Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's Official!!!

We're Hitched!
That's DeLoss in the dress.

Just in case you missed it, yesterday afternoon around 6:00PM the TCU Horned Frogs OFFICIALLY became the, for now, 10th member of the inappropriately named Big 12 Conference. Once the invite came down the waiting game was merely a formality - the Board of Trustees has to approve a decision like this and they are required to give 72 hours notice before calling a meeting- but it was still fun for speculation. I'll be honest, I thought to myself a few times, "What if we say no?" The slap in the face would've been absolutely hilarious at first, but then I probably would've quit being a TCU fan altogether and joined a monastery to get away from it all. Because those of you who think TCU would be better off in the SEC, which was never an option EVER, are dum dum dummyheads. I have all the faith in the world in our program, but even Alabama and LSU have 3-4 loss seasons regularly. That thing is a BEATDOWN.

I'm not going so far as CDC did when he said that this invite demonstrated that, "dreams DO come true," but even a TCU fan such as myself who has only been around for the good times realizes how gratifying going into the Big 12 is, no matter the current state of affairs. Gil LeBreton wrote an article suggesting that TCU should've stayed in the Big East. I'm hoping he was just doing it to be a contrarian, something I respect, because my GOD that is the most idiotic thing I have ever read. Outsiders look at the Big 12 and think, "HA! That thing is about as stable as Lindsay Lohan at an open bar wedding." Admittedly, this very site has said the same thing. But truthfully speaking, as long as OU and UT are on board, the Big 12 isn't going anywhere and based on the six year agreement that was just signed, we're in good shape for the immediate future. This is our 7th Football season in the MWC, easily the longest we've been in a Conference since the SWC disbanded. It's not like standing on shaky ground has hurt us to this point. Regardless of what happens in six years, we'll be in a perfectly fine position, and much better than where we would be had we remained in the Big East to "fight the good fight."

So what does this mean going forward; most importantly, what does it mean for our pocketbook? Well, for one, it's going to be in the neighborhood of $5 million lighter in the form of an exit fee from the Big East, although that fee may be able to be negotiated down, according to the Star-Telegram. However, when you consider the vast discrepancy between what we currently make from the paltry MWC Television contract vs. What we will make in the Big 12, that'll be the easiest check this athletic department ever has to write. If I have my numbers correct, and PLEASE correct me in the comments if I am off base, the Big 12's current TV contract with ESPN and Fox that runs for over 10 years will pay each member school $17 million annually; the MWC's TOTAL contract for all schools was $8.5 million. I'm not an accountant, but that's a pretty savvy business move there, no?

However, that figure does come with the caveat that TCU is reportedly not a full revenue member until the 2015 season. The breakdown is as follows: 2012 - 13: 50%, 2013-14: 64%, 2014-15: 84%, 2015-16: 100%. You may balk at the fact that we're having to essentially wait our turn at the big kids table despite being a full member, but think about it: The current Big East Contract is for $200 million; the current Big 12 contract is for OVER $1.5 BEELION. Even 50% is loads more than we would've received in the Big East as a full blown member. The Big East wooed us with promises of an upgraded TV deal next fall to rival that of the ACC's freshly minted $1.86 billion over 12 years, but that's pretty much a laugher at this point. Even if the Big East is able to survive by getting to 12 members in football, with the loss of TCU, Syracuse and Pitt, there's about a 0% chance they come anywhere close to being competitive with the other 5 BCS Conferences in the pocketbook sense. The Big East's turning down of ESPN was, at the time, a bold yet reasonable move: The Big East is tired of weeknight games and with what will be NBC Sports trying to get into the CFB mix, it wasn't crazy to think that a major financial windfall was in order. However, just as it happened with the MWC, turning down ESPN can have major downsides and the Big East is learning that the hard way. I hope those guys make it, but I don't have a good feeling about it. I get that we're all trying to play devils advocate by finding reasons to pick apart joining the Big 12, but money should not be one of them.

