Report: TCU accepts Big East invite

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Rumored to have been under discussion for months, it appears as though the Big East is on the verge of a much-needed addition to their football lineup.

According to FanHouse.com‘s Brett McMurphy, and citing unnamed industry sources, TCU has accepted the Big East’s invitation and will join the conference in all sports.

McMurphy reports that the Horned Frogs will join the conference on July 1, 2012 and begin conference play the same year.  There’s no word yet as to when an official announcement will be coming from either the league or the school.

While the loss of TCU is a huge blow for a Mountain West Conference that’s already seen flagship schools Utah and BYU agree to leave the league, it’s a major coup for a conference that’s reeling and has become a national punchline due to their abysmal performance on the gridiron in 2010.  The Big East will also give TCU the one thing the MWC can’t: a spot in a conference that’s an automatic BcS qualifier.

With the apparent addition of TCU, the Big East will now stand at nine teams for football.  When the Big East officially announced earlier this month that they were expanding, the target number for the conference was put at 10 football-playing members.

When an announcement on a tenth member will be made — or even who it will be — is unknown.  Central Florida, though, seems to be the odds-on favorite to join TCU as the newest members of the Big East.

UPDATED 10:14 a.m. ET: TCU issued a press release this morning and confirmed that something monumental is on the horizon for the school.

A major announcement involving the TCU athletics program will be made today at a 1 p.m. news conference in the Four Sevens Team Room of the Meyer-Martin Athletic Complex.

TCU chancellor Victor Boschini and director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte will be present.