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TCU AD: No Football-Only Big East Membership For Horned Frogs

At this point, pretty much all we know of the Big East conference expansion plan is that the conference does, in fact, intend to expand its ranks to include ten member football football schools. (If it can.) Following initial reports that the conference had spoken to TCU and Villanova about joining up, TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte first denied he'd been contacted about jumping ship from the Mountain West, and is now shooting down rumors they'd split up the school's programs, saying he wouldn't want to send Horned Frogs football to compete in a separate conference.

"We’re an athletic department," he said in a telephone interview with Sporting News. "Whatever endeavor we do, you’re united as one. That’s who we are. That’s how we always compete. We compete as one unit."

But, just to complicate matters, he's of course leaving options on the table (and invoking Bette Midler?):

"My sole job is to provide the wind beneath the wings for our teams to compete for championships, whatever that may be," he said. "I will always look at the things we need."

As for a move to the Big East, Del Conte said the reports remain premature, and that TCU’s football program is comfortable for now as a Mountain West Conference member.

For now. With TCU undefeated and gunning for a slot in the national title game, the view from a Horned Frog's blood-rimmed eyes must seem rosy indeed. If they win out and get slighted by Oregon or Auburn, however, it wouldn't be hard to imagine some longing gazes being cast towards a conference where TCU could immediately wreck shop and be guaranteed a BCS berth.

Or, this could all still be a coy smokescreen to get Nova to realize it's loved the Big East all along. Mon dieu, the suspense! Tune in this winter, when actual football ends and we'll be forced to talk about this kind of thing all the time.