TCU to join the Big East in 2012

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Gary Patterson of the TCU Horned Frogs leads his team on the field against the Air Force Falcons at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Mountain West is having itself a rough year. After losing Utah (Pac-12) and BYU (Independent) a couple of months ago, is now reporting that TCU will also leave the MWC to join the Big East in 2012.

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 would become the Big East’s ninth football team. The conference has extended an invitation to Villanova to become its 10th football member.

This is great for TCU and the Big East, but Boise State has to be having a “WTF?” moment. The Broncos joined the Mountain West in part because they thought it would improve their strength of schedule in the eyes of BCS voters. But now that Utah, TCU and BYU are all heading out of town, they probably would have been better served staying in the WAC in terms of SOS competition.

Maybe Boise should join the Big East, too.

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TCU sends a message with rout of Utah

The marquee game of the day turned out to be another TCU beatdown of a Mountain West opponent.

The Horned Frogs put a 47-7 drubbing on Utah, breaking the Utes 21-game home winning streak and asserting themselves as a more than legitimate contender for the national title. TCU is for real, but we kind of knew that already. Now those of us that knew it can point at those who continue to deny it and laugh.

The Horned Frogs came into the game touting a powerful defense, and that held true as Utah’s high-powered offense didn’t cross midfield until late in the second half. But TCU’s offense was equally impressive, having its way with a Utah defense that was statistically stout.

A home date with San Diego State is next for the Horned Frogs, which could be a little tricky, although I expect them to win fairly easily. Then they get New Mexico, which might as well forfeit.

There will be arguments at the end of this season, I have little doubt. But if there is only one major conference team with an unbeaten record at the end of the regular season, there’s no way you can keep TCU out of the title game, not after something like this. Sorry, Boise, but I’ve switched bandwagons, and I don’t think I’m alone.

Mountain West loses in BYU’s crushing defeat

TCU Horned FrogsTCU absolutely hammered No. 9 BYU Thursday night, 32-7 in what was a route from the very beginning. And as Kurt Kragthorpe of The Salt Lake City Tribune writes, even though TCU’s victory provided a major upset, the Mountain West loses out on a whole with BYU falling from the rankings.

We’ll know more when the first BCS standings of the season are published Sunday, but BYU obviously is the big loser at the moment – and so, potentially, is the Mountain West. The winner might be Boise State. It could become a case where the MWC schools – with Utah hosting both the Frogs and Cougars next month – knock each other out and push Boise State into the one BCS slot promised to an outsider that finishes in the top 12.

Clearly, BYU did not even belong on the same field with TCU. The Frogs confused, rattled and frustrated the Cougars. Quarterback Andy Dalton picked on BYU’s cornerbacks with sideline patterns, a direct snap to receiver Jeremy Kerley worked nearly every time, and TCU sustained long drives.

That was a complete smack down, but the Cougars had their opportunities. Multiple times BYU drove into the red zone only to come away with one touchdown. Max Hall threw two interceptions in TCU territory and fumbled once more. On a night where the Horned Frogs played their best game of the season, BYU couldn’t afford to make any mistakes and that’s exactly what happened.

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