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.
The move helps add stability to a conference that has lost three members over the last year and stands to possibly lose Missouri to the SEC. TCU is a football program on the rise under coach Gary Patterson and will help add even more credibility to an already solid football conference.
For the Big East, this means more doom and gloom. TCU, while not a great geographic fit, helped the Big East tap into the lucrative Texas television markets and added a much-need respectable football program. Worse for the Big East is that current members Louisville and West Virginia could be next on the Big 12's expansion wish list.
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.
The Big East has expressed interest in aggressively pursuing expansion, possibly offering invites to service academies like Air Force and Navy, but there's no doubt this is another blow to a conference that really can't afford many more.
Should Louisville and West Virginia get invites to the Big 12 and leave the Big East, that'd essentially be the end of the more than 30-year old conference. With Connecticut, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and South Florida the lone remaining football playing schools in the conference, it could end the days of Big East football.
The 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.