As for the Big 12 Conference itself, what can we look forward to? Truth be told, until this Missouri thing works itself out, it's just a big waiting game. They are the only Conference member not to sign the 6 year tier I, tier 2 TV agreement and the only member not to vote on TCU becoming a member. The Tigers have shot themselves in the foot a little bit these past few weeks by insinuating that their desire is to join Big Ten but, since the Big Ten won't have them, they GUESS they'll join the SEC. Before that I think the SEC could've gone either way. Now? Well, Mizzou may want to rebuild the bridges they've burned in the Big 12 because the SEC isn't taking the perceived slight too well. In fact, as we were announcing our entrance into the Big 12, the SEC heads were meeting as well. Unfortunately for Mizzou, expansion was NOT one of the topics of discussion. If you think it sounds fickle and trite that the SEC would turn down Conference expansion because their feelings were hurt, may I direct you to Exhibit A, the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical Aggies? Big 12 Commish Check Neinas said yesterday that the Big 12 was not interested in further expansion at this time. We've all heard that before - pretty much up until last Thursday if we're being honest - but that information, as well as chatter from other Big 12 leaders, suggests that they expect Missouri to be around. And if they bolt? Well, I think Louisville says yes about as quickly as we did. Personally, I think the Big 12 will eventually get back to 12 teams and a lucrative Championship game. How they get there is anyone's guess.

Another question was, "Should we take further stadium expansion into account due to likely record numbers of ticket sales going forward?" Personally, I say no because the more seats we create the more opportunities the T shirt fans of other schools have of poaching them. No matter our Conference situation, we have a bit of a ceiling, fan base numbers wise. But then again, we're going to have a legion of T shirt fans of our own after this. It's an interesting proposition. I seriously doubt they're going to switch horses in the middle of a $160 million renovation, but I bet it's an issue that will be raised and worth keeping an eye on. Also interesting is that one of the big knocks on TCU was that the Big 12 already controlled the Dallas market so there was no reason to add us. A valid point, but a valid-er point: TCU drew more eyes from the Dallas area last year than Texas A&M. Yet another reason why the TCU/aggy situation is addition by subtraction for the Big 12.

Of course, the biggest question of all, and one that was the thesis of LeBreton's article is, "All we do is bitch about Texas and mock the Baylors and Tech's of the world for being in a Conference they run... so what does that make us?" Well, hate to break it to you, but UT pretty much runs shit, not only in the state but overall in college football. Did you catch the UT/OU game? Because it was the most blatant ESPN orchestrated pro-UT bullshit you've ever heard. ON THE AIR Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musberger - the biggest UT lap dog in the biz - OPENLY begged viewers to call their local cable provider to request the Longhorn Network. You would've had no idea you were witnessing the Longhorns getting their bootyholes firmly kicked up and down the football field had you not been watching. It was sickening.

But is it really any different than things have always been?

Look, we're never going to out recruit Texas. We just aren't. The school has too much going for it - huge stadium, huge fanbase, Austin, tradition, etc. But now that we can settle the matter ON THE FIELD EVERY SINGLE YEAR, plus take the, "Well, we're in the Big 12, they aren't" card off the table? I wouldn't feel so down about it. Unless I was Texas Tech or Baylor. Then I'd feel REALLY down about TCU being in the Big 12. And for those who think the LHN is the great Satan that will eventually destroy the Conference, a trivia question: Do you know who made the most money from Third Tier TV rights in the Big 12 last year? Kansas. KANSAS! Sure did them a lot of good on the football field, didn't it? All that's to say, like it or not, Texas is always going to have an inherent advantage over every other team in the state because, as much as it makes me gag, "They're Texas." The LHN isn't going to make a bit of difference in that regard. But now that we're on as even ground with them as we're ever going to be, don't be surprised if some of that luster wears off. Not ALL, but SOME.

