On July 1, 2012, the Big 12 conference will replace one Texas school with another. In a news conference Monday evening in Irving, Texas, the Big 12 and TCU announced that the school will, as expected, join the conference less than a week after news broke that the Horned Frogs were extended an invitation to replace Texas A&M when the Aggies leave for the SEC.
TCU will become the first new member institution for the Big 12 since the league's inception in 1996, when the Big 8 and SWC conferences merged and kicked the Horned Frogs to the curb. Since then TCU has journeyed from conference to conference, trying to once again run with the big boys -- from Conference USA to the Mountain West to the Big East, in which TCU never competed.
Credit the TCU football program led by Gary Patterson as the primary reason for the move, as the Horned Frogs have finished in the top 10 each of the last three seasons -- the only school in the country to do so. As a result, the school has been able to begin work on expanding Amon G. Carter Stadium, a necessary move to compete in the arms race currently sweeping high-level college football.
Here's what Chancellor Vincent Boschini had to say:
Joining the Big 12 connects us not only to schools with whom we share a rich tradition in sports, but also to schools committed to academic excellence. Over the past six years, TCU has seen unprecedented success in academics and athletics. Participating in this conference allows us to strengthen the core of the TCU experience, which includes providing students with major opportunities in a personalized environment. It is very much in line with our overall goal to create a world-class university.
If Missouri decides to stay in the conference -- still up in air -- the Big 12 will mostly likely decide to remain at 10 teams. Your move, Mizzou.