FORT WORTH (AP) — TCU is moving to the Big East Conference.
A person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Monday that TCU is moving from the Mountain West Conference to the Big East after the 2011-12 academic year. The person would not comment publicly because the decision had not been announced.
TCU scheduled a Monday afternoon news conference for "a major announcement involving the TCU athletics program." Athletic director Chris De Conte didn't immediately return messages left on his cell phone.
The school's release said Del Conte would be present at the news conference along with school chancellor Victor Boschini.
The third-ranked Horned Frogs (12-0) wrapped up their second consecutive undefeated regular season and Mountain West title with a 66-17 victory at New Mexico on Saturday. TCU is also third in the BCS standings, the highest for a school from a conference without automatic access into the Bowl Championship Series.
With the move to the Big East, the Frogs will be BCS busters no more. The Big East has one of the six automatic BCS slots for the five big-money games.
TCU is currently in line to play for a national championship chance if Auburn or Oregon lose next weekend. The Frogs may wind up in the Rose Bowl if Auburn and Oregon both win.
But the Frogs might not have been headed to a BCS game without Boise State's loss Friday night in overtime at Nevada. Had the Broncos remained undefeated, there was a distinct possibility that the Broncos could have passed TCU in the BCS standings and been the only non-automatic qualifier school to get into one of the top-level bowls.
TCU was a BCS buster for the first time last season, then lost to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Big East will be the fourth conference for TCU since the Southwest Conference broke apart after the 1995 season and the Frogs weren't among the Texas schools that became part of the Big 12.
TCU was in the WAC from 1996-2000 before going to Conference USA for four seasons and then joining the Mountain West in 2005.
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