TCU's official entry to the Big 12 is only a month away now, and though the Big 12 has always seemed like the promised land to TCU fans the Mountain West years have been good to the Frogs. So every day until the Big 12 becomes official Frogs O' War will be counting down its staff's top ten TCU sports moments in our Mountain West tenure. Today is #8: Seven Straight MWC Baseball Championships.
When TCU made the jump from the CUSA to the MWC, most eyes were focused on the task ahead for the football team. The baseball program was affected too however, as it moved into a softer league that appeared favorable for growth and expansion. When you look out across Lupton Stadium today, you can see the fruits of this move everywhere you look: Beautification of the stadium, party patios, new seating and amenities that have allowed this program to move into the top ten in the country, and seven new Conference Championship Signs hung up on the left field fence. And, just so we don't forget, we also have that shiny new CWS emblem on the left field wall too.
That's right folks: Going into the MWC, TCU Baseball was an after thought. Leaving it, we have a top ten program.
I often hear TCU fans rebut Raider fans cries of soft schedule and flimsy opponents by insisting that this is actually by design, allowing TCU to rack up wins and stay steadily on the national stage. The same can be said for baseball which has been able to win the conference outright or split the regular season championship every year in the league. While New Mexico and San Diego State typically provided mediocre competition, the Frogs were always far and away the best team in the league.
Proof: There MWC record ends up at a salty 128-32, good for a .800 winning percentage.
Could they have done this in the Big 12, or the Big East? The truth is, probably not. Jim Schlossnagle is an incredible coach and the backers of this program always step up to the plate when called upon, but having the ability to pencil in 15 wins during the back stretch of your schedule every year is an incredible blessing for any team as you recuperate from injuries and prepare for the postseason push.
So, as the Frogs finish up their final season in the MWC this weekend, keep these important milestones in mind:
The Frogs made their first CWS trip in this conference.
They brought in the best recruiting classes in this programs history in this conference.
There are currently 19 former Frog ballplayers currently in professional baseball; 18 of those competed in the MWC.
They won seven straight conference championships in this conference.
That is just one fewer conference championship than they had had in the previous 110 years combined.
The Frogs will enter the Big 12 as a top ten program with another top ten recruiting class, looking to make it back to the CWS in a down, but certainly not out, Big 12.
We likely could not have prepared for this challenge if it hadn't been for the MWC.
And for this, we salute you, MWC Baseball.
Frogs o' War Top Ten TCU Mountain West Moments:
10. TCU beats OU in Norman, 2005