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Question of the Day
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) - When TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte was explaining his school’s decision last year to leave the Mountain West Conference, he pointed out that it wasn’t the same league the Horned Frogs had joined.
Neither is the Big East Conference, which the Horned Frogs are supposed to join next year.
TCU’s upcoming move to the Big East was supposed to be about stability and being in a conference with automatic access into the BCS.
But Syracuse and Pittsburgh are leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Without them, and without more changes, there will be only six other football teams in the Big East before TCU gets there next season.
TCU coach Gary Patterson opened his weekly news conference Tuesday by reminding everyone that “we are having a football season” and there have been some good games around all the conference realignment talk.
Patterson was then asked about the Big East changes after TCU had worked so long and hard to get into an automatic-qualifying conference.
“My guy’s in New York,” Patterson said, an apparent reference to Del Conte. “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have much time for it. Hopefully somebody will be smart about all this and understand what’s good for college football. But I think TCU will be fine.”
Three people with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press that presidents and athletic directors from the Big East’s six remaining football members, along with officials from TCU, were scheduled to meet Tuesday night with Commissioner John Marinatto in New York.
After TCU’s 38-17 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, when the 20th-ranked Frogs played the first home game since starting a $143 million modernizing renovation there, Del Conte said nothing surprised him because of all the moves that had been made and ongoing rumors about who was going where.
“There’s many earthquakes happening all the way around,” he said then, the day before Syracuse and Pitt announced their moves. “It’s just for us to make sure we can take care of our own house. That’s basically what we’re doing. … There’s six BCS conferences. We are in that discussion of those conferences and who is where. That’s the point of the move (to the Big East), is to make sure that you’re in the discussion.”
TCU has earned consecutive at-large berths into Bowl Championship Series games, and finished No. 2 in the AP poll last season after a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin to cap a 13-0 season.
“I don’t see us being any less of a commodity than we were last year when we were taken the first time. I think we’ll just keep doing what we do,” he said. “But I know that Mr. Del Conte, Chris our AD, has been doing everything in his power, on top of things to keep TCU positioned for whatever those are.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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