TCU is making the move to the Big East. And after having read the arguments by both Sports Geek and Loyal Homer, and I have come to the following conclusion – I LOVE the move (and am awarding the verdict to Loyal Homer).
Sure, there are plenty of reasons why they should not leave the Mountain West for the Big East:
- This will create additional strain for the University’s smaller athletic programs
- There is not a regional connection between TCU and the rest of the Big East programs
- TCU is neither “big”, nor is it “east”
But none of those reasons can outweigh the very simple, extremely positive fact that TCU gets to take a HUGE step up in class.
Who cares that their new neighborhood might be further away? It is a MUCH nicer neighborhood.
Instead of being grouped with the likes of New Mexico, Colorado State, and Wyoming, TCU is now discussed in the same conversations as Notre Dame, West Virginia, Georgetown, and Pitt. Instead of hoping for an invitation to face Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl, the program can earn an invitation to face the SEC in the Compass Bowl, or the Big XII in the Pinstripe Bowl. Instead of hoping for a scrap FROM the BCS tables (which will only be granted if they perform PERFECTLY during the regular season), TCU is now AT the BCS table. Instead of hoping for an automatic bid to the basketball championships, the basketball program is a part of a conference that last season was awarded EIGHT at-large invitations.
Oh yeah, and a great deal more money is available with the move.
I sympathize with the TCU Women’s Rifle Team, Sports Geek, I really do. They will be required to travel all the way across the country on multiple occasions, now, just to shoot guns for their inter-conference matchups. But to turn down an opportunity that will literally generate millions in additional revenue for the school’s two largest athletic programs (which will also trickle down and positively impact EVERY athletic program at the school), and will likely grant the school exposure to a better class of recruits in every program, all because of ten girls in a Title IX program that likely generates NOTHING for the University, is absurd.
This is a case where the sacrifice of the individual is necessary for the benefit of the masses.
And as Loyal Homer points out, ESPN features many of the Big East’s matchups in football and basketball. Where can you watch the Mountain West? On Versus (if you are lucky).
TCU is beholden to nothing but itself. The athletic department has an obligation to pursue opportunities that are best for the University, and joining a well-respected athletic conference that is guaranteed a BCS invitation in football – and one that is regarded as the very best in basketball – is too good of an opportunity to pass up simply because it will require some extra travel time.
Enjoy competing with the big boys (and girls), Horned Frogs! This is the chance you have been hoping for!