FanHouse's Brett McMurphy broke the story that TCU has accepted an invitation to join the Big East conference. The Horned Frogs have one more year in the MWC before going to the Big East in 2012.
This is huge for both parties. The Big East has had a pretty rough 2010, with it going without a ranked team in more weeks than it's had one. I don't know how eager the BCS power brokers were to see a conference lose its automatic bid, but the Big East was in the most danger of it. TCU immediately gives the conference its first national title contender since Bobby Petrino left Louisville and Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia.
The move also helps TCU, even if the travel budget just jumped. It stands to make more money in the Big East, which has better TV contracts than the MWC does. It also gets the Frogs off of the black hole that is The Mtn and into the loving arms of the ESPN family of networks. Plus, the obvious: the Big East has an automatic BCS bid and therefore gets a truckload more money per year.
This is bad news for Boise State, which basically traded the WAC of today for a slightly better WAC in the MWC of the future. Of the three big non-AQ programs, two (Utah, TCU) have now been called up to the big leagues. Only the Broncos are still on the outside looking in.
The Big East voted early in the month to add two schools in order to expand to 10 football-playing members. TCU is one of them. Possibilities for the other team include Villanova, UCF, Houston, and Temple.