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TCU Bolts Big East To Stay Closer To Home In Big 12

With college sports conferences realigning themselves as if they were inspired by the Human Centipede horror films, another twist has emerged today, with Texas Christian University opting to leave the Big East — a conference it had not yet formally joined — in favor of the Big 12.

The move is sure to unsettle the Big East, which has already lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the Athletic Coast Conference. There are also rumblings that the University of Connecticut is interested in leaving for the ACC, as well.

But for TCU, located in Fort Worth, the move to join the Big 12 makes sense in terms of proximity — it will now compete with Texas and Oklahoma, among others, instead of traveling far up the Eastern Seaboard for what would have been very lonely, and long, road trips. Before its nominal link to the Big East, the school had been a member of the Mountain West Conference.

TCU's latest shift became possible, and almost imperative, after the Big 12 lost Nebraska to the Big 10, Colorado to the PAC-12, and Texas A&M to the SEC. The conference is also reportedly likely to lose the University of Missouri, as well.

From Dallas, Wade Goodwyn filed this report for our Newscast unit:

While the fan bases are almost always hot for their respective teams to go to new conferences, it can be a case of being careful what you wish for.

Nebraska got crushed, 48-17, by Wisconsin in its Big 10 opener last week. Texas A&M is 0-7 against SEC teams since 1995. And while TCU is the defending Rose Bowl champion, getting past Oklahoma and Texas every year will be a different ball of wax than beating Boise State and Air Force.

One final note: If you're unfamiliar with the reference, please do not Google "human centipede" — or maybe even "conference realignment" — unless you have a stomach for sickening gore. And in any case, it's best not to equate a reference with an endorsement.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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