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Conference Realignment: TCU Leaving Big East For Big 12

Less than a year after announcing that it was going to be the 17th member of the Big East Conference, sources are reporting that Texas Christian University is changing its mind and now, instead, will be joining the Big 12 Conference. The move to the Big 12 could happen as soon as next year and will cost the Horned Frogs $5 million. The exit will also leave the Big East with eight football-play members next season, but only six in 2014 when Syracuse University and Pittsburgh University relocate to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The change of heart by TCU isn't, at all, surprising. Rumors of the Horned Frogs reconsidering their move were swirling as soon as Syracuse and Pitt announced their plans to join the ACC in mid-September. Also, the Big 12's geography is obviously a much better fit for a Dallas-Fort Worth regional school than the Big East.

"These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU," said TCU chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. in a statement Thursday. "It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for many years. As always, we must consider what's best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12."

The question now is: what the heck is the Big East going to do? Especially, since there are reports that if the University of Missouri leaves the Big 12, then the University of Louisville will receiver an invitation to replace them.

"If Missouri completes its anticipated move to the SEC," wrote Mark Ennis of SB Nation's Big East blog Big East Coast Bias Thursday afternoon, "then it appears that Louisville would be the next team in line to join the Big XII as it likely heads toward 12 teams and a championship game again. After Louisville, Sittler reports, BYU, West Virginia, and Tulane are also under consideration."

It seems as if we're witnessing the extinction of the Big East.