It didn’t take long for the Big 12 to release their 2012 schedule with West Virginia in it, only hours after the Mountaineers severed their ties and relations with the Big East, a conference they were a part of since 1991 and won its title 7 times. They aren’t the only change to the Big 12 in 2012, with TCU joining, Texas A&M and Missouri already gone.
It’s been quite a change for the Big 12 these past few seasons – Nebraska and Colorado leaving, and the conference looked at some point last season on the verge of getting torn apart. Suddenly, all everyone was looking for was a way out. Either out west, were the Pac-12 was making eyes at Oklahoma and Texas, or the SEC, who are waiting with open arms for pretty much everyone.
Keeping the Sooners and the Longhorns and their Red River Rivalry, one of the best in College Football, was probably the best the Big 12 could have hoped for. Oklahoma State rising to national prominence, or something close to that, winning their first Big 12 title with Mike Gundy leading the way didn’t hurt the conference either, although it didn’t shunned from playing for the BCS title, unjustly in my opinion. Their success won’t be repeated in 2012 with too many key players leaving.
And then there’s TCU, who have played in two BCS bowl games under Gary Patterson in the last few seasons, winning the Rose Bowl in 2011 after beating Wisconsin. It’s time to play with the big boys once again, for a school that was part of the Southwest conference along with Texas, Oklahoma and others. Life in a better conference will be hard to adjust to for both WVU and especially TCU, but both the conference and the schools come out of this in a positive way.
TCU will start their conference schedule playing Kansas with Charlie Weis in Lawrence. West Virginia get to play at home on September 29 against Baylor, who won’t be repeating their magical year without Robert Griffin III. TCU will replace Texas A&M, at least for next year, as Texas’ traditional Thanksgiving opponent. The Red River rivalry will be played on October 13, in Dallas.