Being in the Big 12 is what we've always deep down wanted. It's the fruits of our Top 10 finishes, BCS bids and, perhaps most importantly or at least the icing on the cake, overall showing in Pasadena. Now we have it. Enjoy it. Rub it in. We've finally broken through. And even if it isn't a permanent move, it's the move we had to make at this particular point in time. We're not going to come in and run the thing year one. We probably won't in years two or three, either, or at least not until we get some proper depth. But we will compete. We won't be a Baylor or an Iowa State, rising up every 15 years or so. We will mix it up. We will shock folks in Norman and Austin. And at the end of the day, we will be a better program for it. Go Frogs.


Tanner said...

I didn't think about more seats equaling more visitor fans, but i suppose it is a valid argument. However, I feel sure if they put their mind to it, they can add some seats to the visitor side student section, and the endzone or something. i want a bigger stadium than baylor.

EdK said...

All valid points SWW.

Personally, I'd rather be the big fish in the small pond, than not-the-biggest-fish in a big pond.

Frogger98 said...

It is nice to know that Baylor had no idea we were coming in at all:

Baylor football coach Art Briles:
“I haven’t even kept up with them coming in or what they are doing. “They have done a good job staying proactive with their facilities and their program.”

I am very excited for this game next year. GMFP.

BuckNasty said...

Competitively, the Big 12 is a much better fit, but it would have been soooo sweet to join the "premier" football conference and send a big F You south down 35. Either way, I'm pumped and very excited. Gamedays will never be the same.

Geezer Frog said...

It's been hilarious reading Smoo and Agrito bloggers.....I'm not sure who's more PO'd about the Frogs going to the Big 12. You may not have realized that Nebraska and aTm have been the 2 real powerhouses the last 14 years.........

Mantikos said...

Baylor's stadium might be bigger...but that shit is NASTY!
1 restroom for 1 whole side of the stadium and no concession stands...horrible parking situation...just plain horrible infrastructure...I'd rather be the nicest...heck we have more stuff in our rec center than UT does and they have almost 5 times the number of students...

Slay Purple said...

Did anybody else hear the part about our initial "Campaign For TCU" goal was $250 mil, then they had to up it to $375 mil & it is currently over $400 mil? That combined with our domination of SMU in the young alumni donations (in the part that actually matterd: amount) shows that our alumni all 68,000 of them seem to be doing pretty well in life...

Sir Wesley Willis said...

EdK - I'm just curious, HOW can you honestly justify that we should've stayed in the Big East? In the current NCAA environment - read: C.R.E.A.M., get the money, dollar dollar bills yall - that would have been a suicide mission. We'd be begging our way into the Sun Belt in 2 years.

EdK said...

SWW, I'm not justifying anything. I just wish things had turned out differently.

Yes, the TCU teams of recent past, present and future are and will be better than the ones during the dying days of the SWC, but I've had a bellyful of seeing the Frogs get their butts kicked. Two decades worth, brother. And it's going to happen. Yes, they may win the Big 12 title one of these years, but I sure enjoyed winning the MWC regularly and would have enjoyed winning the Big East most of the time.

Just remember how you felt after the Baylor game this year. OK, multiply that times three or four every year. Frankly, I'm not looking forward to it, even if it means we whip UT every couple of years.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

I see your point and understand, but TCU is in a VASTLY different situation now as opposed to the SWC. I agree we will take lumps early while we build depth, but it's foolish to say we are going to lose at least 4 games a year.

As for winning the MWC and only guaranteeing the Vegas or poinsettia vs not always winning Thr big 12 but still getting Thr cotton, holiday or Alamo? I'm taking the later all day and twice on Saturday. Besides. You're inevitably going to see the 2 team per conference
Limit go away in the BCS which will take away an at large, plus I'd expect tougher qualifications for non AQs in the next round of negotiations as they won't let it become a placeholder for Boise year after year. So 3 potential slots In the big 12 vs 1 otherwise? Let's just say I like those odds

shortnkerley's said...

