TCU Athletics Year in Review (2010-2011)


TCU has spent more time under the national spotlight in 2010-2011 than just about any year in Horned Frog history.

Let’s recall the year that was for the Horned Frog football, basketball, and baseball teams.

TCU’s athletic year began with a football game on national TV against Oregon State at Cowboys Stadium. Andy Dalton‘s first quarter touchdown run started what would be a magical season for the Frogs. After securing a 30-21 win against the Beavers, TCU never looked back.

TCU would blow out their next 8 opponents by a combined score of 337-57. The Frogs then played what would be their biggest regular season game of the year vs. the 5th ranked Utah Utes.

It did not take long for the Frogs to prove Kirk Herbstreit wrong in his prediction as the Frogs steamrolled the Utes to the tune of a 47-7 drumming. The Frogs impressive victory announced to the rest of the nation that the Horned Frogs were for real.

Three days after the Frogs wrapped up an undefeated regular season with a victory vs. New Mexico, the Horned Frogs announced that they would leave the Mountain West conference.

In a move that will shape TCU athletics for years to come, TCU joined the Big East conference because of their automatic qualifying status in the BCS system, and their strong reputation as a basketball conference.

However on the same day as the Frogs defeated New Mexico, their rival Boise State fell to Nevada opening the door for TCU to play in the Rose Bowl. Many college football analysts predicted that Boise would have moved ahead of the Frogs in the BCS standings if they had emerged victorious vs. the Wolfpack.

On November 27, TCU knew that it would have a chance to compete in the “grandaddy of them all,” the Rose Bowl.

As the calendar was set to turn to 2011, TCU basketball was having one of their best starts in many years. Standing at 10-4, Jim Christian had his Frogs playing great basketball. Good wins vs. USC, SMU, and Texas Tech had TCU basketball on a roll.

As the calendar turned, the entire city of Fort Worth turned its attention to Pasadena, California where the Frogs were set to take on the Badgers from Wisconsin. Considered an underdog by most, Gary Patterson and his team had a chance to validate for the rest of America what Frog fans had known all season long, TCU was for real.

As the afternoon turned to evening, TCU held a 21-13 lead after scoring on a Luke Shivers run on their first possession of the second half. That drive would be all the offense TCU could muster against Wisconsin.

With just two minutes left in the game, Montee Ball‘s 4 yard run brought Wisconsin within 2 points of tying the game. Having run the ball successfully all evening, Frog fans held their breath as many thought Wisconsin would try to ram home Montee Ball on a two point conversion. Instead, the Badgers put their season in the hands of their quarterback Scott Tolzein.

Unfortunately for the Frogs, safety Tekerrein Cuba got the wrong defensive call on the two-point conversion leaving an unguarded Wisconsin receiver. Then….Tank Carder stepped away from the line, batting down Tolzein’s pass to seal the victory for TCU. The celebration lasted all night long as TCU secured one of its best wins in school history.

13-0…the perfect season.

The Rose Bowl celebration kept Fort Worth on a two week high before any Frog fan stopped smiling.

As January then turned to February, TCU basketball had lost all momentum built from a 9-4 start. Losing 8 of 9, including a heart breaking loss on a missed layup vs. Air Force, Christian and his team were forced to regroup.

On February 19th, the TCU community got a glimpse of the atmosphere that Jim Christian is hoping to build in Daniel Meyer Coliseum. The arena sold-out to watch Jimmer Fredette and the BYU Cougars come to town.

The Frogs could have easily mailed in their season in late February, but in a testament to Jim Christian and the character of his players, TCU continued to fight and even won their first round game in the Mountain West Conference tournament.

In the second round, the Frogs played their best basketball game of the year. TCU had BYU on the ropes with two minutes remaining in the contest in Las Vegas, Nevada. TCU eventually fell to the 5th ranked Cougars, but the Horned Frogs undoubtedly learned a valuable less on from the game.

They learned exactly what it will take to close out meaningful games that it absolutely must win come tournament time. As the offseason began, Christian wasted no time compiling his best recruiting class as head coach of the Frogs with Ryan Rhoomes and Kyan Anderson headlining a strong class.

So now the attention of the TCU community turned to its top ranked baseball team. Jim Schlossnagle and Matt Purke opened the baseball season before a crowd of over 6,000 at Lupton Stadium. A dominant first three innings secured the victory for the Frogs and Matt Purke sat at 1-0.

However, inconsistent play and injuries meant that the Horned Frogs would never find the magic that carried them to Omaha in 2010. Most notably, Matt Purke struggled to stay on the field and the Frogs struggled to consistently field the ball and in turn, reach their full potential.

Nonetheless, TCU amassed 43 wins with 20 of those coming in conference play en route to a regular season MWC conference title.

Despite a short lived post season, the TCU baseball team’s 43 wins capped off one of the best years in TCU athletics history.

In the year that was, few Frogs fans will forget the Rose Bowl victory, the celebration, and the TCU baseball team that began the college baseball season ranked #1 in America.

Here’s to hoping more excitement is to follow in 2011-2012.

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