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.


— 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.”


justinryman 10 years, 7 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.

Kyle Helmer 10 years, 7 months ago

If you are trolling around on a KU site, then you pretty much confirmed that everything does indeed revolve around KU basketball. Jealousy is a horrible thing my friend. Are you still going to display that SEC logo when the Tiggers are winning 4-5 games per year? And no, the Big 12 will NOT take you back. You people crack me up.

Bob Zielinski 10 years, 7 months ago

ooooohhhh. 'half a man' and 'be there at high noon'. This is some very tough talk, even for a message board dork. Good luck with the showdown, big man.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 7 months ago

It's called Einsteins Theory of Special Jayhawktivity... Don't they teach you anything in MO?

bradynsdad 10 years, 7 months ago

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

Pitthawk34 10 years, 7 months ago

Yep, there is a reason some schools did not want to sign no more than a 6 year waiver. This is why our administration had better get this football mess in order here in the next 3 years and had better start right now on renovations to our shell of a stadium. We we dont we will deserve what we get. Pleas tell me the administration understands. Could someone at LJW please ask Zenger about improvemnets on the shell of the stadium so we will have something to sell once realingment appears again.

Eric Dawson 10 years, 7 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!

JayhawkLifer 10 years, 7 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!

gchawk 10 years, 7 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!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 7 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.

Steve Jacob 10 years, 7 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.

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

By being in the best basketball conference in the country and located in the most recruiting rich state in the country, their program will change soon.

notigers4me 10 years, 7 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.

pstonef 10 years, 7 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

Ben Kane 10 years, 7 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.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 7 months ago


Great suggestion. I would love playing Kentucky every year, especially in basketball. That would be sweeeeeet!

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

Oh, the non-stop fun of having Calipari and Pitino in the same league! Sportswriters would flock to the league for the quote-of-the-day.

Pitthawk34 10 years, 7 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.

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Memorial stadium is not a dump! It is a beautiful place to watch a game. All my friends from the texas schools say that. Its just that the game we bave to endure from our teams makes it hard for us to think so

Pitthawk34 10 years, 7 months ago

Are U serious. I have been to all stadiums in the big 12 except Texas and TAM. Trust me our shell of a stadium is terrible compared to all others. I am not talking about the view of the hill I am talking about the facility structure and amenities. We are far and I mean far behind other schools. Im not taking about the new addition but the shell and amenities.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 7 months ago

I agree. People who think Memorial Stadium is a dump are looking purely at size. Some people just don't see beauty right when it's in front of them. I wonder what their wives look like.

Pitthawk34 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow..What the hell are with people. I cant believe that people feel Memorial is something to be proud of. I take it these people have not been to other stadiums. Go and visit other stadiums and then you will know how far behind we really are. The view of the hill is great but the damn stadium is a hunk of junk. PERIOD.

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 7 months ago

It needs upgrades, remove the track have the KU relays at wichita state. It's the view of campus you're in love with.

741hawk 10 years, 7 months ago

The ONLY stadium in the Big 12 and one of only 3 in the BCS with a damn track inside the stadium! How does anyone expect KU to establish a home field advantage when the fans are 8 lanes away from the field . . . and a horseshoe configuration that puts 30% of the fans farther away than that?

Since 1985 (I've been pleading) . . . tear out the track!

Unfortunately, Lew spent all the money. (We don't have enough to fire a coach.)

Pitthawk34 10 years, 7 months ago

Yep, you are right. 70 million in renovations would do wonders. Every year that passes the costs go up and up.

Cmill1221 10 years, 7 months ago

Clearly none of you have been to an Iowa state game. (even with renovations) it's nit much more than a high school.

texashawk10 10 years, 7 months ago

All of you bitching about the stadium, put your money where your fingers are and donate to the athletic department and earmark that money specifically for Memorial Stadium renovations. If you don't want to help improve the stadium by donating for it, then shut the hell up about it.

MDHawk 10 years, 7 months ago

I was thinking the other day that now might be the perfect time to ask for donations to renovate the stadium. We're all quite aware that football was a large driving force behind realignment (not sure what the case is for Moo), and the scare of being left out seemed like good motivation for folks to give. I don't believe the stadium is hideous by any means, but could certainly use a face-lift.

That said, I agree with Texashawk. You can give at any time, and there are better ways to rally support than on a message board.

iluvdbskxjayhawks 10 years, 7 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.

TXBBall55 10 years, 7 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.

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure they're really impressed with ku football.

texashawk10 10 years, 7 months ago

Who was the last team to beat Oklahoma in Norman? Who won the Rose Bowl last year? Who has more BCS appearances, KU or TCU?

TXHawk55 10 years, 7 months ago

Who has gotten to rack up easy wins against Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, and Wyoming while KU has had to play Nebraska, UT, Oklahoma, et al? It's easy to get a big bowl win when you've been playing Juco level teams all season. Your team isn't all beat to heck. KU will hug it's recent Orange Bowl and National Championship bball trophies. TCU is pathetic and KU needs to be looking for the fire exits ASAP.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

The fire exits? As much as I hate to see another Texas team enter the league as well, we don't really have many options unless you're interested in playing in a non-bcs conference. Playing on the west or east coast for conference play is just plain stupid for many reasons. The Big XII is our best option. Period.

