Welcome back to Frog Abroad and the Let's Play series. Before my travel induced hiatus I laid out a suggestion for future non-conference scheduling for the Frogs: Play all of the other teams in Texas as much as possible to get the TCU name out there in every corner of Texas. Some teams we have deep historical ties with like the Rice Owls, while some are more of a geographic convenience like the North Texas Mean Green. Then there are a couple of teams that we haven't played more than once, but still have interesting connections with. Today's team is one that we've played just once and has only recently moved up to the FBS level of competition, but is a team many frog fans would love to absolutely demolish. I'm talking of course about the Texas State University Bobcats.
What are they?: They're Texas State University, the flagship campus of one of the largest university systems around.
Where are they?: Texas State is in San Marcos, due south on 35 and tucked between two of Texas' largest cities: Austin and San Antonio. Pretty fertile ground for football players.
How good are they usually?: 489-410-28. A .543 winning percentage, but almost entirely acquired against FCS level competition. However, Texas State can claim two national championships at the FCS level, which is two more than Baylor has at any level. Texas State will be moving to the Sun Belt next year, so not necessarily worlds above FCS level competition (despite some recent success). It will suit their coach well.
How have we done against them?: TCU won the only meeting between the schools back in 2009. Undefeated, baby!
So is the only reason to play them their location?: That's a pretty appealing reason to me, but if we're playing in Austin every other year it would make just as much sense to play the University of Texas at San Antonio twice as often and skip the San Marcos area. However, Texas State does have something unique that would make them an absolute joy to play (and beat).
Someone's still bitter about Franchione, aren't they?: Just a bit. That's right, Texas State is coached by none other than former TCU Head Coach Dennis Franchione, that paragon of coaching virtue who wasn't going to talk to Alabama as the TCU coach and then certainly wasn't going to go to Texas A&M while he was the Alabama coach (As an aside, I wonder what the college football landscape would be like today if Coach Fran had stayed on as the coach of Alabama? How many eyebrows would it raise if the current Alabama coach left 'bama for A&M? Yet it wasn't such a huge surprise back then. College football is weird). Coach Fran, who declared that Gary Patterson wasn't ready for a head coaching position, and refused to even field questions about scheduling TCU as the A&M coach (despite lobbying heavily for A&M to play TCU when he was our coach) is a divisive figure around the TCU fandom to say the least- and giving Patterson the chance to pay back his old boss for his less than ringing endorsement would be an absolute joy to watch. Giving Texas State a sellout level home game every few seasons would also be considered a nice gift for the university that TCU also took a coach from back in the day- Jim Wacker, who in 1984 took TCU to its first bowl game since 1965, but was also the coach when the NCAA smacked the heck out of us despite our self reporting of violations. So there's actually quite a connection between our two universities, and the more games we play in the central Texas area the better recruiting there will be. Sounds pretty good, right? So let's play Texas State University!