Stop me if this sounds familiar. Coming off a huge win, the Frogs go into the mountains. They’re playing a team with the reputation of a hard-nosed defense in a loud stadium with only a few diehard Frog fans making the trip. It’s freezing and snowing.
TCU doesn’t play Air Force this week, but they will see a similar foe in Wyoming. This isn’t a warning that Wyoming might beat us. It’s a warning that the same results aren’t acceptable anymore.
The Horned Frogs escaped from Falcon Stadium about six weeks ago with a three-point win in the coldest game our football team has ever seen and seemed content just to get off the field and get warm. That week, the nation’s voters were distracted with Florida at LSU.
This week, TCU has no excuses – no one ignores the nation’s No. 4 team.
Admittedly, Wyoming isn’t as good as Air Force. The Cowboys have put in a new spread offensive system under former Missouri coordinator Dave Christensen, but it has not been especially fearsome lately. The team has averaged 10 points per contest in its past four games, and it has been shut out twice in that span. The Cowboys also have no equivalent to the Air Force run game. Few do.
But the Frogs have entered a brave new world in which “style points” are hugely important. With just Wyoming and New Mexico left to play, TCU isn’t going to positively impact its national rep with these two games. The only way to go is down.
That’s why it is so important to jump on the Cowboys early. Nothing less than an epic beating will do, and this team is capable of it.
Wyoming is not the usual defense-first squad under the new coaching staff. The team has allowed nearly 27 points per game this year, including 27 to a UNLV team that TCU shut out. With the way the Horned Frog offense is killing it this year, something more attune to the 52-0 drubbing BYU gave Wyoming on Nov. 7 seems like a good benchmark.
We saw what happened when we made excuses after the Air Force game – no one cared. It’s cold. It’s far from home. The fans are loud. Get over it and play ball.
Head coach Gary Patterson has said many times that in college football you need to find a reason to hate an opponent for three hours. Here’s a crack at it.
Wyoming represents everything that holds the Frogs back from a national title shot. We came to the Mountain West to join a conference on the rise, and it has. Utah proved that over Alabama in January. But the teams like Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV and San Diego State have held us back by not making the leap.
Beat Wyoming and New Mexico like a rented mule. Because that’s what a national title contender would do.
Staff reporter Josh Davis is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Highland Park.