Dallas Colleges: TCU to Big 12
|Ivan Maisel and Beano Cook discuss big news happening in the Big 12, including possible expansion.
This bit of news came via Chris Level, a talk radio show host in Lubbock who tweeted Del Conte's comments this morning. The Frogs' AD said that the Big 12 -- which not too long ago was on life support -- now has schools like FSU, Clemson and Miami trying to get in.
A TCU spokesman said the context of Del Conte's comments were in reference to the recent rumor-mill activity and that this time around teams are not wanting to depart the league but rather join it. The spokesman said in no way was Del Conte confirming any such interest from any particular school or schools.
The Big 12 added clout to its name in recent days when it dropped a blockbuster on the college football scene with the announcement of a partnership with the SEC for the two conference's football champs to play in an annual bowl game starting after the 2014 when a four-team playoff is expected to replace the current BCS.
Conference power brokers such as Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds have remained consistent in suggesting the preference is to remain a 10-team conference (all the fewer schools to share the TV money pie). Incoming commissioner Bob Bowlsby has said that he will remain vigilant when it comes to expansion but won't rush it.
It certainly does appear that the Big 12, twice left for dead, is back in a power position and could soon have difficult choices to make as to the size of their league and the members they want.
The school announced Wednesday that it has sold out of season tickets, having hit a school-record 30,000.
It's the third consecutive season that TCU has set a new season-ticket mark, with 22,500 sold in 2011 eclipsing the 19,143 in 2010.
"We are incredibly proud of the Horned Frog Nation," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said in statement. "With the momentum in our program under (head coach) Gary Patterson, the new Amon G. Carter Stadium set to open this fall and the excitement throughout TCU, Fort Worth and the entire Metroplex with our Big 12 membership, this is an incredible time to be a Horned Frog.
"We truly thank everyone for allowing us to achieve this milestone."
TCU has sold out its last eight home games and 10 of the last 14. The Frogs open the landmark 2012 season at home Sept. 8 against Grambling State and play their first home Big 12 game Oct. 6 against Iowa State.
TCU's 2012 football schedule
Sept. 8 vs. Grambling State
Sept. 15 at Kansas*
Sept. 22 vs. Virginia
Sept. 29 at SMU
Oct. 6 vs. Iowa State*
Oct. 13 at Baylor*
Oct. 20 vs. Texas Tech*
Oct. 27 at Oklahoma State*
Nov. 3 at West Virginia*
Nov. 10 vs. Kansas State*
Nov. 24 at Texas*
Dec. 1 vs. Oklahoma*
*Big 12 game
"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days. As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.
"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.
"This situation isn’t unique to TCU—it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.
"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.
"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved."
Sept. 8: vs. Grambling State
Sept. 15: at Kansas
Sept. 22: vs. Virginia
Sept. 29: at SMU
Oct. 6: vs. Iowa State
Oct. 13: at Baylor
Oct. 20: vs. Texas Tech
Oct. 27: at Oklahoma State
Nov. 3: at West Virginia
Nov. 10: vs. Kansas State
Nov. 24: at Texas
Dec. 1: vs. Oklahoma
How do you think the Horned Frogs will do in their first Big 12 season?
FORT WORTH -- Cowboys Stadium is the site for tonight's midseason nonconference showdown between TCU and BYU. Forgive the parties involved if it doesn't feel like an out-of-league affair.
"We consider this like a conference game," Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said of the 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. "We played BYU for so long."
The two private schools were conference opponents for six years. This year they're not. Perhaps in the future, they could be again.
Such is the revolving door that is realignment.
BYU left the Mountain West for independent status this year. TCU bolts the MWC next year for the Big 12. Tonight, the Horned Frogs and Cougars are playing more so out of necessity than familiarity.
"I'd rather not play a non-conference game in the middle of the season," Patterson said. "This is the only time BYU and ourselves could work it out."
Lineup changes in the MWC, plus Texas Tech pulling out of this year's scheduled trip to Amon G. Carter Stadium, left TCU with slots to fill. BYU was also in a scramble mode after ditching the MWC.
|Trey Fallon and Landry Locker of ESPN Dallas discuss TCU's dominant win over New Mexico, preview the back half of the schedule and discuss this weekend's game against BYU.
"We've played them since 2005, so I don't think it's any different than playing Colorado State, Wyoming, Utah," Patterson said.
Now, could these two meet again in the Big 12? The Cougars had been at the top of the heap when it comes to potential expansion candidates before the additions of TCU and West Virginia. BYU craves the automatic BCS qualifying status that TCU will enjoy and rival Utah gained in the Pac-12.
Asked if BYU was a Big 12-caliber program, Patterson answered: "I don't know." It makes sense not to offer an opinion, especially since TCU won't be in the Big 12 until next summer.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte has taken part in a few Big 12 meetings and said the subject of posible expansion schools hasn't come up with him. Del Conte added he hasn't been asked about BYU.
"We've never been asked anything about any member," he said. "Those conversations are happening above my pay grade."
Del Conte did say he prefers a 10-team league, going back to his days in the Pac-10. The Big 12 expects to be at 10 next season with West Virginia coming onboard.
Patterson said the membership of the Big 12 eventually is going to be a subject of interest.
"It will, but right now it's the games that I have left," he said. "Is the chicken going to be warm in Wyoming as the pregame meal? Is it going to snow? What kind of crowd are we going to have at the BYU game? Are my kids' legs and shoulders going to be back by Friday? Those things are what's important to me know."
The TCU Horned Frogs had to wait 17 years to gain entrance into the Big 12 conference. Now that they have arrived there will be no waiting to know the Frogs' 2012 football foes.
The schedule, with dates and times to be determined, is set. And, boy, what a difference.
Gone are the days of traveling west in the Mountain West Conference, and the days of heading to the chilly northeast will never be in the Big East Conference.
TCU will play three non-conference games in 2012 -- two at home against Grambling State and Virginia, with the annual rivalry against SMU returning to the east side of the Metroplex. Oklahoma, originally on the non-conference slate as part of series with the Sooners last played in Norman in 2005, is now a conference game.
The rest of the Frogs' conference schedule is: Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri.
Here's a comparison of TCU's 2011 schedule in the MWC, its would-be 2012 schedule in the Big East and its newest schedule in the Big 12 (conference games denoted with an asterisk):
2011 MWC schedule
at Air Force*
vs. Portland State
at San Diego State*
vs. New Mexico*
vs. BYU (at Cowboys Stadium)
at Boise State*
vs. Colorado State*
2012 Big East schedule
vs. Grambling State
2012 Big 12 schedule
vs. Grambling State
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