If you haven't done so already, make sure to check out colleague Ivan Maisel's column on TCU trying to follow up its Rose Bowl championship. The Horned Frogs will be in the Big East in 2012, so you'd better get to know them.
This is also an interesting story for Big East fans, because it's about how coach Gary Patterson will reload the program. Last year's Rose Bowl team received outstanding contributions from many valuable seniors who are now gone. Patterson has shown an ability to plug in new players every year and keep the success going.
The TCU addition was smart in nearly every way for the Big East, but the one major concern is if the program experiences a major drop-off. It's absolutely vital for the league that Patterson maintains this level of performance, and for him to stick around in Fort Worth, or else the Horned Frogs just become an odd Texas duck in an Eastern-based league. They don't have to be Rose Bowl-worthy every year, but if they can consistently be a Top 10 or even Top 15 type of team, that gives an enormous boost to Big East credibility.
And we know it's going to be a while before Villanova could get to that level.