Breaking News: Sources report that TCU will accept an invitation to the Big XII Conference, paying $5 million to be released from Big East commitment. Missouri is still undecided about staying or leaving. BYU and/or Louisville are expected receive an invitation if Missouri leaves for the SEC. The Big XII is committed to a ten team league (for now).
The Big 12 unanimously voted to extend an invite to Texas Christian to join its conference, according to a report.
Texas Christian, set to join the Big East in the 2012, is expected to accept the offer and join the Big 12 for the 2012-2013 school year. TCU will have to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East after already accepting its invite, but will not have to endure a 27 month waiting period like the Big East is forcing upon Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who defected to the ACC.
This move comes only a week after Big East schools, including TCU, affirmed commitment to staying in the conference and helping to aggressively pursue other member schools. TCU’s likely departure to the Big 12 shows that the conference realignment carousel doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon, even if it occasionally looks to be slowing down.
According to CBS Sports, the Big 12 could stop its expansion efforts at 10 teams if Missouri stays on board. That’d be good news for the Big East, but there’s a lot of smoke suggesting that Missouri is eager to join the SEC.
One restructuring possibility for the Big East is to invite Navy for football only, add Temple and Central Florida for all sports and have Villanova make the move up to the FBS level. That would give the football side 10 institutions and would appease the basketball side as well, since there would be 16 basketball schools.
The Big East must have a minimum of seven football schools to keep their automatic BCS bid. Even if the Big East survives, the automatic BCS Bowl bid won’t. The champions of the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern conferences have automatic berths in one of the BCS bowls through the 2013 regular season.
Each conference had an opportunity to earn annual automatic qualification through a four-year evaluation covering the regular seasons of 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Atlantic Coast, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences met the threshold and earned automatic qualification through the 2013-14 season.
Another conference could qualify for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 bowl season based on an evaluation of the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 regular seasons.