“I got texts from everybody across the nation, from Boise State and schools all over. Today we played for us, and for all the schools that wanted a chance.” – TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson
It’s one of the feel good stories of the year. The little guy rising to the top so to speak. #3 TCU heard all season long how they couldn’t hang with the big boys, but that was thrown out the window after the Rose Bowl.
The Frogs went toe to toe with Big Ten champ #5 Wisconsin and emerged victorious in front of a national audience. This win by the Frogs, a BCS non-qualifier, left the national pundits reeling in their words and helped establish their program as one that can indeed play at a high level.
After the 21-19 win over the Badgers, Gary Patterson’s squad capped its first perfect season since winning the 1938 national championship. They finished the year at 13-0 and are 16-3 in its last 19 games against teams from BCS automatic-qualifying conferences.
The Rose Bowl itself was one of the better bowl games of the year. Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score and Tank Carder knocked down a 2-point conversion pass attempt that would have tied the game with 2 minutes left to seal the deal.
That play helped Carder, who made solid plays all afternoon, cement the game’s defensive MVP award, while Dalton’s performance gained him the MVP on the offensive award. It also propelled the Frogs into the hierarchy of college football.
It could be considered a statement win for the program as they begin their move from the Mountain West Conference; they will jump to the Big East in 2012. When that happens, they could possibly lay claim right away for being the head of the class. The move also opens up a brand new world on the recruiting front, so reloading may not be a problem for Coach Patterson.
You could argue whether the win put TCU on the national map. Some say they have been there, while others state this was the first big boy win. Either way, the Rose Bowl opened the eyes of many in the college football world.
Written by C. James