Tcu Horned Frog Football
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 2018 regular season was not up to our usual expectations mostly due to an unprecedented number of injuries. However, the Horned Frogs ended the 2018 regular season 6-6 with stellar team effort under 5th-year grad student, Grayson Muehlstein, coming in as the 3rd string quarterback. This earned them a bowl birth to play in the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix, AZ. The bowl win secured a winning season to finish off the year and some say it was the most interesting bowl game!
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. Will they get another chance in the future? That remains to be seen.
There was much talk about this situation in the 2016 team selections as the same data that was used to drop TCU in 2014, was used to include 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 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.
2018 Schedule and Results
Sept 1 - #16 TCU 55 Southern 7 (1-0)
Sept 8 - #16 TCU 42 SMU 12 (2-0)
Sept 15 - #15 TCU 28 #4 Ohio State 40 (2-1)
Sept 22 - #17 TCU 16 Texas 31 (2-2)
Sept 29 - TCU 17 Iowa State 14 (3-2)
Oct 11 - TCU 14 Texas Tech 17 (3-3)
Oct 20 - TCU 28 Oklahoma 52 (3-4)
Oct 27 - TCU 26 Iowa State 27 (3-5)
Nov 3 - TCU 14 Kansas State 13 (4-5)
Nov 10 - TCU 10 #7 West Virginia 47 (4-6)
Nov 17 - TCU 16 Baylor 9 (5-6)
Nov 24 - TCU 31 Oklahoma State 24 (6-6)
Dec 26 - Cheez-It Bowl TCU 10 Cal 7 (7-6)
Stats, Facts, and Noteables on TCU Football
as of 2/15/19
Winning the 2018 home opener ties TCU for eighth longest streak of winning home openers (17).
TCU's 333 game active non-shut-out streak ranks 2nd in the nation and 4th all-time in NCAA history.
In 2018, TCU has held 10/12 opponents below their season offensive average. This includes the last game where they held OSU ranked #9 in offense in the country (520 yds average) to 280 yards of offense.
TCU is ranked #1 in total defense in the Big 12. This ranking is with facing 5 of the nations Top 12 offenses this season.
In a 3-year span, TCU has racked up 120 sacks!
Jalen Reagor passed Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins) for a team record of 7 straight games with a TD reception.
For the second year in a row, both defensive ends, L. J. Collier & Ben Banagu were named to the Big 12 First Team Defense. These two men also played in the Senior Bowl in January, 2019.
Gary Patterson is 166-83 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 86-21 at Amon G. Carter Stadium under head coach Gary Patterson.
We have the nation's third-best record on the road since 2009, 40-14.
Since 2013, TCU's 47-19 overall record and 30-15 conference record rank second in the Big 12.
In 2017, TCU had their 10th 11-win season in 17 years under Gary Patterson.
Along those same lines, TCU is one of five FBS programs that has finished in the top 10 of the final polls at least three times in the last four seasons. The other schools are Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma - pretty good company.
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.
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).
TCU has been ranked in the top 10 in the final polls 5 of the last 9 seasons.
This is the 22nd straight season TCU has 25+ sacks (longest active streak in the Big 12)
TCU went to a bowl game for the 15th time in the last 17 seasons.
At the beginning of the 2018 season, TCU had the highest winning percentage of any team in Texas .762 since 2001. This includes Houston, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas A & M.
TCU's 2016 Alamo Bowl victory 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!
In the last 11 years, TCU has finished in the AP Poll Top 10 a fourth-best 6 times.
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).
Best Program in the Storied State of Texas
I'm not making this up, since Gary Patterson has been the head coach of TCU, they are levels above the other great teams in the state. Look at the stats below.
Frogs in the NFL
TCU currently has 15 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.
Jonathan Anderson, LB (Arizona Cardinals)
Marcus Cannon, OT (New England Patriots) - 3 time Super Bowl Champion
Josh Carraway, LB (Washington Redskins) practice team
Aviante Collins OT (Minnesota Vikings) injured reserve
Andy Dalton, QB (Cincinnati Bengals)
Josh Doctson, WR (Washington Redskins)
Jerry Hughes, LB (Buffalo Bills)
Joey Hunt, C (Seattle Seahawks)
Colin Jones, S (Carolina Panthers)
Derrick Kindred, DB (Cleveland Browns)
Marshall Newhouse, OT (Buffalo) Super Bowl Champion
Joseph Noteboom, OT (LA Rams ROOKIE)
Matt Pryor, OT (Philadelphia ROOKIE)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, RT (Philadelphia Eagles) Super Bowl Champion
Jason Verrett, CB (Los Angeles Chargers) injured reserve
Frogs For The Cure - 11th year
TCU was the first university in the nation to sponsor an event for breast cancer in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen Foundation at an NCAA football game. Watch the following YouTube video of participants all over the TCU campus supporting the event. The music video is of American Idol finalist and TCU alumnus Tim Halperin singing his original song We Fight Back.
In 2014, Josh Groban lent his song, Brave, for the 10-year anniversary of Frogs For the Cure. Since TCU started this cooperation with Susan G Komen Foundation, it's popularity has spread to other universities as well as professional sports programs. Just look for the pink in the month of October!
Pink-Out - vs. West Virginia in 2013
This game always has a huge draw because people want to support finding a cure for breast cancer. Like hundreds of other universities, TCU coins a t-shirt every year for the breast cancer game. This year it says Rise Up to match the GRO song made for 2013. The picture here shows the forming of the breast cancer ribbon, outlined by the huge pink balloons.
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. There's what we call Frog Alley 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. What I mean by that is, we have a western theme, a breast cancer theme, etc. and some of the Frog Alley activities join up with those themes. 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 always a popular activity (if allowed, there are usually some age rules involved in tail gaiting). Another popular activity is trying to find a parking spot. Of course, you can purchase merchandise to support your team and lots of food and drink are available to sate your appetite.
It is a carnival like atmosphere with the premier event being the game. We usually leave our house that is 30 minutes away a minimum of 2 hours before the game, and that's cutting it close. The game itself takes an average of 3 hours to play out and it usually takes some time to make your way out of the stadium, to your parking spot and get back home. We are typically gone for about 7 hours on game day.
Game Day PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 and Coach Gary Patterson have won conference championships in 3 different conferences: Conference USA, The Mountain West, and The BIG 12.
TCU Bowl History
Bowls and Scores the past 15 years
In the past eight 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.
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)
#1 "Sports City" in the country
Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington - that would be 3 cities
In fall of 2011, the Sporting News named the Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) area the #1 city in the country for sporting events. It was mainly based on the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2010 NBA Title, the Texas Rangers playing in the MLB World Series in 2010 and 2011, the TCU Horned Frogs winning the BCS Rose Bowl Game, and the popularity of the NFL Dallas Cowboys whose nickname is "America's Team." Those of us in Ft. Worth know that out of these four listings, only the Mavericks reside in Dallas or Dallas County and the other three are all from Arlington or Ft. Worth which is in Tarrant County.
In sister cities, even though there is a lot of appreciation and camaraderie, there is also competition and for this time period, Arlington in Tarrant County had the upper hand in the sporting world.