Geography snobs who have an issue with TCU joining the Big East need to learn a little more about another high school topic: History.

“East” has never been too strict a term in sports alignments. The Horned Frogs share a metropolitan area with the NFC East-dwelling Dallas Cowboys, who have to travel an average of 1,450 miles for their divisional road games. And it wasn’t too long ago that the Cowboys weren’t even the outlier in the division. The Arizona Cardinals resided in the East for 14 seasons until 2001. So Rand McNally isn’t exactly an NFL sponsor.

Rivalries trump geography in football, even when travel gets to be ridiculous. So even when the NFL realigned in 2002, there wasn’t much talk of moving the Cowboys into the NFC West and replacing them with, say, the Carolina Panthers in the East. There’s too much history between Dallas and the trio of Washington, Philadelphia and the New York Giants -- just like there was a tradition of enmity between the Dolphins and their AFC East brethren. So it was Indianapolis (latitude: 39 degrees) and not Miami (latitude: 25 degrees) that moved to the AFC South.

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