possesses an automatic bid to a BCS game, an opportunity not available in to the Mountain West Conference winner.
The move also gives the Frogs an opportunity to have several of their football and basketball games televised against Nationally ranked teams like Rutgers, West Virginia, University of South Florida, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova and Louisville. The TCU athletic director, Chris Del Conte, proclaimed several times in his news conference, “It’s a great day to be a Frog.”
In addition to their football prowess, TCU brings other nationally competitive sports teams. Their baseball team competed in Omaha last year for the NCAA College World Series. They lost two games in the semifinals to UCLA. Their women’s basketball team as well as men and women’s tennis teams won Mountain West Conference Championships. Their volleyball team competed in the NCAA tournament.
The University of South Florida and TCU briefly overlapped in Conference USA. In 2003, the Frogs beat the Bulls in Tampa. The following year the Bulls sought retribution, and defeated the Horned Frogs in double overtime. Fans will enjoy watching this rivalry develop in the coming years.
USF’s head coach, Skip Holtz, supports the addition of TCU to the conference. He believes that it will improve the conference, and make the Bulls stronger.
The Big East stands to gain through increased competition from the football, baseball, and volleyball programs. The improved competition and television coverage provides the potential to recruit better athletes and build better facilities.