It's now official. Texas Christian University has scheduled a 2 p.m. ET news conference Monday to announce it will join the Big East in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year.
The news conference will be streamed live on TCU's athletic website: http://gofrogs.cstv.com/.
The move was formally approved earlier today by TCU officials and a vote of the Big East presidents. Although TCU doesn't fit geographically or culturally with the Big East, the fit makes economic sense for both sides.
The Horned Frogs (12-0) currently are third in the BCS standings, but they belong to the Mountain West Conference, which does not have an automatic BCS bowl bid that assures a spot in one of the five big-money BCS games. The Big East champion does have automatic qualifier status, but the highest-rated Big East team at the moment is West Virginia at No. 24 and Connecticut could wind up with the bid despite not cracking the top 25.
TCU's addition will give the Big East nine FBS schools and 17 overall. Big East officials have indicated the ultimate goal is to have 10 football-playing schools. Villanova, which competes in the Big East in all sports except football, has been invited to upgrade from FCS football but is still evaluating the possibility. It looks increasingly more realistic that the Big East will add either Central Florida or Houston from Conference USA as the 10th football member in time for the 2012 season.