Living in Ft. Worth for 40 years, I became a hometown fan. After sending two daughters to TCU, I became a bonafide fan!
TCU - Big 12 Football
College football is one of, if not the most popular of fall sports. My favorite team is the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, located in Fort Worth, Texas.
The college football scene is an ever-changing landscape and the 2021 season is underway. Directly impacting TCU is the future loss of the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma out of the Big 12 but teams moving has been a part of the process for TCU over the last 20 years so it's really nothing new, just an adjustment to be made.
Within the past 10 years, TCU has had a major impact on CFB. In 2014, TCU was #3 in the nation before the first ever final CFP rankings in which they were dropped to #6 and therefore did not make the 4-team playoff. There was much controversy but of course, no change or resolution. TCU did, however, show the committee they deserved that #3 spot by obliterating Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl 55-3. This circumstance continues to be talked about on social media today. In 2016, team selections were made using the same data that was used to drop TCU in 2014, to get to the teams that made the 1-4 spots in the CFP in 2016.
We will not ever forget and hope someday to be able to show the college football world a #1 Texas Christian University Football Team.
How The Game Is Played
A quick overview of how football is played. The field in play is 100 yards long with two end zones where the scoring takes place. Each team takes turns with ball possession and has 4 downs (or 4 turns) to move the ball 10 yards. If successful, they get another turn and so on and so on. If in 3 downs they are unsuccessful, most likely they will use the 4th down of that particular possession to kick the ball to get it farthest away from the opponents end zone so they start their possession deep in their half of the field. So, we go back and forth until someone scores then they automatically give the ball to the other team to try their attempt at scoring.
The main way to score in football is with a touchdown that earns a team 6 points and a chance to kick an extra point (PAT - point after touchdown). If the PAT is successful, they earn 1 point to equal 7 for the touchdown and extra point. The second most popular way to score is on a field goal. Let's say a team moves the ball to within 20-30 yards to the end zone and is on 4th down. They may elect to kick a field goal that is worth 3 points. You can also score on a safety (2 points). It is usually exciting when a safety happen because that means there has been a great defensive play (or an offensive mistake) but you just have to see that one - it's kinda hard to explain.
The above description sounds so nice and easy right? But there has to be a catch (no pun intended) and there is. At any time a team is running the ball or throwing the ball, the other team can come up with a big play and intercept a pass or recover a fumble on a running play. Many times these lead to points and they are very detrimental to the team that relinquished the possession. Best to play error free - champions almost always have low stats on these categories.
Two great defensive teams might find themselves in a low scoring game and just the opposite for two great offensive teams. People tend to love scoring in college football, but we in Ft. Worth, love our defense too! Again, champions are made when you can balance out offense and defense (scoring and shutting them down).
Football Gridiron Style
The nickname "gridiron" comes from a combination of football (or soccer as we Americans refer to) and rugby. In gridiron style football, hands are used whereas in international style of football (soccer), no hands are allowed.
In 1938, Davey O'Brien won the Heisman Trophy for TCU. Sound familiar? It should because an annual NCAA quarterback award is named in his honor, the Davey O'Brien Award for the nations top QB. In 2000 LaDainian Tomlinson was a Heisman finalist. We haven't won since 1938 but look at this stat.
In 2017 we played against the winner of the Heisman twice, Baker Mayfield, and then played against a finalist, Bryce Love, in our bowl game (Stanford).
In 2018, we again played against two finalists, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins.
No other team in the country can produce that stat.
September 4 - TCU 45, Duquesne 3 (1-0)
September 11 - TCU 34, Cal 32 (2-0)
September 25 - vs. SMU 11:00am
October 2 - vs. Texas
October 9 - @ Texas Tech
October 16 - @ Oklahoma
October 23 - vs. West Virginia
October 30 - @ Kansas State
November 6 - vs. Baylor
November 13 - @ Oklahoma State
November 20 - vs. Kansas
November 26 - @ Iowa State
December 4 - Big 12 Championship
Stats, Facts, and Noteables on TCU Football
as of 9/14/2021
Week #3: Zach Evans was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the week.
