Opinion: New rivalries abound in Big 12

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    Didn’t everyone look so good in the old Southwest Conference family portrait?

    It must have been great being a part of the Southwest Conference and experiencing the rivalries through just a road trip.

    Ever since the departure of TCU from the SWC in 1996, the team has proven itself with many bowl wins and Bowl Championship Series game appearances, including a Rose Bowl victory in 2010.

    Since TCU has been one of the most decorated college programs in the past 10 years, it was only a matter of time until a BCS automatic-qualifying conference stepped in to offer an invitation.

    Well, TCU finally got that offer to go to the Big East. It was a great opportunity to get the team’s name out within the New York television market, which is the highest-grossing market in the country.

    Opponents such as West Virginia and Pittsburgh sounded appetizing, but what about all the traveling? Fans won’t travel all those miles because it costs a lot of money and time.

    With few besides alumni attending away games, how would TCU have kept its tradition and ensue new rivalries? We may never know, because TCU is now in the Big 12.

    TCU’s first game this season against Baylor could have been one of the most chilling and heart-crushing games in history.

    But it was an unbelievable game, and a new rivalry will be born year in and year out.

    TCU will play Baylor every year, and in each game, there will be a fire in both the fans’ and players’ eyes.

    In 2005, the Frogs went into Norman, Okla., and stunned the Oklahoma crowdwith a 17-10 win on opening day. 

    How much would OU want that loss back? Well, OU got it back in 2008 with a 35-10 victory.

    In 2012 TCU will play OU, hopefully in Fort Worth in the brand new stadium, which is one more reason why TCU is so attractive to other conferences.

    That game will be rocking because, no matter what, OU just got itself another heated rivalry.

    The Frogs will also be able to cultivate a rivalry with the University of Texas. The Frogs played the Longhorns in 2007 and took a 10-point lead into halftime. But with future superstars in Colt McCoy and Jamaal Charles, Texas turned on the jets in the second half to defeat TCU, 34-13.

    Every conference team will spark a new rivalry for TCU that will keep its spectators and fans watching every second of every game.

    Athletic Director Chris Del Conte said it best: “We’re excited to be home.”

    Mike Zeko is a sophomore journalism major from Darien, Connecticut.