Sunday, October 9, 2011
Win sets up TCU-Boise St. for MWC showdown
By Jeff Caplan
The TCU Horned Frogs might be a young group that, as coach Gary Patterson suggested last week, hasn't properly felt the pain that a loss should inflict -- or at least Patterson doesn't believe they have revealed that pain properly -- but they sure know how to rebound from a loss.
For a second time this season, TCU (4-2, 2-0) avoided a losing skid. Late Saturday night they jumped out to a 17-0 lead on an offensively dangerous San Diego State Aztecs team and came away with a 27-14 road win.
Earlier in the week, the Frogs got the good news that they've got an invite to become the 10th team in the Big 12. They have a chance to leave the Mountain West Conference with a record win streak that could stand for some time. TCU won its 19th consecutive MWC game to break a tie with now-independent BYU, which won 18 in a row from 2006-08.
The one team that would seem capable of such a long streak is the league's newest member, the Boise State Broncos.
TCU will have something to say that about on its way down the mountain to the Big 12. The Frogs and Broncos (5-0, 0-0) are on a collision course to determine the conference champion on Nov. 12 at Boise. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Fort Worth, but when TCU accepted an invitation last November to join the Big East Conference, MWC officials swiped it away and moved the game to the blue turf.
Between now and then, TCU will finally enjoy a bye week coming up followed by three games it will be be favored to win: at home against New Mexico (Oct. 22), against BYU at Cowboys Stadium (Oct. 28) and at Wyoming (Nov. 5).
Boise, formerly of the WAC, will play its first MWC game Saturday at Colorado State, followed by a home game against Air Force (Oct. 22), and then at UNLV (Nov. 5). Air Force was considered to be the toughest hurdle in setting up a Frogs-Broncos showdown, but TCU already dispatched the Falcons with relative ease in Colorado Springs.
For two teams that have forged a rivalry through multiple tightly contested bowl matchups over the last several seasons, this first and last conference game should be more of the same.