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Big 12 authorizes move to invite Texas Christian

October 6, 2011 | 10:05 am

Wait a minute ... wasn't Texas Christian heading to the Big East?

Yes, but that was yesterday. A lot can change in the rapid-fire world of college football. The Big 12 Conference, seemingly on the brink of extinction only days ago, announced Thursday morning that it had authorized its board of directors to begin negotiations to make TCU its 10th member.

"The action of the board was without dissent," the Big 12 said in a statement. "On the advice of legal counsel The University of Missouri did not participate in the vote."

This really is an Abbott and Costello routine. Missouri did not vote because it is mulling a decision to join the Southeastern Conference. Texas Christian, which plays in the Mountain West Conference, agreed last year to join the Big East Conference in 2012.

But nothing lasts forever in the breakneck world of college football realignment. Sometimes, things never get started.

The TCU move, if approved, is a boon to the Big 12 and a blow to the Big East, which has already lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the Atlantic Coast Conference and now must scramble to stay solvent.

"We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12," Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement. "Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation."

The Big 12, which lost Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac 12), will technically be back to 10 teams if TCU joins and Missouri stays.

If Missouri ends up becoming the SEC's 14th member, the Big 12 will need to add another team and might possibly add three more. The Big East will be down to six football-playing schools and will need to restock quickly to remain in the BCS rotation.

Ironically, the Big East may have to invite Temple back into the fold. The Owls were kicked out of the Big East after the 2004 season because of their lack of success in football. Temple is currently a member of the Mid-American Conference.


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Photo: Texas Christian's Brandon Carter tries to catch a pass as Portland State's Michael Williams defends on September 24. Credit: Sharon Ellman / MCT.