FT. WORTH--Apparently tired of being left out of the national championship picture and seeking better access to more lucrative postseason games, TCU has announced it will flee the troubled Mountain West Conference and begin play in the NFC West in 2012.
The board of trustees voted unanimously to accept the invitation to join the NFL, making it the fourth league for the Horned Frogs since the old Southwest Conference broke up in 1995. The team played in the WAC from 1996-2000 and C-USA from 2001-2004 before mistakenly joining the YMCA in 2005.
The move is seen as good for all the parties involved, with the obvious exception of the MWC and new member Boise State, whom no one really cares about.
"This obviously adds a lot of credibillity to the division," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who extended the invitation to the Horned Frogs last spring. "It not only adds strength to what has become an embarrassingly weak group of teams, it gives the league a team in Texas that doesn't routinely underachieve. And it's good for TCU, since they can expect to be competitive immediately."
The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks currently sit atop the NFC West with 5-6 records; although neither is ranked in anyone's top 25, the division's AQ status means the winner qualifies for the NFL playoffs no matter what.
"The situation in college football is very fluid," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson, referring to the departures of Utah, BYU and TCU from his conference in the near future. "And by fluid, I mean an unforgiving ocean sucking the MWC down to a watery grave. Arrrr. Davy Jones' locker, and all that."
"Glub. Glub, I tell you."
TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte downplayed the MWC's struggles retaining teams and lack of access to higher-paying bowl games; the reason for the move was simple. "We're not playing on that damn blue field. No freaking way."