The conference realignment train keeps on moving, with TCU becoming today's new passenger. The Big XII voted to open negotiations with TCU for the purpose of adding it as the conference's 10th school, replacing Texas A&M. As the linked post discusses, this move - and public announcement - by the Big XII does not make sense unless TCU is already on board. As you might remember, it was just a few months ago that the Horned Frogs made the leap into the BCS-Conference picture by agreeing to join the Big East as of Fall 2012. TCU is not bound by the 27-month waiting period that affects current members of the conference, but must pay an exit fee to get out of the conference.
The pending departure of Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC weakened the Big East considerably, and the failure of TCU to join is likely its death knell, at least as a BCS-caliber football conference. The $5 million that TCU has to pay the Big East to break its agreement, as well as the exit fees payable by Pitt and Syracuse may keep the 6 other football schools on board for a little longer. But with the conference's BCS automatic qualifying status up for review in 2 years - hint, it's not getting renewed - the need to add 2 more schools just to preserve D-1A (FBS) status, and the likelihood that the Big XII will be adding 2 or 3 more schools in the near future, the safe bet is that the remaining Big East programs are already making phone calls to the folks with influence in the ACC and Big XII.
In just a few weeks, we have gone from the Big XII on the verge of collapse and the Big East looking at absorbing some of the remnants to become one of the super-conferences to possibly the latter consolidating into a supersized Missouri Valley Conference/WCC, while the Big XII regains some strength, and sets itself to expand back to its old size. What do y'all make of it?