Mountain West Football: TCU May Stick Around in the MW

Michael ClineCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2011

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley #85 of the TCU Horned Frogs runs with the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers in the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Because of conference instability in the Big East, and the Big 12 for that matter, TCU has been re-invited into their own conference. The Horned Frogs are set to depart from the MW next season, but after Syracuse and Pitt bolted for the ACC, the Big East is in danger of collapse.

While the Big East tries to pick up the pieces, TCU will try and avoid instability. And because the Mountain West is possibly a year away from automatic qualification into the BCS, the Horned Frogs would be crazy to leave a rising conference like the Mountain West.

Back to the Big East, the conference will attempt to recruit other colleges, including the military institutions. And today, it was announced that ECU, a member of the C-USA, may be on its way to the Big East in order to counter the loss of Syracuse and Pitt. This move will greatly impact the C-USA and MW talks about a football alliance.

If the C-USA loses one team, the dominoes will begin to fall. The C-USA may be a target for the Big 12, and it is already one for the Big East. The Mountain West could also use some of the teams from the C-USA (Houston, SMU, UTEP, etc.). If expansion continues, the C-USA, which was a stable conference up to today, may be the one going under.

Also, adding Texas schools to the Mountain West gives more incentive for TCU to stay. These additions would make the Mountain West a prime candidate for an automatic berth to a BCS Bowl. This could happen as early as 2013.

Despite the Pac-12's choice to stay at 12 teams, expansion will continue in many conferences, including the Mountain West.