Following today's announcement by the Big East that the TCU Horned Frogs would be joining the Big East in 2012-13 in all sports, the nation turned its eyes back to the Mountain West Conference for some sort of reaction. After all, in TCU's six-year stay in the MWC, the Horned Frogs were one of the most successful members of the league, and could have been the catalyst for an automatic bid to be awarded out west (which still might happen, so that's worth mentioning).
Ah, but TCU went east, and now the MWC has to react. Here's the statement released earlier today by conference commissioner Craig Thompson:
"Today's intercollegiate athletics environment is very fluid," Thompson said. "Our Board of Directors and Directors of Athletics, as they have throughout the history of the MWC and with even more focus recently, will continue to analyze the landscape and chart our course in the context of ongoing changes. That includes conversations already underway with potential future members, as well as related discussions with our television and bowl partners.
"We appreciate the many contributions TCU has made to the growth and development of the Mountain West over the past six years. We look forward to shaping the future of the Conference in the coming months."
That's certainly a better response than Thompson's first draft, which was fifteen paragraphs of panicked expletives over and over. Probably. Maybe.
At any rate, losing TCU as a conference member is still a gutshot for the conference, as it sees its top football programs flee just as the WAC's top schools transition in. After all, even though TCU's scintillating 2010 campaign will still be "officially" considered in the MWC's bid to receive an automatic qualifier bid, is there any doubt that the BCS will find the conference lacking? There's no incentive for the BCS to actually bring the Mountain West into the fold -- just to maintain the appearance of due diligence. Shame, too, because it'd be nice to see that conference in a situation where it's not depending on one team to be perfect just to get the same shot at money as every other power conference gets. That arrangement didn't work for BYU , Utah , or TCU (all of whom have fled for more lucrative and forgiving situations), and Boise State shouldn't have to accept it either.