Report: Big East targeting 'very attractive' TCU

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No, seriously.  That’s what the New York Post says.

In one of the more mind-numbing expansion developments in the past few months, the New York tabloid is reporting that the Big East “has targeted TCU as [a] very attractive candidate to help strengthen it’s football league.”

The conference could certainly use some strengthening on the football side, and the Horned Frogs would definitely qualify as an upgrade over most — if not all — of the schools currently in the league.  All Gary Patterson has done at the private school is build it into a top-ten program, compiling an 85-27 record the past nine seasons — they are 4-0 and ranked No. 5 this season — and boasting six years of ten or more wins.

Even given TCU’s obvious attractiveness and the Big East’s desire to improve their product, there’s the little matter of geography to consider.  The Fort Worth school is located roughly 1,700 miles from UConn; on the other hand, South Florida is just over 1,300 miles from Storrs, so perhaps the Horned Frogs could mitigate the distance in the same manner that the Bulls do.

(For comparison’s sake, Nebraska is roughly 1,200 miles from Penn State; the Cornhuskers will join the Big Ten in 2011.)

There’s also the possibility that the two sides could pursue a football-only alliance, leaving the other sports in the Mountain West (unlikely) or finding another home ala BYU.

Whatever the case when it comes to extensive distances and parsing out various programs, especially the non-revenue sports, the Post‘s sources indicate that TCU is among several schools that the conference is looking at to possibly add to their mix.

“We are in a situation that requires us to evaluate and analyze all our options including expansion and television,” a source close to the league who requested anonymity told the paper. “There are a dozen or so schools that we’re looking at.”

There have been no meetings regarding membership in general and TCU specifically, the paper reports, but one would have to think that a big reason for such a western school to even be under consideration is the city in which it resides; the Fort Worth area is part of a huge television market, and would certainly would be attractive to advertisers on a Big East Network that’s reportedly under consideration.

Given how the past few months have played out in the expansion arena, nothing would really surprise us.  TCU making the jump to the Big East, however, would.

Villanova to the Big East?  Yes.  TCU?  Meh, not so much.