Posted by Bryan Fischer
It's official, TCU has traded in San Diego for Storrs for Stillwater. No more Laramie or Louisville when they've got Lubbock.
Spurning the chance to play in the Big East before they ever became an actual member of the conference, the Horned Frogs officially accepted an invitation to the Big 12 today. With a ceremony held at the school today, the program officially joins their fifth conference since leaving the old SWC but become a part of the one they've been looking to join ever since it was formed.
As one of the true success stories in college football, TCU has gone from an after thought in the 1990's to a perennial top 25 team and Rose Bowl champion under head coach Gary Patterson. Already selling recruits on his coaching ability and a move to a BCS automatic qualifying conference (with the Big East), the staff can now tell players they can stay closer to home and play traditional powers like Texas and Oklahoma. (And beat them, as the Horned Frogs did in Norman in 2005.)
The 2012 recruiting class Patterson and company have assembled so far has the makings of the best ever in their time in Fort Worth. Defensive end Edward Pope held offers from LSU and Texas A&M among others but was an early commit to the Horned Frogs. McPherson (Kan.) quarterback Tyler Matthews was an Elite 11 and 'The Opening' selection and will be headed south to play college football. Tight end Griffin Gilbert is the younger brother of former Texas signal-caller Garrett Gilbert and one of the top tight ends in the southwest. Running back LaDarius Anthony was drawing SEC interest and held an offer from Tennessee.
With the move to the Big 12, recruiting at TCU should continue to improve and being the only BCS conference school in the talent rich Dallas-Fort-Worth metroplex is a huge advantage no other program in the country can claim. It could also hurt programs that look to Texas for much of their roster, such as future conference foes Missouri or Oklahoma State. Either way you look at it though, Patterson and the Horned Frogs are the big winners in the realignment derby.