I never intend to be a homer. Really. During TCU's season I like to believe I'm fairly realistic in deciding how good the Frogs chances are in every game- I study the game tape and I can get a reasonable expectation of performance for the team. Still, as soon as the season ends and time passes, the warts and areas for concern in my football team vanish and every offseason I manage to convince myself that this will be the year for TCU to break through. Happily that feeling has been justified in some cases, but even in offseasons where major drug busts go on I still somehow end up feeling that the Frogs will be the best team in every game they play until I actually see them play the first game of the season (or in the case of this year's frogs, the second. Grambling makes everyone look like a national title winner).
Having admitted that, though, TCU should be quite good next year if Casey keeps his head on straight, and if a few things break TCU's way it's entirely possible that this could be TCU's year. Nobody can say for certain right now that it won't be, in any case, so let's just run with the idea for now- it's a long offseason, as I mentioned. So the Frogs run the table and make the title game... who do you want them to play? Your standard coach will either tell you that they want to play the best possible opponent to show that they deserve the title or to play the worst possible opponent to give them the best chance at winning, but this is the dream world remember so we'll pretend that we're assured victory over any team foolish enough to take the field against us. Who would you want to beat in the title game? Before you decide, let's run through some that are sure to be popular thoughts.
Alabama Crimson Tide- "To be the man, you've got to beat the man" they say. Well Alabama is certainly the man and every fanbase in the nation would love to be the ones to knock the Tide off of their perch at the top of the tree. Beating Alabama goes beyond just beating the best team in the country in two of the past four years (Yes, I know they have three titles, but them even getting a shot at the 2011 BCS game was BS) though, as they're coached by quite possibly the most unlikable head coach in all of major college football. I'm not saying that Nick Saban is a bad person- though if you're one of those folks who dislikes the whole oversigning business he's one of the biggest offenders- and I'm quite sure he's not Satan, no matter what other coaches who have worked with him have said. That said if there is a more joyless man in college football I've never seen him, and I'd love to send him back to the NFL with his tail between his legs before he ruins one of the most interesting things in modern college football.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish- In just about every fanbase there's at least a little resentment for Notre Dame. All of the media attention and hoopla (even when they're not any good) is absolutely grating. They have their own sweetheart deal with the BCS which lets them keep their independence and worm their way into BCS games where they end up being humiliated again and again and again and (yet) again. Beyond the resentment, there are only a handful of programs in college football that have the name value of Notre Dame, so beating them for the title would be a huge boost for any program's national reputation (with the exception of Alabama).
Ohio State Buckeyes- I know for a large number of teams you could swap the Buckeyes with the Michigan Wolverines without anyone batting an eye, but as we're TCU five little words will always rankle us about the Buckeyes. Little Sisters of the Poor. The arrogant attitude from Ohio State's president dismissing the accomplishments of TCU's 2010 squad stuck in the craw of Frog fans across the nation, and though putting up billboards after TCU's win was nice, a portion of the fanbase won't be satisfied until it's the Buckeyes themselves on the opposing sideline. Fortunately we have a series in 2018/2019 to look forward to, but wouldn't it be sweet to send Gordon Gee off into retirement with a loss in the national title game, with TCU fans chanting "Little Sisters" at the buckeyes as they leave the field? That sounds pretty appealing before you throw in the fact that they're coached by Urban Meyer, the first coach to break through to the BCS from a non-AQ school when we all were hoping that it would be Patterson.
Boise State Broncos- It seems almost inevitable that the first time that a team from a non-AQ conference makes the title game would be the time when TCU would be the opponent, doesn't it? Fate conspires to bring TCU and Boise State together time and time again, and with the all-time series tied at two wins a piece a showdown in the title game would be the perfect climax for our respected rivals from Idaho. Winning the title over Boise State might not have the same historical appeal as winning it over Notre Dame or Alabama, but there's no denying it would be sweet- and the subsequent guest post over at OBNUG would be even sweeter than the one that followed our 2011 victory in Boise.
And last, but certainly not least...
Texas A&M Aggies- The other teams on the list have more history (with the exception of Boise State) and more national notoriety (including Boise State) but to me there is no team I would rather play in the title game than A&M. Growing up in the SWC, the Aggies inexplicably owned us- to the point where I have seen TCU beat every member of the SWC in person, with the exception of A&M. Beyond that, TCU hasn't beaten A&M in the lifetime of any member of the Frogs O' War staff, last winning in 1972. A&M has simply owned us far beyond any other team, but there's more to wanting to beat A&M than just that. We run into aggies all the time in our day to day life (there seem to be a lot more of them after last season, doesn't there?) which would make a win in the title game all the sweeter. In general the aggie fanbase has given frog fans a ton of grief (like Baylor fans, Tech fans and Longhorn fans, to be sure) but the aggies are the one SWC team that have refused to schedule TCU after the demise of the southwest conference so they remain the one team that we have no idea how we stack up against these days.
I'd love to see us stack up well, and end the period of aggie dominance decisively, which is why A&M is my pick for dream opponent. What about you? Is there a team that you hate that you'd love to see TCU play, or perhaps a matchup that you think would be a blast (TCU's 4-2-5 against Oregon's spread, perhaps)? Let us know in the comments!