TCU's decision also means the Big 12, down two members after losing Nebraska and Colorado, won't be going to Fort Worth if it wants to add to its current Longhorn-led 10.
There's another potential sidebar to this, too.
Maybe with the Horned Frogs in the family, the Big East football folks won't have to include independent Notre Dame into bowl contracts to arm-twist a deal ... deals that could cost "real" Big East teams a Champs Sports Bowl spot as soon as four weeks from now.
TCU is accustomed to these changes of address. The Big East will be the Frogs' fifth (lily) pad since 1994-95, when the Southwest Conference fractured (and TCU wasn't invited into the Big 12).
TCU bounced to the WAC for five years, then was in Conference USA from 2001-04 before heading to the Mountain West in 2005 (not long after Louisville, Cincinnati, etc. left C-USA for the Big East, and Marshall and five others took C-USA to 12 schools. UTEP was a late replacement for the Frogs.)
TCU's bottom line will be enhanced with Big East membership, after the Horned Frogs are weaned from paying their entry fee. The Fort Worth school already is a major spender in football, compared to the group it is joining.
According to federal filings for the 2009-10 fiscal year, TCU's football expenses were $20.6 million. That's more than any Big East football member spent (Rutgers was tops at $19.5 million), and $6.3 million more than West Virginia's football expenses.
In the Big East, only WVU ($29.5 million) and Pitt ($22.5 million) had more football revenue than TCU's $20.6 million.
Villanova has a so-called standing invitation to also become a Big East football player, and could become the 10th team the conference approved in search mode last month. However, the message I'm getting from multiple sources who should know is that the Wildcats aren't quite yet sold on lifting their FCS playoff program to the big time.
A decision from the Philadelphia school is expected by the spring. If it's not the Wildcats, then the Big East moves on to other potential candidates, with UCF the most likely top target.
As for the impact on Big East men's basketball, well, the TCU move won't register on the seismograph in places like Syracuse, Pitt, Villanova and Connecticut. The 18-game regular-season schedule will remain with a slight tweak.
The 17 teams will play every other conference foe, and two of those a second time (rather than the current three). In WVU translation, that means rival Pitt and one other Mountaineer conference opponent will be home-and-home annually.
Then, this move wasn't about hoops at all. For the Big East in football, getting TCU was a good start toward avoiding the ICU of the BCS.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.