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Big East Expansion: Boise State Left Out In The Cold By TCU

TCU's defection from the Mountain West Conference on Monday wasn't the first from the league in this year of college realignment musical chairs. Utah left for the PAC-10 shortly after Boise State announced that it was joining the Mountain West. Earlier this fall, BYU announced it was leaving the conference for football independence. Then the final shoe dropped Monday when TCU bolted, leaving Boise State in a league only slightly better than the one it's leaving, the Western Athletic Conference, and still without an automatic BCS bid for winning the league.

Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman blames the BCS system.

You can blame the Bowl Championship Series for creating college football’s caste system — automatic qualifiers feasting on fat checks, plum bowl assignments and the undying adulation of Craig James while non-AQs beg for scraps.

Members of the lower class are willing to do anything in order to become part of the privileged class, including agreeing to send their volleyball team from Fort Worth, Texas, to Piscataway, N.J., for a conference game.

As he goes on to explain, however, it's worth it. Even for TCU, joining what is considered to be the weakest of the six BCS leagues, the pay day is way bigger in leaving the Mountain West for the Big East. The television contracts are better and the bowl revenue is more plentiful. Even with the travel costs that the TCU athletic department will incur, its future has way more cash in it than it does now.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.