Am I upset that TCU spurned the Big East to join the Big 12? Hell no. I think it’s a great move by TCU because the competition is better, it plays more towards their market and it’s a return to a sense of traditionalism for the conference.
TCU was a member of the old southwest conference before it merged with the Big 8 and became the Big 12 in the mid-90’s. TCU has long standing rivalries with a lot the current Big 12 members including Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor and the rekindling of those rivalries would be great for the conference and college football as a whole.
The move also gives the Big 12 another big name as Texas A&M bolts for the SEC and. The addition of TCU is a great start, but the Big 12 needs to go further… they should go back to their SWC roots and readmit SMU and Houston into the new Big 12.
Why not? Houston is a great mid-major football school that has flirted with BCS contention a few times in the past decade and SMU is back on the rise under June Jones. these moves would make the most sense geographically and football wise and bring more traditionalism back to college football.
SMU and Houston were two of the many schools forced out of the Big 12 in the mid 90’s as realignment changed college football the first time. For them to rejoin the Big 12 would bring the conference full circle and add more balanced competition to the conference.
Let’s be real with ourselves, Kansas is not that good of a football program and Iowa State hasn’t been relevant for years, Houston and SMU have had better seasons than both Kansas and Iowa State in the last few years (also better than Colorado before they left the Big 12) and have great fans and great football history. They are true football schools who care very much for their teams and embrace the spirit and pageantry of Saturdays. Football is religion in Texas, high school games are just as big as NFL games in other cities, to add two more Texas schools to the Big 12 would make Saturdays even more of an event then they already are.
SMU and Houston are mostly offensive schools and their schemes fit into the way that the Big 12 plays (because as good as Oklahoma State is we know damn well that they play no defense at all. same for Texas Tech and Baylor.). if you think Big 12 games are shootouts now just imagine if Case Keenum and Kyle Padron were in the conference.
The only issue with the addition of these schools would be stadium sizing and marketability. Both SMU and Houston have stadiums that fit 35,000 people and they would be the two smallest stadiums in the conference. Also could Houston and SMU draw a good TV audience? SMU is located in Dallas but TCU (located in Fort Worth) has a strangle hold on the market thanks to their recent run in the spotlight. As for Houston, The Texans were having trouble selling out games as recent as two years ago so how can the city embrace a college team in the spotlight?
Even with the big city issues the schools fit the mold for the conference because the Big 12 doesn’t need any big name programs to add to their name brand. They need good football programs to keep the games competitive and exciting.
In a era where realignment is the main topic of discussion and everyone is trading in tradition for money the Big 12 is rebuilding itself by returning to its roots. TCU is the perfect addition to the conference and will help to continue the high level of play that the conference is used to.
The Big 12 should continue its back to the future realignment by adding SMU and Houston. It’s good for the conference, the region of which it plays and it’s great for the fading tradition of college football.