Since 1897, the University of Texas at Austin and TCU have battled it out in a 124-year-long rivalry, and they look to meet for the 92nd time this Saturday in Fort Worth.
Though TCU has prevailed more often than not as of late, UT has dominated in the overall record against the Frogs, holding a 63-27-1 advantage over TCU.
Since TCU joined the Big 12, though, the Frogs have won seven of nine games against the Longhorns, with a streak of two during the last couple matchups.
With the recent news that UT will be packing their bags for the SEC, this Saturday could be one of the last matchups between the two teams for the foreseeable future. There, the Frogs will fight to bounce back from a loss against their biggest rival with a win over their oldest one.
1897-1928: the origins
The first TCU-UT game took place all the way back in 1897 when TCU was still in Waco, which highlights just how old this rivalry is. UT won the game 18-10, kicking off an era of Frog and Longhorn football that was completely owned by UT — as they took 13 of the first 14 matchups (the 14th was a tie).
The largest margin of victory in the rivalry happened during this time, with UT slaughtering TCU 72-0 in 1915 in Austin.
This was not the best showing of the Frog’s talents on the field, as their best game during this 21-year run was a 0-0 tie in 1927. Losing to UT was far from TCU’s biggest worry in this era, though, as their campus in Waco burned down in 1910.
The move from Waco would prove to be beneficial both for the university and their athletic department, as they would reach far greater heights on the field once in Fort Worth.
1929-1949: the O’brien/Baugh days
After decades of losing, TCU finally snagged a 15-12 victory against UT in 1929. This era of Frog and Longhorn football leaned toward TCU, as they were 12-8 over the 20-year span. This elite play from TCU came primarily from two superstar quarterbacks – Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien.
Aside from Baugh’s freshman year, The Baugh-O’Brien dynasty was undefeated against UT from 1935-1938. One notable game was during TCU’s 1938 National Champion season when Davey O’Brien won the Heisman Trophy. At the time, TCU was also the top-ranked team in college football.
The Frogs beat the Longhorns 28-6 that year to prove they were worthy of being the best team in the country. After Baugh was long gone and O’Brien went pro, TCU still was able to carry that success and momentum against their bitter rivals throughout the 1940s.
1950-2007: Horns over Horned Frogs
This long and tumultuous era was marred with both poor TCU play and prime championship UT play. During the 57-year span, UT was 39-18 against TCU. This era saw the Longhorns go on a 24-game win streak against the Frogs from 1968-1991, which is the 17th-longest win streak against one opponent in college football history.
UT would win the National Championship four times (1963, 1969, 1970, 2005) during this span. UT was ranked 15 out of the 24 seasons they beat TCU, with their highest being in 1977 when they were ranked first.
Some notable games during this time include UT’s 81-16 whooping of TCU in 1974, a three-game streak from 1970-1972 where TCU scored zero points and had a 41-0 loss in 1978. While UT would go on to produce some of college football’s finest players like Earl Cambell, Ricky Williams and Vince Young during this time, TCU was struggling heavily against their in-state rivals.
The streak was finally snapped in 1992 with a 23-14 TCU victory in Fort Worth. The victory was short-lived, though, as TCU would lose every match after that until 2007.
2012-present: TCU is back
After a rough span where UT dominated TCU and found national success while the Frogs couldn’t even find conference success, many were skeptical about the Frogs’ invitation to the Big 12 in 2012. UT was the big dog on the Big 12’s campus, winning seven Big 12 titles since joining in 1996. Many expected the same old Frogs against the Longhorns. Those people were mistaken.
TCU is currently 7-2 against the Longhorns since joining the Big 12, winning their first matchup 20-13 in Austin and being ranked three times during that time. The largest victory was a 50-7 crushing in Fort Worth in 2015, as TCU was ranked fourth in the nation that year.
The recent success has proven not only that TCU belongs in a Power 5 conference, but that they can compete with programs with much better recruiting and bigger athletic budgets.
TCU’s recent success against UT brings up the question of if the Longhorns are really “back” to form. Their move to the SEC has many college football fans confused, as UT’s football program has not been as elite as it was in their early Big 12 days.
Despite these questions, one thing remains certain — TCU will always fight hard against their bitter rivals. These next few games are some of the last in a historic rivalry that has shown to be one of the best rivalries in UT.
TCU is currently on a two-game win streak against UT. The Frogs hope to maintain that streak this Saturday, Oct. 2, in Fort Worth.