Leaders of the Big 12 Conference have cleared the way to make TCU its 10th member.
The league announced the decision Thursday and said the Big 12 board had "authorized negotiations" with TCU.
TCU, the defending Rose Bowl champion in football, agreed earlier this year to leave the Mountain West Conference after this season for the Big East, which has an automatic BCS berth.
But the Big East is on the verge of losing Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC. TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini says the Big 12 discussions "have huge implications for TCU" and would allow the school "to return to old rivalries."
The Big 12 lost Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) over the summer and will lose Texas A&M to the SEC next year. Missouri is also exploring options to leave the Big 12, and did not participate in Thursday's vote regarding TCU.