Monday Musings: Ever Seen A Horned Frog Fly?


I think I vaguely remember hearing, some time ago, that Texas Christian University, of Horned From fame, will be joining the Big East conference for the 2012 season in all sports.  Did I mention that TCU is in Texas?  And, if I’m correct, the Big East is, well, not anywhere near Texas?  I also remember reading that the board at TCU voted unanimously in deciding that each and every sports team will have to travel a minimum of 866 miles per away game at least HALF of their respective seasons.  Huh?

Now, let’s be honest about this.  This was purely football driven… no, no, wait; strike that.  This decision was blatantly and purely BCS driven…yeah, that sounds about right.  I can’t imagine what all of the athletes in the TCU program thought when they heard the news about the switch to a league in another time zone, and to make it even more stark, not one team in the Big East is in their time zone.  You think the softball team or the track team is excited about this?  This was all about the football program getting an automatic bid in a BCS bowl, period.  The only kids doing high-fives are the Horned Frogs that wear helmets and pads.

Let’s talk about  what their schedule could look like come 2012.  The closest team, Louisville, is about 866 miles away.  The team furthest, at 1788 miles, is University of Connecticut.  I would absolutely hate to be the guy in charge of travel for the football team.  Can you imagine what that office will be going through if it finds out they have back-to-back away games at UConn and South Florida?  What a nightmare!  My only guess is that they will be “saving” money and maintenance on the ‘ole buses.

I’ve laid out the mileage for the 8 Big East schools from most to least.  Because it is a 9 team league, TCU will  play the other 8 and that means 4 away games every year with a minimum total mileage of at least 4,255 miles and a maximum of 6,106 miles (and if you think about it, the basketball teams will have it much, much, harder as all members of the league play basketball, instead of only the 8 that play football).

In all seriousness, though, I’m hoping that none of these kids academics suffer because of this.  It just seems a great deal to ask a student athlete to travel that much every week and still perform well in the classroom.  I wonder if the board members thought about that when they saw the dollar signs and the BCS glory for their beloved football team dancing around in their heads.  If nothing else, those frequent flyer miles should be off the hook.

Storrs, CT  1728.7 miles

Newark, NJ 1571.5 miles

Syracuse, NY 1555.4 miles

Pittsburgh, PA 1250.7 miles

Morgantown, WV 1233.9 miles

Tampa, FL 1190.8 miles

Cincinnati, OH 963.7 miles

Louisville, KY 866.8 miles

What are your thoughts on TCU’s move to the Big East? Is it justified? Will they be the class of Big East Football? Let us know with a comment what you’re thinking.

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