Unmistakable ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger joined Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones on a teleconference Tuesday to hype the Sept. 4 Cowboys Classic, the college football opener at Cowboys Stadium that pits the TCU Horned Frogs, ranked No. 7 in the preseason coaches poll and primed to bust the BCS for a second consecutive season, against the No. 22-ranked Oregon State Beavers.
Musburger wasted little time ramping up the intensity for the game and an opening weekend that will also see the other top BCS-buster candidate in action when the No. 5 Boise State Broncos take on the No. 6 Virginia Tech Hokies in Washington D.C. on Sept. 6.
The longtime play-by-play man made the stakes clear for both the Frogs and Broncos: A loss by either would douse BCS hopes before the end of Labor Day.
"If TCU can win that game at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday and if Boise State can lose on the road in Washington -- even though that's a neutral site, there'll be more Virginia Tech fans there -- then that would move TCU up," Musburger said. "So, it is a huge weekend because for the BCS busters, as everybody knows, there's no margin for error."
Musburger said TCU's rise to prominence under Gary Patterson has not been a surprise nationally -- although TCU folks might tend to disagree with his assessment -- because of the state's rich tradition and fertile recruiting grounds.
"I would think nationally there is not that much surprise they have built a big-time program," Musburger said. "I think the way that coach [Gary] Patterson carried on with the success may have caught everybody unawares, but I think the that national media realizes the quality of high school football that's played in the state of Texas. I would say the quality down there is probably No. 1, and that includes California and Florida. No surprise. TCU is a quality program."