TXHawk55 10 years, 7 months ago

Well, since you said "Period" it must be true. Adding TCU is a fail.

Steve Corder 10 years, 7 months ago

Lame or not, it's a good regional pick up and at this point very much needed for the conference profile. Adding a school was needed after all the losses and talk of defection.

OU & UT are the linchpins that holds the conference together and keeps it a BCS conference. TCU, K-State, KU, TxA&M, MU, etc. are basically interchangeable.

doctorWho 10 years, 7 months ago

Then think of TCU as replacing CU, a lame loss.

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

Tell that to Big Ten Champion Wisconsin. Two BCS bowls in two years without an automatic bid? They have earned it. When Ku got to one BCS bowl in our history we were all ecstatic. TCU is the next best Texas school (beyond those we have) and are an acceptable addition, especially at a time when we need another school.

Lance Cheney 10 years, 7 months ago

Any school we added would kick our a$$...

rob4lb 10 years, 7 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.

TXBBall55 10 years, 7 months ago


KU got caught unprepared for this round of realignment. TCU is just enough duct tape to hold this ship together, but all of these overzealous posts are too funny. Adding TCU was a step back, but at least I'll get to watch the Hawks kick the tar out of TCU in basketball every year.

rob4lb 10 years, 7 months ago

I think the conference can be very good if MU stays and the Big 12 adds two more schools like BYU and Louisville or West Virginia.

TXBBall55 10 years, 7 months ago

BYU would be a GREAT pick up. Great fan base and good all around sports program.

DevilHawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"Unlike the Big 10, SEC and Pac-12, the Big 12 did not pull a program from a major conference."

TCU was on the way to the Big East.

Many find it difficult to consider the Big East a "major conference" in football, but it is a BCS AQ league.

fearsadness14 10 years, 7 months ago

not true, Rob. They beat up on Wisconsin in the rose bowl, the same wisconsin team who beat up on Nebraska, who was a perennial title hope for the big 12.

Steve Corder 10 years, 7 months ago

TCU wasn't added to "make up" for the losses.

Bold? No, but is it significant? If it is then what makes it significant?

Baylor was at one time thought to have been a wart on the conference and that it had no place in the Big 12. Remember? Small private school. Lousy basketball! Cream puff football? Terrible facilities!

Be very careful about your perspective being KU "end-all-be-all" (basketball only).

TCU is the beginning of major conference reallignments and the Big 12 will be better when the dust settles, and so will KU.

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

It doesn't make much sense to live in the past. See today for what it is and think about how to be better today. That generally takes good care of tomorrow.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 7 months ago

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

xanto 10 years, 7 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!!!

jgkojak 10 years, 7 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.

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

Neither Notre Dame nor Air Force wants anything to do with the Big XII. Air Force AD spoke this week saying he could not compete for athletes in the Big XII. Notre Dame is Texas on steroids. Attitude and action alike. We don't need them. Louisville is a reasonable match for us. BYU is OK but out of the Midwest. Both of them stretch us a bit too much - especially for non-revenue sports.

jchief40 10 years, 7 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.

jchief40 10 years, 7 months ago

If the world revolved around bball then maybe. But I'll pass.

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

If Calipari was good enough for Memphis, Memphis is not good enough for us.

temjay 10 years, 7 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.

texashawk10 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure having a KState alum as football coach would go over about as well as having a KState alum as AD, unless all of the SZ haters are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites if they embrace Patterson and do nothing but whine about anything KU related unless it involves the men's basketball team.

LSHawk 10 years, 7 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?

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

I am hoping that there is no chance of it happening. WVU belongs in the East, not in the Midwest. Besides we would have to once again put up with Bob Huggins.

REHawk 10 years, 7 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.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 7 months ago

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

Robert Brown 10 years, 7 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.

Steve Corder 10 years, 7 months ago

Fort Worth, as a city, is all TCU and not Tech or any other Texas school. Fort Worth has been and is crazy about TCU. If you drive through the city on any fall Saturday you'll see purple everywhere and not the colors of UT, Baylor, Tech or A& me on at least that part of your post.

Brian Powell 10 years, 7 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

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps you have not been reading the statements as released or the reported desire by MU to go to the BIg Ten in 2010 which seemed to precipitate the whole split last year (the Big Ten turned them down). MU is all about MU with no apparent thought for their fellow long-standing partners in college athletics.

This is not about our fans, out coaches or our administrators. It is all about MU.

jaycard 10 years, 7 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!!!!!

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad to hear your enthusiasm about Ft. Worth, jaycard. But I think you turned a couple of things around.

The girls are cheap and the drinks are beautiful !

master16 10 years, 7 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.

lee3022 10 years, 7 months ago

Lost one (TAM) and gained one (TCU) so maintaining a balance of Texas schools. Four compared to two for any other state is not so much when considering the size and population of Texas.

master16 10 years, 7 months ago

wait nvm, you're right when i posted that for some reason i had forgotten that A&M was out.

lee3022 10 years, 7 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.

jaybate 10 years, 7 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.)

texashawk10 10 years, 7 months ago

71% of co-eds contemplated suicide after sex, so what you're saying is that 71 MU co-eds worked up the courage to have sex with their brother instead of the horses or goats or whatever animals roam around campus. That explains the >1% climax rate, but what I want to know is how many of those co-eds prefer their brother to their pet? Answer me that jaybate.

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