Khari Coleman and Ochaun Mathis have been named to the Ted Hendricks Award watch list.
Zach Evans and Quentin Johnston have been named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award (along with Duggen see below).
Long snapper Antonio Ortiz has been named to the Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award.
Kicker Jordy Sandy has been named to the Ray Guy Award watch list.
Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson has been named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list and the Bednarik Award watch list.
Max Duggen is named to watch lists of the Maxwell Award, the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, THE Davey O'Brien Award, and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Ochaun Mathis and Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson were named to the 2021 Pre-Season All Big 12 Team.
TCU's 357 game active non-shut-out streak ranks 2nd in the nation and 4th all-time in NCAA history.
TCU's win over #9 Texas on 10/3/20 gives them a 7-2 record over Texas since joining the Big 12. You read that right, we beat Texas seven times, they beat us twice.
Gary Patterson is 179-94 in his tenure at TCU. He is one of 7+ coaches with 100 wins at the same school. He is also the winningest coach at TCU.
The Horned Frogs are 94-27 at Amon G. Carter Stadium under head coach Gary Patterson.
In 2019, TCU was #1 in Total Defense in the Big 12 and 5 out of 8 years while in the Big 12 Conference.
TCU finished the 2017 campaign ranked #9 in the AP poll. This is the 7th time in 13 seasons TCU finishes ranked in the Top 10 of college football. In the state of Texas, all other teams combined equal this stat in the same time frame.
TCU is 20-0 at home as an AP Top 10 team under Gary Patterson.
Gary Patterson is 8-0 against the PAC 12 as head coach at TCU.
The Horned Frogs have a 44-6 record as a top-10 team under head coach Gary Patterson, including a 28-3 mark when in the top 5 (AP or CFP polls).
In 2019, the College Football Hall of Fame has named TCU as the 10th best team of the decade. We have the lowest student population among the top ten! A great ratio!
TCU went to a bowl game for the 15th time in the last 17 seasons. We were also ranked in the AP poll for the 15th straight year in a row.
TCU's 2016 Alamo Bowl victory over Oregon was tied (with Texas Tech) for the most points comeback in the history of a bowl game. It was a school record, and it also tied for the second-largest comeback in the history of an FBS game. Since the TX Tech comeback, teams had been 0-1,463 when trying to record a comeback victory. Make that stat 1-1,464! Go Frogs!
There are 24 Frog alumni currently playing in the NFL.
Wrapping up the stats, TCU is one of nine programs nationally to have a Super Bowl MVP (Larry Brown), an NFL MVP (LaDanian Tomlinson), and a Heisman Trophy Winner (Davey O'Brien).
But Who Have We Played? According to Phil Steele, Some Good Teams
In the last 10 years, TCU is tied at 11th rank for FBS record. They have played 11 out of the 14 teams listed, including victories over Boise St, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Wisconsin (Rose Bowl), and Oregon (Alamo Bowl). Losses were to Ohio State, LSU, Boise State (Fiesta Bowl), Oklahoma, OK State, Georgia (Liberty Bowl) and Michigan State (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl). They have not played Alabama, App State, and Florida St. That's a good resume, 11th best in the country.
In addition, they continue to put a top-tier FBS Power 5 team on their non-conference schedule unlike many P5 teams these days. We have played Virginia, Northwestern, BYU, Louisville, Oregon State, Minnesota, and Purdue. We also have a storied cross-town rival game at SMU every year; in 2021 it will be the 100th meeting of the two teams.
Coming up in this decade, TCU has Cal, Colorado, Stanford, North Carolina, and Duke as home and homes. The return home and home with Purdue is in 2030.
Best Program in the Storied State of Texas
I'm not making this up, since Gary Patterson has been the head coach, TCU is on top and levels above the other great teams in the state. Look at the stats below.
Final AP Poll Status History
Per the SID at TCU, since 2008, here are stats for final AP Top 10 rankings. As you can see, TCU is tied with 6 which is one less than the top five Division I programs in the state.
