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Originally published October 10, 2011 at 06:21p.m., updated October 11, 2011 at 12:00a.m.

Beware of the Frogs: TCU officially accepts invitation to join Big 12

In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, TCU head coach Gary Patterson runs onto the field with his team before a game against SMU in Fort Worth, Texas.

In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, TCU head coach Gary Patterson runs onto the field with his team before a game against SMU in Fort Worth, Texas.

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— TCU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 on Monday night, seizing an opportunity to be a part of a conference with natural geographic rivals despite the league’s recent instability.

The board of trustees unanimously approved the move, and Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. made the expected announcement in front a packed room of more than 200 people. Athletic director Chris Del Conte fought back tears as he recalled receiving the phone call from the Horned Frogs’ new conference last week.

“This is living proof that dreams do come true,” he said.

The move could provide some much-needed stability for the Big 12, which lost Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) over the summer and will lose Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference next year. Missouri is also exploring a move to the SEC.

TCU has a strong football background that includes celebrated athletes from the 1930s — including Heisman Trophy winner Davey O’Brien and All-American Sammy Baugh, who both played in the NFL. More recent alums include New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Horned Frogs went 13-0 last season and won the Rose Bowl. They also went undefeated in the 2009 regular season, then lost to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

“It was a challenge winning the Rose Bowl ... and there’s been a lot of people that told us we couldn’t do a lot of different things, and so we’re going to take it one step at a time,” football coach Gary Patterson said after the announcement. “It’s not going to be easy ... but I do believe that if the Big 12 did not feel like we couldn’t be competitive in the league, then they wouldn’t have asked us.”

Patterson said the financial benefit of being in the Big 12 and resuming those rivalries also will help Fort Worth.

“Are you going to win 10 to 12 games every year? Probably not,” Patterson said. “But the key is ... to have a chance to challenge for the conference title, always try to get back to bowl games, and that’s going to be our goal is to do it like we’ve always done it: one game at a time.”

Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas told the crowd that TCU has an outstanding academic record as well as athletics.

“Chancellor, TCU has traveled a long path, been to different places. Sir, I’d like to welcome you home,” Neinas said.

TCU currently competes in the Mountain West Conference and was set to join the Big East next July. Instead, the Big 12 went public with its interest in TCU last week and set the stage for the private university to stay closer to home. It officially joins the Big 12 on July 1.

Del Conte said TCU will not be required to give the 27 months’ notice to leave the Big East but must pay the exit fee. He declined to confirm it was the $5 million required by the Big East policy.

Several Big 12 coaches welcomed the idea of having TCU in the league.

“They’re an excellent program,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “You see what they’ve been doing throughout the year. I love the proximity for the fans. It’s another game that’s relatively close and in this region, so I think it’s great.”

Also Monday, Big East school leaders authorized the conference to add enough members to have 12 teams for football. With Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East would be down to six football schools without TCU: West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, Rutgers and Connecticut.

SEC leaders also met Monday for their regularly scheduled fall session but took no action on expansion. The league will have 13 members once Texas A&M joins in July, leading to speculation about whether Missouri or other schools will be added to balance things out.

As for the Big 12, adding TCU would give it 10 members going into next season without further changes.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he has “always been in favor of a Big 12 Conference with 12 teams, and two divisions and a championship.”

Comments

jaybate 2 years, 6 months ago

"Some Rumors about Fizzou That Are Not Yet Being Widely Reported"

~MU, which has been turned down by the Big Ten repeatedly, and which will soon be turned down by the SEC, will soon be asked to leave the Big 12, and will wind up in a men's correctional facility conference that will be televised on the Fear on Demand channel.

~In exchange for black monies, MU has agreed to let the CIA use the MU football team as guinea pigs in yet another pilot study to see if the CIA can program behavior. In this pilot project MU football players will be brainwashed to become programmed patsies.

~A recent sex survey will soon be published that confirms MU women students are the least sexually satisfied of any group of co-eds in America. When questioned whether size matters, MU co-eds responded with crying jags 92% of the time. Fully 71 percent of all MU co-eds contemplate suicide after sex with male students from MU. Less than 1 percent of MU coeds achieve orgasm, when intimate with male MU students.

~MU has recently been turned down by the MAC and the MVC.

~MU, in an attempt to balance its budget, has sold The Columns to a grave marker company and replaced them with styrofoam copies. MU received $40.53 for the columns.

