Tonight the lacrosse team continues our “rivalry” with the SMU Mustangs from the preppy side of town. While any fan from SEC country will tell you that our crosstown rivalry is about as bitter as the Puppy Bowl, you cannot log in to Facebook without clicking “Maybe Attending.” What we need is a Joker for our Batman – a grudge for a new era.
First off, we have to determine what creates strong disdain for an opponent. It has to be a team we play often, preferably a conference foe. It has to be competitive with us in more than one sport, but football is key. The team has to be close enough for TCU students to reasonably travel to games. Sorry, San Diego State, but you’re just not convenient way out west in Southern California.
In a perfect world, we would be their top competition.
Looking at the contenders, immediately I’d look to Brigham Young University. It has good, 28-year-old-freshmen-led squads that are a frequent thorn in our side in just about everything, it is another religious university and the inherent D/FW hatred of the place for sending us Shawn Bradley for the better part of a decade makes it seem like it’s all there. Unfortunately, it happens to already have a much better-fitting rival with the University of Utah, which also happens to be in the MWC and has been sparring with the Cougars since 1895.
So if we don’t look west, how about north? Air Force is tough to hate on account of the whole “defending our freedom” thing, but Colorado State University might not be bad. The only problem with the Rams is they kind of suck at, well, pretty much every sport. Maybe they can beat the Horned Frogs at skiing, but rivalries are not made on the slopes, at least not in Texas.
There could be an argument for the University of Wyoming, but you know what is interesting about the state of Wyoming?
Yeah. Neither does anyone else.
We’re left with the University of New Mexico and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I know Vegas is the party choice, but the 2007 NBA All-Star game proved athletes can sometimes get a little out of hand in Sin City.
That leaves the New Mexico Lobos. Similar records in football and baseball, better than us at men’s basketball (not for long) and a decent women’s team. The current rivalry with New Mexico State isn’t hard to supplant and Albuquerque is close enough to get to on a Southwest flight (and it’s surprisingly fun, believe it or not). And just try to say “Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta” without smiling.
So all Horned Frog fans need to do now is learn to dislike the Lobos. Once the hatred seed is planted, nurture it and let it grow.