TCU football has been a thorn in the side of the giants of the Big 12 for years. But can the Horned Frogs level up and become the giant?
In 1938 Texas Christian University’s football program finished the season 11-0 with a Sugar Bowl victory to boot in their consensus national championship season. That squad was led by Dutch Meyer as the Horned Frogs tore through the now-defunct Southwest Conference. Coach Meyer stayed at TCU through the good times and bad winning 109 games from 1934-1952.
TCU finished ranked a few times under Meyer’s predecessor Abe Martin before falling off completely through the SWC’s high times. After the SWC folded amongst unparalleled recruiting scandals the Horned Frogs chose the Western Athletic Conference as their destination, which folded for football after the 2000 season. While in the WAC, TCU won 30 football games in five years and with 25 coming under Dennis Franchione.
Franchione left Fort Worth for the University of Alabama and the Frogs administration promoted defensive coordinator Gary Patterson to head football coach. Coach Patterson has since guided TCU through stints in Conference USA, the Mountain West, and now the Big 12.
Under Patterson, TCU has won 160 ball games in his 4-2-5 defensive scheme. While the early transition to the Big 12 was a rough one, TCU only won 11 games in the first two seasons, the Frogs have emerged from a giant killer to a budding giant themselves.
After finishing the 2017 season as the S&P+’s 14th ranked team TCU enters 2018 with a clear shot at stealing the Big 12 title away from the Sooners.