TCU’s first season in the Big 12 Conference is winding down.
And the athletic department’s first Big 12 report card is a mixed bag.
The men’s golf team and track and field squad are still trying to cap their seasons with NCAA championship glory, but the rest of the teams’ first Big 12 records are in the books.
The jump from the Mountain West to the Big 12 was going to be a step up in competition across the board, and 2012-13 was proof of that.
While the game-to-game grind against Big 12 competition proved to be fierce and formidable, it was often TCU’s own problems that gave the Horned Frogs the most fits.
Exhibit A would be the football team, which not only dismissed three starters in the spring, but then lost its starting quarterback and leading rusher a month into the season. The baseball team’s offensive frustrations started long before Big 12 play.
“I knew the transition from the Mountain West to the Big 12 was going to be a big transition for us,” TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte said. “I’m very pleased to be back in the Big 12, but do we have work to do? Absolutely. It’s a huge league we jumped into. It’s the perennial league in our region. The teams we’re competing against have been in the Big 12 for 18 years.”
TCU, left out of the Big 12 formation when the Southwest Conference broke up, was a big dog in the MWC with an athletic budget at the top of the league of around $42 million. In the Big 12, where teams average around $75 million, TCU trails drastically.
“I’m pleased with how we competed, but we have a long ways to go for us to win championships in every one of our sports,” Del Conte said. “I believe, like our coaches, that we should compete for Big 12 championships in every sport we participate in.”
TCU won no team championships in its first year in the league, after winning a lot of games in previous leagues, including a dominating run in football and baseball in the Mountain West since 2005.
There’s no debating the financial success the move to the Big 12 has given TCU. The school earned less than $2 million yearly from the MWC. By 2016, when the school is a full partner, TCU is set to earn roughly $30 million annually from the Big 12. TCU and West Virginia earn 50 percent shares this year, 75 percent next year and 95 percent in 2015.
“The biggest difference is the depth of the league,” Del Conte said. “Every game is going to be a grind. The level of play is just completely different. It’s called competition. We have to adjust our level to the daily grind of the Big 12. I am pleased with how we competed.
“Is anyone pleased with some of the outcomes in some of our sports? No. But I’ll say this: Our expectations across the board are to deliver championships. That’s our goal.”
A report card on each TCU sports team during the school’s first year in the Big 12 Conference:
Finish: 15-14, 4-12 (7th)
SWIMMING AND DIVING
TRACK AND FIELD
Comparing TCU from MWC to Big 12
How TCU teams fared in the first year in the Big 12 compared with the last season in the Mountain West Conference:
|Sport||2012-13 (Big 12)||2011-12 (MWC)|
|Football||4-5 (4th)||7-0 (1st)|
|Volleyball||4-12 (7th)||9-5 (3rd)|
|Women’s soccer||1-5-2 (8th)||1-5-0 (6th)|
|Men’s cross country||(9th)||(6th)|
|Women’s cross country||(5th)||(6th)|
|Men’s basketball||2-16 (10th)||7-7 (5th)|
|Women’s basketball||2-16 (10th)||9-5 (3rd)|
|Men’s swimming and diving||(2nd)||NA|
|Women’s swimming and diving||(3rd)||(5th)|
|Men’s tennis||2-3 (4th)||(4th)|
|Women’s tennis||6-3 (4th)||(1st)|
|Baseball||12-12 (7th)||20-3 (1st)|
|Men’s indoor track and field||(9th)||(4th)|
|Men’s outdoor track and field||(6th)||(4th)|
|Women’s indoor track and field||(9th)||(1st)|
|Women’s outdoor track and field||(9th)||(1st)|