TCU to the Big 12: What's Changed Since the Southwest Conference Went Kaput
Earlier this week, Texas Christian University officially accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference, which sort of models the old Southwest Conference, a division that the Horned Frogs competed in from 1923 to 1996.
We gotta tell you, horny toads, compared to '96, the league is going to look a lot different when you come aboard for the 2012-2013 season.
For one, Mountain West Conference gooey donuts like New Mexico will be replaced by Big 12 softies Iowa State and Kansas. Also, old SWC members like Rice, Houston, Southern Methodist and Phillips University (yes, Phillips, the now defunct Christian institution in Enid, Oklahoma, was in the conference in 1920) are playing football, kind of, in non-automatic-qualifying divisions.
As far as game day environments, your Amon Carter Stadium, which is currently undergoing a $164 million renovation, will still feel like a Texas high school stadium compared to Oklahoma's Owen Field or even Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium.
There's more to be hip to, TCU. Here's a team-by-team, football-centric look at what has changed in the past 15 years since the Southwest Conference called it a day.
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns
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Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
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Houston Texans vs. Arizona Cardinals
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Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers
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Baylor The off-campus Floyd-Casey Stadium, an appropriate facility for a pedestrian high-school team (but not as bad as Amon Carter), still doesn't sell out despite the presence of Heisman contender Robert Griffin III. Oh, and Waco, aside from Cameron Park, is still a hole.
Iowa State The Cyclones changed their uniforms to look like a spitting image of the USC Trojans. Sometimes they play like it's 1892, the year they started participating in competitive football.
Kansas State No double-take required. That is indeed Bill Snyder, 72, on the Wildcats' sideline. Snyder, who coached the 'Cats from 1989 to 2005, took back his old gig in 2009. In a piece like Manhattan, Kansas, it's a miracle dude wins more than he loses.
Missouri Remains firmly committed to the Big 12...until the Southeastern Conference or someone else offers them a butt-load of TV revenue. Count on the Tigers being your conference rival for zero to one season(s).
Oklahoma Howard Schnellenberger is still coaching (for winless Florida Atlantic; he's retiring at season's end) while Jeff Blake is not. The Sooners have been a contemporary powerhouse since Bob Stoops took the helm in 1999. Still own the most boring fight song ("Boomer Sooner") in sports.
Oklahoma State Stupid rich oilman T. Boone Pickens has pumped more than $500 million into the Oregon of the Midwest. The Cowboys' sugar daddy recently uttered one of the best quotes ever when talking about conference musical chairs: "Don't rush the monkey and you'll see a better show."
Texas The tea sippers remain power- and money-hungry, even more so with the addition of their own Longhorn Network. They're also still serving up Bevo burgers to OU at the State Fair of Texas.
Texas A&M In July 2012, the Aggies ditch the Big 12 for the SEC, where they will get smoked time and time again.
Texas Tech Waco = Manhattan = Lubbock + piles of manure and human dejecta (allegedly).
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