TCU Gets Their Wish
It has been a long journey, but TCU has finally returned to big time college football. Texas Christian University hasn’t been in a major conference since 1995, when the Southwest Conference broke up. While UT, Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas A&M all moved on to the Big 12, the rest of the SWC was forced to join “lesser” conferences. It has been an uphill battle ever since for TCU, fighting to rejoin the college elite. TCU first joined the WAC after the SWC from 1996 to 2000. From there, TCU then made a small step up to Conference USA from 2001-2004. Then the frogs moved on to the Mountain West Conference, a conference that had some decent success for being a mid major. It was in the MWC that TCU made its biggest strides, winning 6 of 7 bowl games, including the 2011 Rose Bowl over Big Ten champ Wisconsin. TCU also finished ranked in the top ten 3 out of the last 4 years. It is this success that made TCU the natural choice to replace Texas A&M in the Big 12 conference.
Now that TCU has finally punched their ticket to a major conference, it’s time to prove it every week on the field that they belong. TCU has wanted a chance to prove they are as good as anybody in the country, and now they get that chance. Gone are the games against Air Force, San Diego State, and Utah. Now TCU will be playing Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia yearly. Will they crumble, or will they strive and continue to be a perennial top 25 team?
TCU is built to succeed, both in 2012 and in the future. TCU was forced to build a solid program without the benefit of big conference money, TV exposure, or big games to sell to recruits. Bottom line, TCU has worked for everything that they’ve got, and are now poised to show it off in the Big 12. Coach Gary Patterson has turned 2 star recruits to NFL players, and can now sell recruits on in state games against Texas, Texas Tech, and Baylor. TCU can also sell their recent success, as mentioned before they have finished in the top ten 3 out of the last 4 seasons, and can show off the 2011 Rose Bowl trophy. And if history sells, TCU has more history than any Texas school not named the Longhorns. Sammy Baugh, Davey O’Brien, Bob Lilly, Don Meredeth, and recently LaDainian Tomlinson have all laced them up in Fort Worth. TCU also sits in the middle of the DFW area, one of the best areas for recruiting in the county.
TCU’s biggest obstacle in the Big 12 will be depth. TCU has never recruited very well in terms of bringing in a ton of talent, so even though the starting lineup for TCU can play with anybody, the depth behind them is not quite up to par with the UT’s of the world. The last four recruiting classes for TCU have been ranked #46, #46, #26 and #37. Not horrible, but not what you want if you’re planning on winning the Big 12.
Time will tell if TCU can cash in on its current success, location, and now conference affiliation. If not, the horn frogs might drown in the deep Big 12 pool.