~Slightly over 40% of MU students have been physcially assaulted by banjo toting hill billies before the end of their freshman years.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

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lee3022 2 years, 6 months ago

I also welcome TCU and their fans. The American story is work hard and get ahead. They have done so and are a worthy addition. Far ahead of any of the other names rumored.

Now for the hard work of finding another two schools within our Midwest footprint to add or to go with the coaches and stay at ten.

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master16 2 years, 6 months ago

i'm glad to see the big 12 gain another contender... but from the looks of it this conference will be renamed to the Big Texas soon.

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jaycard 2 years, 6 months ago

Plus.....Ft. Worth is a blast!!! Went there for KU-TCU basketball game in 90's when Ostertag was playing. Might have been overserved a little, but from what I remember, girls are beautiful, drinks are cheap and the TCU fans are fun and friendly. Did get kicked out of a bar though, when I asked why, the bartender said we were having too much fun!!!!!

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Brian Powell 2 years, 6 months ago

Why can't we keep Mizzou in the conference? It will seem like less of a KU season without that rivalry, and I don't see why KU fans and admins are not wanting them to stay in the B12...

I think conferences should stay together on geographic terms, for the fans and the student athletes. Bunch of crap this all turned out to be.

TCU makes sense. Memphis and UK are a stretch, but I wouldn't mind as much. It would strengthen the basketball side and give our football team a fighting chance :P

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Robert Brown 2 years, 6 months ago

Not sure why everyone is applauding this move other than it shows some proactivity on the part of the conference. I'm not sure what they really bring to the conference that can be parlayed into more revenue. Success on the field is only one criteria. That success was achieved largely by playing in inferior conferences. They had the best year they will ever have last year, and I suspect had they played in the Big 12 last year with that team, they might have gotten an invitation to the Holiday Bowl.

So, what do we really have. A school that was begging to be invited and one that has switched conferences repeatedly. A future middle of the pack school in the Big 12 for football, with a very small alumni base, the smallest stadium in the conference located in a town where the conference always has huge penetration. There are more UT and Tech fans in Fort Worth than TCU fans. One can argue whether having another school helps or hurts KU's efforts to recruit in Texas, but after the performance of KU's football team, that is the least of my concerns.

I'm not that excited about the pick. It would be a good 12th team if MU stays, and the conference adds two more schools like Louisville, WV or BYU.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome, TCU! It will be interesting when TCU and K-State hook up. Patterson used to coach in Manhattan.

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome aboard, TCU. Your enthusiasm for our league is a joy, as opposed to the miserable footdragging current powers that be in Columbia, MO. Now, upgrade your basketball program post haste, so as not to become an annual debit for one of the strongest hoops leagues in the nation. Should be fairly easy to rise above the likes of Colorado or Nebraska on the hardwood.

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LSHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

I heard on a radio talk show on Saturday morning that Oliver Luck, the AD at UWV was begging, pleading with ANYONE who will listen from the Big 12 to make an invite to UWV. Anyone else hear anything like that?

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temjay 2 years, 6 months ago

Did I hear that one of the stipulations of the deal is that TCU has to trade football coaches with Kansas?

Please tell me I heard that.

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rchance 2 years, 6 months ago

i want them to go after Memphis

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jchief40 2 years, 6 months ago

Air Force already said thanks but no thanks to the Big 12 and are looking at the Big East. They specifically said they didn't want their kids to get beat up against the likes of Oklahoma, Texas and OSU. Unable to recruit against the likes of em. Fair enough. Maybe Louisville and WVU will be next? Tough call now. Maybe they really do want to stay at 10.

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jgkojak 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's grab BYU and Louisville for 12 in football,

then Notre Dame and DePaul as non-football schools

Notre Dame gets easy travel to Louisville, DePaul, MU and ISU, no worse than Big East except to BYU - who they like to play anyway.

If MU leaves, grab Air Force and move fwd.

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xanto 2 years, 6 months ago

The addition of TCU at the expense of the Big East is like killing two birds with one stone. Before the addition of TCU, there was debate over whether the Big East or the Big XII would be first to go. There's no debate now. The Big East is on life support and schools are jockeying to be the next Big XII invite. There were tactical disadvantages sure, but strategically this was the best thing the Big XII could do. By the way, TCU gets more TV viewership than A@M, has done so for the last 5 years, and isn't this all about TV sets and $ anyway. Welcome aboard TCU!!!

