TCU (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012 and Iowa State (1-2, 0-1) has had little success against the Horned Frogs. TCU is 7-2 all time against Iowa State and 4-2 since joining the Big 12.
The Cyclones upset the then-No. 4 Horned Frogs last year in Ames. TCU was ranked No. 17 this year before it lost to Texas last week, so this game doesn’t have the same cachet as last year’s.
Regardless, let’s learn some things about TCU.
1. Sustained success
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell always points to programs like Kansas State, Iowa and TCU as programs he’d like to emulate. Bill Snyder is seemingly the only reason Kansas State has had any sort of success and TCU’s Gary Patterson and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz are the two longest tenured coaches at the FBS level. Both Patterson and Ferentz get their programs to bowl games routinely.
Patterson has led TCU to nine bowl game victories in his 18 years as the head coach. The only years he hasn’t been to a bowl are 2004 when TCU went 5-6 and 2013 when TCU went 4-8.
The years after not making a bowl, Patterson has gone a combined 23-2. Even if TCU has a down year, the Horned Frogs aren’t down for long.
Patterson has swept coach of the year awards twice in his career. Once in 2009 when he led TCU to a 12-1 record and again in 2013 when he went 12-1. Patterson has gone undefeated once in his career, in 2010, when his Horned Frogs team won the Rose Bowl.
2. Football’s Perry Ellis
We all remember Kansas basketball’s Perry Ellis, right? The 6-foot-8 forward was seemingly in college for about 25 years.
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It feels like TCU’s Kavontae Turpin has been a returner and receiver for TCU since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12. Turpin never redshirted and he made the FWAA’s Freshman All-America Team as a returner.
Turpin has been nationally recognized as a returner every year he’s been at TCU, allegedly since 2015.
The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Turpin is an absolute burner. Turpin averaged over 30 yards per kick return last season and he’s just as dangerous on punts, averaging 16.3 yards per return.
He has at least one punt or kick return touchdown every season he’s been at TCU, including one in 2018.
3. National champions
TCU actually claims two national championships — both in the 1930s, before a national championship game was played.
Its first came in 1935, before the AP and wire services awarded national championships. The school recognizes a statistical poll created by Paul Williamson, who awarded the title to TCU. The 1938 team went undefeated and was the consensus No. 1 team according to the AP Poll.
But let’s talk about that 1935 game. The Horned Frogs were led by All-America quarterback Sammy Baugh, who played for the NFL’s Washington Redskins from 1937-1952, winning two NFL Championships. TCU lost to No. 2 SMU in “The Game of the Century” in 1932. The Horned Frogs played LSU in the Sugar Bowl.
And beyond all comprehension, the two teams recorded the lowest score possible in a football game that doesn’t involve a shutout or tie. TCU beat LSU 3-2.
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The 1938 team didn’t play in a bowl game, but the last game of the Horned Frogs’ season came against something called Carnegie Mellon, which is now a Division III school.
4. Notable former athletes
Despite only recently joining a Power Five conference, TCU has a long history of producing high-level professional athletes.
LaDainian Tomlinson was a running back, most notably, for the San Diego Chargers during the 2000s.
It also produced NFL Hall of Famers Sammy Baugh and Bob Lilly.
The Horned Frogs baseball team has produced the likes of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta, the St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Andrew Cashner.
5. The Simpsons
TCU claims ties to of the most popular animated TV shows in history — “The Simpsons.” The “Wedding for Disaster” episode mentions that Reverend Timothy Lovejoy is a TCU alumnus.
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