BYU is officially in the Big 12, so we asked a familiar foe on what their Big 12 experience has been like and what BYU can expect moving forward.
You can read the Q&A we did with them here.
What has TCU’s Big 12 experience been like?
I think every TCU fan would say that being in the Big 12 has been a great experience to this point. Playing in-state rivals consistently again, gaining momentum in recruiting, and the boost in finances have all been a boon for the Horned Frogs. Winning a conference championship in football and multiple in baseball, and proving we belong has been a major part of the fun, too.
What was the adjustment like going into the Big 12?
I think the biggest adjustment for TCU was behind the scenes and non-football related. TCU football came from a conference with incredible top-end teams like BYU, Utah and Boise State (for a year), so we were ready for what the Big 12 had to offer in that regard (we have winning records against every other Texas Big 12 school since joining). Other sports, namely basketball, were forced to step up their game in a major way. Obviously the facility improvements were a huge help, hiring Jamie Dixon was a big step in the right direction, and recruiting has improved, but I would say there’s still plenty of progress to be made in that regard. In a different way, I think it was a big adjustment to always have a sizable amount of opposing fans in the stands. It feels different when you know other team’s fans are going to show up.
What is the biggest pro of being in the Big 12? Biggest Con?
National relevance is almost assumed if you’re consistently successful in a Power 5 conference, and TCU’s brand has definitely grown in the last decade. The finances definitely haven’t hurt either, as TCU has been able to make major facilities upgrades both athletically and academically across campus. We’ve seen our application rate skyrocket, made some great friends and friendly rivalries (looking at you, Iowa State), and reignited some old Southwest Conference hatred (looking at you, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas). The biggest con? I’m not sure there has been a major con, unless you consider not winning the conference every season a con. TCU has held its own on the field, and has grown in every other way.
How do you feel about the new Big 12 and the conference’s future?
No amount of additions could replace the “brand value” of Texas or the competitive bar set by Oklahoma, but adding BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston was the clear, best option for the conference in the here and now. We’ll know more about the future of the conference once new Grant of Rights and TV contracts are negotiated in 2025, but for now I’m happy with where the Big 12 is. A football conference champion in this conference will still have a legitimate shot at the College Football Playoffs, and this is going to be one hell of a basketball conference.
How do you feel about BYU joining the conference?
I’m excited, and I think most TCU fans are too. Frankly, most folks think this move is happening too late in the game. I’m wondering how the Big 12 would look if BYU and Cincy had been added three years ago. Would Texas and OU still be leaving for the SEC? Who knows. But, the past is the past and we’re glad y’all are here now.