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Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 6 months ago

BYOB, I mean BYU and BS, I mean BSU, would be too, I mean two good additions.

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rob4lb 2 years, 6 months ago

There is nothing bold about the addition of TCU. They have had a good run in football, but once they play in a major conference, they will become a mid-pack team. The Big 12 already had Ft. Worth. TCU was practically begging to get invited. Unlike the Big 10, SEC and Pac-12, the Big 12 did not pull a program from a major conference. TCU does not come close to making up for the loss of NU, A&M or even Missouri.

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squawkhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Great! More Grapes to kick our A$$.

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TXBBall55 2 years, 6 months ago

This is a lame pickup anyway you want to slice it. TCU has been playing weak competition and I'm embarrassed that KU now shares a conference with them. Sugar coat it all you want Hawks.

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iluvdbskxjayhawks 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome home TCU! They worked so hard to finally get here. I bet they are ecstatic to play Baylor and Texas again. I'm happy for them! I am a football newbie. I didn't know LaDainian Tomlinson came from TCU. Wow! Didn't really care for football until the realignment issue came up last year. Now I really care about KU football since it's so important to realignment.

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Pitthawk34 2 years, 6 months ago

Sad that they have a much smaller school but yet place more emphasis on their football structure. 164 million while KU has a dump of a stadium. This is why we never will be taken seriously. I believe that it is time to make the investment for our future well being.

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Ben Kane 2 years, 6 months ago

I think we should add louisville and kentucky. kentucky has no business in the SEC, they get their brains beaten in every week, as do we, and trust me, i have to hear about it every monday.

plus, coach slimy can't out recruit us when we take it to him every year.

maybe it isn't the most tv sets, but it would be the whole state.

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pstonef 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome TCU and SCREW MIZZOU....dont let the door hit ya on the way out to the SEC !!! and I also want to be the first to say welcome to Louisville, WVU and BYU!!! RCJHKU

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notigers4me 2 years, 6 months ago

I am glad that they are the horned frogs and not the horny frogs. Welcome aboard we are glad that you have arrived.

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 6 months ago

I like how they built up the basketball program. They went 1-15 in the WAC. Granted they are better then KU in about every other sport.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 6 months ago

You would think that they would mention that in football they won 2 National Championships even if they came in 1935 and 1938. I would say that would be a fairly good accomplishment, if they were singling out football in the first place.

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gchawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome to the Big 12 TCU, proud to have you with us. I'm with you, drgnslayr, the purple thing does bother me a little, but I guess we'll learn to adapt. At least it's not yellow and black!

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William Blake 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh no! A double-dose of purple! It had never crossed my mind until now!

Oh well... welcome horny purple frogs! If we lick your back do we hallucinate?

; )

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Janet Scott 2 years, 6 months ago

I note 78,000 living alumni on the TCU fact sheet presented above. How many dead alumni? And why are the following high profile alums omitted from the "bragging list" above: Zorro, The Lone Ranger, Peter Pan, Snow White, Yogi Bear, Moamar Ghadaffi, Pee Wee Herman, and Captain Kangaroo?

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jhwkfan162515 2 years, 6 months ago

Welcome to the Big 12, Horned Frogs! Sorry we snubbed you back in '96. The Big 12 now gets a double dose of purple and white, but your brand of purple and white is so much classier than the purple and white of K-State!

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JayhawkLifer 2 years, 6 months ago

In a salute to one of their more colorful alumni:

Come on down, TCU, you're the next contestant on the Conference Carousel!

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Eric Dawson 2 years, 6 months ago

It's official, TCU has said thanks, we're glad to be on board. AD Chris Del Conte told his audience he knew if they worked hard they would get here. Quote: "We have made the promised land."

Welcome aboard, TCU!

Pardon me, Chuck -- is that the UL/WVU Choo-Choo?

All a-BOARD!

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bradynsdad 2 years, 6 months ago

Do not stop here. Pursue two more schools. Do not let the big 12 get picked apart again.

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justinryman 2 years, 6 months ago

This is good news as we are now back to 10 teams in the Big12.

Hopefully they, the Big12 can go get 2 more teams and not lose MU.

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