Football: Frogs to face Big 12 in ’06 season

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    TCU may have moved to the Mountain West Conference instead of the Big 12 last year, but Horned Frog football seems not to have noticed.The football team announced its 2006 schedule Wednesday – and weeks one and two are both highlighted by Big 12 match-ups.

    The Horned Frogs will travel to Baylor on Sept. 2 for the first meeting between the teams since the two were Southwest Conference opponents in 1995. Though the Bears have not been to a bowl game since 1994 – and have only won 15 games since 1999 – Baylor showed signs of life last season by compiling a 5-6 record and beating both Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

    TCU will host Texas Tech on Sept. 16 for the second game of the season. The Frogs’ last showing against the Red Raiders ended in disaster in 2004 when TCU, leading 21-0 in the second quarter, fell apart defensively to eventually lose 70-35 in Lubbock. Though the Horned Frogs finished the 2005 season 11-1 – good enough for a No. 11 AP ranking – Tech also enjoyed success last year. The Red Raiders’ 9-3 record propelled them to a Cotton Bowl appearance and a top 25 ranking for the majority of the season.

    TCU’s schedule does not get any easier after their non-conference swing, however. The Frogs start their conference title defense against two 2005 bowl teams; TCU will host Brigham Young on Sept. 28 and travel to Utah on Oct. 5.

    Though cross-town rival SMU – the team that provided TCU’s sole loss in 2005 – is not on the schedule, plans for a 12th game are still pending.

    Head coach Gary Patterson said despite the team’s recent success, hard work is in the Frogs’ future.

    “Our schedule is even tougher than last year,” Patterson said in an e-mail provided by TCU media relations. “We open with two Big 12 teams … We have a lot of work to do in order to be the team we want to be and compete at a high level.