This season, everyone in the Mountain West Conference has been waiting for something. Something that everyone was sure would happen week after week. And the more weeks that passed, the more sure everyone became that it would eventually happen.But everyone is still waiting. TCU is still undefeated in the Mountain West.
And, even an SMU-like loss to lowly Nevada-Las Vegas can’t take away the Frogs’ conference championship.
I don’t really have a problem with the original skepticism. TCU was coming off a subpar season and entering a much more competitive conference.
And going into conference play, the Frogs only had a loss to SMU and a win over a pitiful-looking Oklahoma team to their credit.
Overtime wins over Utah and Brigham Young didn’t exactly give people reason to etch TCU’s name into the conference trophy.
And that’s when you started to hear all the excuses. Words like “lucky” and “fortunate” started to appear in quotes about TCU.
Even New Mexico coach Rocky Long said before his team marched into Amon Carter Stadium: “Somebody’s going to beat TCU. They’ve been living on borrowed time.”
The Frogs preceded to borrow a little more, jumping 28-0 on Rocky’s Lobos in the first quarter on their way to a 49-28 win.
And even after TCU comfortably beat his Cowboys on their own field, Wyoming coach Joe Glenn picked Air Force to beat the Frogs.
Of course, TCU sent a statement to Glenn and the rest of the Mountain West coaches with its 48-10 win at Falcon Stadium.
But even after TCU ran through most of the conference, the naysayers still had one last shot. If Colorado State beat TCU, the Frogs would instantly be No. 2 – where, apparently, they belonged.
And Colorado State had come off a huge win over New Mexico on national television, while the Frogs had to escape with a win over San Diego State.
So, the stage was set for the epic battle. The Mountain West championship game.
And it wasn’t even close. For all intensive purposes, the Frogs shut out the Rams since all six Colorado State points came as a result of questionable calls.
That’s why you won’t read “lucky” or “fortunate” in stories about TCU anymore.
The Frogs came into the Mountain West and made themselves at home. And they finally have earned some respect from the rest of the conference.
And it only took an undefeated run through the conference for that to happen.
Drew Irwin is a senior economics and broadcast major