TCU - 6 times
Texas - 3 times
Baylor - 1 time
Houston - 1 time
Texas A & M - 2 times
All Others - 0
Building the Package
As part of building TCU into an annual powerhouse, TCU has played many prominent and storied programs in the last 15 years: Virginia, Clemson, Stanford, Northwestern, LSU, BYU, Ohio State, Louisville, Oregon State, Purdue, and Cal as their non-conference foes.
Bowl Opponents have been: Ole Miss, Boise State, Georgia, Wisconsin, Oregon, Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Stanford and California.
On the future schedule: Colorado, Stanford, North Carolina, Duke, and Purdue.
Frogs in the NFL
TCU currently has 24 players on NFL rosters. Learn more about the history of TCU Football including their two National Championships in 1935 and 1938 in the book, Rif Ram Bah Zoo, Football Comes to TCU.
Darius Anderson, RB (Indianapolis Colts) ROOKIE
Ben Banagu, LB (Indianapolis Colts)
Ross Blacklock, DE (Houston Texans)
LJ Collier, DE (Seattle Seahawks)
Aviante Collins (Dallas Cowboys)
Andy Dalton, QB (Chicago Bears)
Josh Doctson WR (Arizona Cardinals)
Jeff Gladney, CB (Minnesota Vikings)
Travin Howard, LB (LA Rams)
Jerry Hughes, LB (Buffalo Bills)
Joey Hunt, C (Seattle Seahawks)
Cordel Iwuagwu (Houston Texans)
Patrick Morris, OL (Denver Broncos)
Joseph Noteboom, OT (LA Rams)
Sewo Olonilua, RB (Dallas Cowboys)
Matt Pryor, OT (Philadelphia Eagles)
Jalen Reagor, WR (Philadelphia Eagles)
Austin Schlottmann, OG (Denver Broncos)
Vernon Scott, S (Green Bay Packers)
Ty Summers LB (Green Bay Packers)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, RT (Philadelphia Eagles) Super Bowl Champion
Jason Verrett, CB (San Franciso 49ers)
Ar'darius Washington (Baltimore Ravens) ROOKIE
Take A Step Back
Now tell me what other team has a singing, guitar playing, rocking coach? This is Gary Patterson with his debut song Take A Step Back. Good words to live by, good music to jive to.
Game Day Fun
If you've never been to a game, a college football Division I game can be an all day event. The folks in charge at TCU tend to like a family atmosphere so they provide lots of fun and free entertainment in the hours leading up to the game. Frog Alley is where kids can get their faces painted, jump in bounce houses with sports oriented themes, hang out with the local radio station broadcasting from the lawn, and other activities that spur off of the specific opponent or celebration that week. There is always a live band performing right in front of Amon G. Carter Stadium in the hour leading up to the game. It's a maze of purple and white on game day!
While all that kid fun is happening, many other activities are going on too. The band is warming up on campus and getting ready to march into the stadium. The players are warming up on the field. The fans are heading into the stadium. Tail gaiting is a buzz and there is good Texas food to sate your appetite.
It is a carnival-like atmosphere with the premier event being the game. We are usually involved in game day a minimum of seven hours unless we tailgate and that would be longer.
Game Day Pictures
Amon G. Carter Stadium Implosion - December, 2010
"New Stadium. Same Tradition." The new stadium will be ready in September 2012 for the first home game.
Amon G. Carter Stadium 2012 - An Overhead View
Copyright 2012 Epic Helicopters, LLC. All rights reserved.
TCU Bowl History
Bowls and Scores the past 18 years
In the past eleven years, TCU has played in 3 premier bowl games: The Fiesta Bowl, The Rose Bowl ("The Grandaddy of Them All") and The NY6 Peach Bowl.
