It’s the offseason, so why not get folks in a conference realignment frenzy, right? Not quite, but during a chat on Facebook Live, TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati addressed a wide range of topics, including what TCU’s future is, in conjunction with the Big 12.
Donati said, “I get asked all the time about conference expansion and realignment in 2024 and will this stadium expansion guarantee we’ll stay in the Big 12 Conference? The answer is no, there are no guarantees.”
We have a few years, and of course a ton can change by 2024, when the Big 12 contract expires, but it’s hard to speculate where TCU fits into the equation. If four super conferences are the way of the future, it’s possible the smaller Big 12 schools like TCU and Baylor get squeezed out somehow. Texas could protect and bring along Texas Tech somewhere, OU would drag Oklahoma State somewhere, and likewise with Kansas and Kansas State.
My hope is that super conferences are a thing of the past and are never close to happening again. As I’ve discussed many times, the rugged road of the Big 12 is starting to turn heads in football and basketball. Fans, pundits and other conferences are realizing how difficult and true round robin in football and a double round robin in hoops really is, especially with the depth the Big 12 possesses.
FOX’s broadcasting deals with the Big Ten and Pac-12 will expire in 2023, which could set off some kind of realignment, but boy are my fingers crossed that there is none to speak of.
The Big 12 remains the only conference without a network, and I still believe that’s something the conference should begin exploring with the digital media powers of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc.
But anyone who thinks they can predict what is going to happen in 5-6 years, with the incredible pace technology is changing, is fooling themselves.
In the meantime, all TCU can do is keep winning in athletics and in the classroom, improving facilities, and expanding its brand. These are all things that they did under former AD Chris Del Conte (now at Texas) and hope to continue with Donati.
The full conversation can be viewed below.