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Conference Hopping, Part IV

A lot has been said about TCU’s move to the Big East; this much is clear: it is clearly a money win for the Frogs, and a BCS standings win for the conference. It makes less sense for the conference’s basketball reputation, but TCU’s hoops recruiting surely will get a bump, before conference competition begins in 2012. In football, however, it seems clear that the conference landscape is shifting quickly already.

By the time TCU enters the fray in 2012, likely Syracuse will have bowled twice; Louisville may be a power again. Connecticut and South Florida appear to be realizing some of the abundant upside that made those schools compelling additions to the conference only a few years ago. Coaching staffs at Pittsburgh and West Virginia—currently the powers of the conference, if it has any at all—may have turned over. The conference’s TV deal expires in 2013, so negotiations may already be underway for the new deal. And, of course, there’s the mathematically-impaired elephant in the room: further Big 10 expansion.

These issues all are fluid, and all impact the contours of the Big East, and how they’ll play out over the next 18 months is anybody’s guess. So it is a through the foggiest of lenses that we peer into that Big East that will welcome TCU. Hopefully it is a substantially more competitive one than the outfit that issued the invitation.