2020 - Mercari Texas Bowl TCU vs Arkansas - DNP due to Covid
2019 - DNQ
2018 - Cheez-It Bowl TCU 10, Cal 7
2017 - Valero Alamo Bowl #15 TCU 39, #13 Stanford 37
2016 - Liberty Bowl Georgia 31, TCU 23
2015 - Valero Alamo Bowl TCU 47, Oregon 41 (3 OTs)
2014 - Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl - TCU 42, Ol' Miss 3
2013 - DNQ
2012 - Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Michigan St. 17, TCU 16
2011 - Poinsettia Bowl - TCU 31, LA Tech 24
2010 - Rose Bowl - TCU 21, Wisconsin 19
2009 - Fiesta Bowl - Boise State 17, TCU 10
2008 - Poinsettia Bowl - TCU 17, Boise State 16
2007 - Texas Bowl - TCU 20, Houston 13
2006 - Poinsettia Bowl - TCU 37, Northern Illinois 7
2005 - Houston Bowl - TCU 27, Iowa State 24
2004 - DNQ
2003 - Plains Capital Bowl - Boise State 34, TCU 31
2002 - Liberty Bowl - TCU 17, Colorado State 3
Part of the fun of college football is to watch the rankings each week. The AP, ESPN and weekly rankings are updated every week during college football season on Sunday around 1:00pm EST. The number of undefeated teams in the Top 25 whittles down each week. The first round of CFP rankings come out in early November. The end of the regular season CFP rankings will determine the four teams in the final playoff scenario. A final ranking will be released after the national championship game in January.
So What Exactly Is A Horned Frog?
A Unique Mascot
According to National Geographic, a horned frog isn't a frog at all! It's a lizard. One of the main characteristics of the horned frog is very unique and helps to protect itself from prey, this little guy spits blood from his eyes, up to 3 feet in length! In 2009, Nike graced TCU with Pro Combat Uniforms including helmets that had two thin red lines down the middle of the helmet to signify the horny toad lizard's spitting blood - guess it worked!
And Why Would You Come To Ft. Worth for a TCU Game?
Coach Patterson explains...
In an interview with ESPN, TCU football coach, Gary Patterson, tells why Ft. Worth and TCU are a good sell. "In a lot of ways, TCU is the best destination in the Big 12. Austin is pretty good, very crowded on the freeways but you've got a chance to come here on a Wednesday if you're from Iowa State, and go to a Ranger game early in the season, go to the Galleria, play two days of golf, go out to eat, go to the Stockyards, go downtown, then watch the TCU game and watch the Cowboys on Sunday. Then people want to come back. It's a slam dunk for Fort Worth and TCU."
Y'all come back now, ya hear?
Horned Frog Players with Super Bowl Rings
The following TCU players have been on Super Bowl Championship teams.
Larry Brown - Dallas (Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
Norm Bulaich - Baltimore (Super Bowl V)
Tommy Joe Crutcher - Green Bay (Super Bowl I, II)
Charles Davis - Pittsburgh (Super Bowl IX)
Norm Evans - Miami (Super Bowl VI, VII, VIII)
Clint Gresham - Seattle (Super Bowl XLVIII)
Gaylon Hyder - St. Louis (Super Bowl XXXIV)
Cedric James - New England (Super Bowl XXXIX)
Bob Lilly - Dallas (Super Bowl V, VI)
James Maness - Chicago (Super Bowl XX)
Mickey McCarty - Kansas City (Super Bowl IV)
Marshall Newhouse - Green Bay (Super Bowl XLV)
Jared Retkofsky - Pittsburgh (Super Bowl XLIII)
Bo Schobel - Indianapolis (Super Bowl XLI)
Michael Toudouze - Indianapolis (Super Bowl XLI, XLIV)
Greg Townsend - Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII)
Ryan Tucker - St. Louis (Super Bowl XXXIV)
Josh Boyce - New England Patriots (Super Bowl XLIX)
Marcus Cannon - New England Patriots (Super Bowl XLIX, LI, and LIII)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - Philadelphia Eagles (Super Bowl LII)
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2011 Joanie Ruppel
A Shout Out For Your Favorite Mascot! - You guessed it - mine is Super Frog!
steadytracker lm on September 02, 2013:
A great lens. I went to Florida State so I am a Seminoles fan until the day that I die.
Torrs13 on October 29, 2012:
I went to TCU and knew a few people who were Super Frog at the games :) Although TCU is struggling in the Big 12 right now, I have no doubt that next year is going to be better. We have such a young team but there is a lot of talent!
anonymous on December 26, 2011:
Alabama's Big Al.
PainMan1 on September 24, 2011:
Both the tiger & the eagle from the Auburn tigers! War Eagle!