With the TCU Horned Frogs set to join the Big East in 2012, two of our 13 or 14 biggest issues with the BCS have been settled. First, TCU is less likely to get screwed every year. Strength of schedule aside, every team should get to play until it loses -- from playgrounds on up, that's a sacred pillar of sport. Now all the Frawgs (I really like calling them that!) have to do is win the Big East to earn an automatic BCS bowl bid, and an undefeated TCU season will be less likely to go to waste.
Second, this hopefully takes care of the Big East's total waste of a BCS spot. The team that gets the Big East's bid will either be TCU or a team good enough to beat TCU. Travel issues and non-football sports (they are rumored to exist!) aside, every Big East team looks better with TCU on its schedule and gets to recruit Texas a little more. Some will have more success at that last part than others -- not too many Texas high school players dream of starting in freezing wind for the Connecticut Huskies. (Speaking of the weather thing, maybe TCU has been pining for the Big East for decades now...)
But this raises two very big problems for the ACC.
Over the past decade or so the ACC has been the at-least-we're-not-the-Big-East football conference, but if TCU had been a member of the Big East this season, the ACC would've been the only BCS conference without a national title contender at any point after week one. With the Miami Hurricanes suddenly rebuilding, all hopes of ACC respectability are entirely on the Florida St. Seminoles and Virginia Tech Hokies for the next few years, both of whom are a decade removed from national success.
Raiding the Big East has been the ACC's ace in the hole in the event of conference realignmegeddon. With TCU in the house, the handful of football-minded Big East schools are much less likely to jump to the ACC. Everyone's favorite scenario, in which 19 insane things happen while the SEC grabs the two or four top ACC schools and causes the ACC to have to replenish from elsewhere: if the Big East's schools are now off the table, that scenario now ends with what, exactly?
Abandoning its football conference experiment, which put its basketball behind the Big East's and Big Ten's, and trying to reclaim hoops by trying to swipe the Kansas Jayhawks and their rivals is the only serious move on the board that I can see. Either that or salvaging football by bringing aboard decent Conference USA programs ... oh God.
The ACC should've made its move to absorb Big East football when it had its chance. If you've got a plan for how ACC football and basketball can win in the great conference shift for which this offseason was just a foreshock, I'd love to hear it.