For yet another occasion on Saturday, TCU football will go up against a top-10 team when the Horned Frogs face No. 4 Ohio State at AT&T Stadium.
It goes without saying — the matchup is one of the biggest regular-season contests in program history for TCU. From the off-field tensions between the schools to the presence of ESPN College GameDay in Fort Worth Saturday morning, the atmosphere is set to be unlike any other. Frog fans can only hope that energy carries over to Arlington for a TCU victory on a national stage.
Of course, it’s hardly the first time the Frogs have gone head-to-head with an elite-caliber opponent. Look no further than last season, when TCU was tasked with going up against a top-5 Oklahoma team — led by Heisman winner Baker Mayfield — not once, but twice.
Obviously, that pair of games vs. the Sooners didn’t turn out the way the Frogs hoped. But there have been plenty of happier results in the past. So let’s take a look back at all the cases since 2010 in which the Frogs have gone up against one of the ten best teams in the country, and see how they fared in each. You may even find that there’s a welcoming history between TCU and the number four.
TCU 47, Utah 7
No. 3 TCU vs. No. 4 Wisconsin (Rose Bowl) — Jan. 1, 2011
TCU 21, Wisconsin 19
TCU at No. 5 Boise State — Nov. 12, 2011
TCU 36, Boise State 36
As the numbers show, the Frogs made a habit of making statements against top 10 opponents during their final two seasons in the Mountain West Conference.
Now, enter the Big 12 era of TCU football:
TCU vs. No. 3 Kansas State — Nov. 10, 2012
TCU 10, Kansas State 23
TCU vs. No. 9 Baylor — Nov. 30, 2013
TCU 38, Baylor 41
No. 25 TCU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma — Oct. 4, 2014
TCU 37, Oklahoma 33
No. 9 TCU at No. 5 Baylor — Oct. 11, 2014
TCU 58, Baylor 61
No. 6 TCU vs. No. 7 Kansas State — Nov. 8, 2014
TCU 41, K-State 20
No. 6 TCU vs. No. 9 Ole Miss (Peach Bowl) — Dec. 31, 2014
TCU 42, Ole Miss 3
No. 11 TCU at No. 7 Oklahoma — Nov. 21, 2015
TCU 29, Oklahoma 30
No. 15 TCU vs. No. 7 Baylor — Nov. 27, 2015
TCU 28, Baylor 21 (2 OT)
No. 16 TCU at No. 6 Oklahoma State — Sept. 23, 2017
TCU 44, Oklahoma State 31
No. 6 TCU at No. 5 Oklahoma — Nov. 11, 2017
TCU 20, Oklahoma 38
No. 11 TCU vs, No. 3 Oklahoma (Big 12 Championship Game) — Dec. 2, 2017
TCU 17, Oklahoma 41
Add it all up, and you’ll find that the Frogs are a combined 8-6 in the 14 times they’ve faced a top 10 opponent start of the decade. Break it down even further, and TCU is slightly below .500 in the 11 games that have come after it joined the Big 12, going 5-6. The Frogs will have a chance to improve to 6-6 on Saturday.
It won’t be an easy task for TCU by any means as they enter the game as two touchdown underdogs. Near perfection will be required for a revamped o-line against one of the premier defenses in the nation. And even with the defensive talent the Frogs have themselves, Ohio State’s offense has the pedal to the metal after scoring at least 50 points in each of the Buckeyes first two games of 2018.
So can the Frogs pull out the win that would surely bump them into the top 10? Head coach Gary Patterson has proven that he can pull off an improbable upset far more than once. Why not strike again vs. a program that has won eight national titles?
Buckle-up. We should all be in for one heck of a treat.
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