The TCU Horned Frogs will join the Big East conference as a full-time member in the 2012-2013 season, according to AOL FanHouse. The move means TCU, which is currently in the Mountain West, isn't waiting around for an automatic BCS bid, since as a member of the Big East they can immediately move into yearly BCS contention in a conference whose football members have been less than impressive in recent history.
The move signals a few things as far as TCU's thinking regarding its football program, the team that is the unquestioned centerpiece of its athletic program.
First, it means TCU isn't going to wait on the BCS to give it a spot as a "non-AQ" school, its current status since as a member of the Mountain West they compete with Boise State and other non-BCS schools for the one reserved slot in the bowl rotation each year. It also means they're shoring up the revenues of the school's program for the long-term. Most importantly from a media perspective, it means they're tired of playing on The Mountain, the disastrous and little-viewed television network the Mountain West broadcasts many of their games on, and want to improve their national profile by playing nationally televised ESPN games on a regular basis. Going from 38 million subscribers on The Mountain to the national span of ESPN is certainly worth the move all by itself.
It also means TCU will be playing basketball in a 17 team Big East conference in the winter's favorite indoor sport. Revenue-wise that's certainly a boost for the Horned Frogs, but it's also introducing themselves to a punishing conference schedule in hoops. Though the consideration of basketball is certainly a secondary one for TCU--this is a football move, and a football move through and through--it is still worth mentioning for the fun of envisioning Syracuse's basketball team playing TCU twice a year. (Forecast: PAIN.)