EdK- that is such a flawed mentality. You're starting to sound like a guy that thinks winning a double A championship would be better than losing the ALCS. This isn't 1990- TCU isn't exactly gonna get worked by big 12 teams. Have you seen Texas play lately? They may be losing a coach soon after this run of games they're about to lose.

EdK said...

Hey, EVERYBODY is happy about this move, I get it.

I just want to make the counter-point here. TCU won five, count 'em FIVE, home games while I was a student. Between Coach Jim Pittman's heart attack in 1971 until TCU's great victory in the 1998 Sun Bowl over USC, TCU football -- with the exception of Wacker's unbelieeeeeeable 1984 team -- was a barren wasteland. I don't even count that silly four-way title under Pat Sullivan.

Since Patterson took over, TCU football has been fun and rewarding and exciting and purely wonderful. Most of your contribtors and readers don't even remember F.A. Dry. I had to interview him after all of those dreadful, one-sided losses. It wasn't fun.

Anyone who went to TCU after LT was there has been spoiled with success and think it's going to just go on and on. I hope you are right. I repeat, I hope you are right.

TCU WILL be competitive, of course. I just liked kicking ass every week ... who cares what name is on the opponents' jerseys.

Besides, I live in L.A. I liked going to the Poinsettia Bowl 90 minutes away.

Lyle Lanley said...

There is a certain charm in being the dreaded & feared team in a league, like TCU has been in the MWC. I get that.

But not wanting to go to the Big 12 because it's a bigger, badder challenge? That kind of defeatism goes against everything TCU stands for!

We got invited to play with the big boys. If you want to stay in the sandbox, I'll ask Rice's mother if she'd mind looking after you for a while.

EdK said...

Sorry, one last point.

I'm tired of hearing this from the media and others -- the "big boys," "eating at the adult table," etc. TCU's beaten Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Clemson, Wisconsin and other "big boys" recently. TCU has no need to prove its legitamacy.

We did just fine without the Big 12-10, as I recall we finished in the Top Ten a time or two or three. A couple of BCS bowls, some all-Americans. Games on ESPN.

So don't tell me that I don't think TCU is up to the challenge. I just -- as I have said repeatedly -- wish we hadn't wound up in the damn Big 12-10. I hate all those damn schools, except the two in Kansas.

shortnkerley's said...

Can we just make it a rule that you can no longer reference the pre-GP era when trying to prove a point about the current state of the program? Yes, we sucked in the 80s. So did the Yankees.

EdK said...

shortnkerley, I think it's important to recall the pre-GP era. I LIVED it. It, hopefully, gives some perspective to my point of view.

BuckNasty said...

you can have your opinion, just don't give up on the team during the down years, bc all teams go through them. I'm not saying we're going to come in and run the table, but we couldn't have asked for a better time to join. OU and OSU will most likely be starting new QBs and will be missing other key players, and UT still hasn't found a QB. If our D can mature ALOT by then, I think we will have the chance to compete in the first year. Our offense has shown how explosive it can be and Pachall will have had alot of experience under his belt, so who knows?

Sir Wesley Willis said...

EdK, you are henceforth known as eeyore due to your wet blanketing. Glad that is out of the way.

I understand how what you went thru as a fan back then can have a negative impact on this decision, but it shouldn't. You are basically being an anti- Aggy in thE sense that you are letting the events of 15-20 years ago cloud your current mentality. Except your case is different because the ags are using their one big 12 championship to prop themselves up while ignoring the past 15 years while you are ignoring the past 15 years to tear us down in favor of the tcu teams of the 80s. This isn't healthy and you should probably get that condition checked out. I recommend contacting the athletic depRtmemt for copies of the highlight videos of the patterson era. They're good

Sir Wesley Willis said...

Your point would be lot more valid if the big east was looking like it'd be around beyond the current bcs cycle, but it's almost certainly losing it's status. And why on earth would we want to remain in the mwc? In the big 12 we lose 2 games and play in the cotton bowl around new years; we lose two in the mwc and we playin Shreveport before Christmas. No brainer sir. No brainer.

Travis said...

I'm tired of hearing that TCU is going to be the same as it was back in the SWC days... This team is 20 times better than back then! We will be a top tier team in the Big 12

D said...

Personally, I'm also pro BIG12 and believe this decision was made because of the Patterson Era, and what Travis said.

HFrog77 said...

Hey, another old alum here (from the mid-70s). On one level, I totally get where EdK's coming from. He commented that TCU won only 5 home games while he was a student. I was there from fall of 73 to spring of 77 -- we won only 5 TOTAL games during that time, and most of those were against the likes of UNT and UTA as I recall.

That said, it's a completely different situation today. GP is unquestionably one of the best coaches in America. We have been winning recruits from OU, A&M, UT and others from our place in the MWC. Those school's recruiting slam against TCU and the MWC is now totally gone. Sure, UT will win their share of 5-star recruits, but how'd that work out for them last year? Mack Brown doesn't develop players once they get there, GP does.

We may go 9-3 or 10-2 rather than 13-0, but we'll be in the hunt for the Big XII title every year we have GP. UT, OU, OSU and the others make one slip and we finish ahead of them in the standings. I can't wait for our small private school of 8,000 to field better teams than the CEO-type coaches. We have the chance to be the Miami or USC of the state of Texas (without the police blotter they currently have). So sweet!

FrogHorn07 said...

I am with EdK... and I am class of '07, but I have been going to games since I was 2. I remember watching the Frogs get mopped all over Amon Carter by A&M and even losing at the Carter to Rice, RICE!!!

I hate OU and Tech and Texas and Baylor... but in the Big 12-10 I see us going 8-4 year in year out and the dream season will be 10-2 Cotton Bowl.

We will have tough games and squeeck out wins versus teams like KSU, Tech and Baylor, the have to go on the road the next week to Austin or Norman. After a trip to Norman your team is beat up (physically, even if you some how won) and then you still have Okie State the next week...

Your average good season is 8-4, a good season is 10-2, the bad seasons are 5-7... The dream is 2008 Texas Tech 11-1 Cotton Bowl.

Rotten Arsenal said...

I'm a mid-range... '97 grad. I remember 1984 and the disappointment of losing to Texas. I remember being a little kid and crying in the upper deck because two drunk aggie fans were hurling expletive laden personal insults at Wacker. Or the time when I was helping park cars for University Christian Church and a Suburban full of Aggies didn't want to wait their turn and actually hit me with their bumper. I remember the silliness of 1994 and the sheer agony of 1997. my mom hated Baylor til the day she died because of the whole Jim Pittman thing.
Yeah, there was a whole lot of shit for decades. And because of it, I both hate any former SWC team (except Rice... you really can't hate Rice) and am severely pessimistic when it comes to TCU athletics. So, I have mixed feelings about this as well.
Was the Big12 my first choice? Hell no. Is it better than the Big East. Hell yeah.
The Big East, despite its current BCS AQ, is regarded as slightly better than the MWC and had we won that league frequently, we still wouldn't have gained much respect.
We went from winning one game in 1997 to regularly being mentioned in "National Champion" talk the last few years. CMFP has the skills to take whatever he has and make it do whatever he needs. I don't think that will change.

EdK said...

All I can offer is my perspective. I'm not endorsing the MWC or the Big East, per se. I just HATE the Big 12.

AND I REALLY enjoy kicking ass. It was a long time coming. Not so long at all for recent grads. Don't blame me for wanting TCU to beat the tar out of everyone it plays.

And, yes, I would rather go 11-1 against TCU's most recent competition than go 9-3 against the "big boys." I hope and pray TCU goes 13-0 again and beats OU and Texas and whomever in the Cotton Bowl year after year. But let's be realistic.

Y'all may not believe it, but I am among TCU's most loving and loyal fans. I've been to 100 games in person, never missed one on TV (unless it was on the mtn). I bleed purple.

I just want to WIN WIN WIN.