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Talking Points: TCU and Baylor, The Revivalry

There's not a love between these two teams. What should we expect from the 2014 matchup?

Layne Murdoch

Just how close is the Revivalry? 51-51 and some ties. Despite having some big games in the Patterson vs. Briles era, none have been as important as Saturday's contest. In fact, in the 109 times these teams have met, this is the first time they'll meet as ranked teams. Not to mention they're both in the Top-10.

I'm not going to complain that Waco isn't the site of Gameday this weekend. That just seems a little petty at this point. Should it be? Probably. A Top-10 rivalry game seems like it would take precedence over an intraconference Top-5 matchup. That's just the world we live in. But that's okay. You know why? It's Baylor vs. TCU. Remember when we tried to figure out who TCU's rival was? We'll, we don't have to look much further.

Also, as a fun way to pass time search the tcWHO hashtag on Twitter. It's truly a delight.

Baylor’s new stadium

Really anticipated Drayton McClane giving me a huge eyesore on my many drives between Austin and Fort Worth. But it’s a work of art honestly.

Boykin and his Obi-Wan

Sonny Cumbie has been essential to Boykin’s coming of age. Cumbie knows a little something about biding his time. Not starting until his Senior year in Lubbock, Cumbie led the Red Raiders to an 8-4 season--capped off with a 45-31 victory over Aaron Rodgers’ Cal Bears. Remember that game? Tech was obviously a huge underdog against a Cal team that believed Texas had unjustly nabbed their Rose Bowl spot from them (Texas would go on to beat Michigan).

Cumbie has unleashed something in Boykin, mentally and physically. Deuce Boogie will get another chance to impress the country Saturday afternoon. If the Frogs win Saturday, and Boykin’s name isn’t in Heisman contention...start to get mad.

Meacham’s Mind.

In Baylor’s only (regular season) loss last season, they were absolutely dominated by Oklahoma State. The system that overpowered the Baylor defense last year is not much different than the one that was in place when Doug Meacham was there--and not a whole lot different than the one currently being run at TCU. Going slightly deeper, Dougie Fresh also has overlap with Dana Holgorsen. West Virginia lost to Baylor last year 73-42, but given how atrocious the Mountaineer defense was last year, that’s still a good sign for TCU. Also, in the last two meetings between Baylor and West Virginia, there have been a total of 248 points scored. You can read all the great, technical insight by friends of the blog such as Bill Connelly (READ THIS Q&A) and Ian Boyd, but the bottom line is that Baylor’s defense is far from un-exposable, and TCU’s current system is the perfect one to call it out.

The Revivalry.

The Revivalry was registered in 2006 and 2007. In two games, Baylor scored a combined 7 points. However, it can be argued that the Revivalry really began in 2010, aka "The Fluke" game. Despite overpowering Baylor 45-10, Five Dollar Footlong savant, Robert Griffin III wasn’t too impressed by TCU’s rattle and hum. Against the Horned Frogs, who were No. 4 in the country at the time, Griffin went 16 for 28, and had a measly 163 yards and one throwing score. The TCU run defense? Held 4 Baylor running backs and RGIII to under 100 yards. If this was a fluke game, it was the flukiest fluke of all time.

Griffin got his revenge though. Coming off their Rose Bowl season with a new quarterback, and among many personnel changes, the Horned Frogs lost their first regular season game since Utah in 2008. The Bears dominated the first half, but Casey Pachall’s spirited second half almost edged out a TCU victory. Griffin responded, and as one of the defining moments of his Heisman win, led Baylor to a 50-48 win on their last drive.

2013 was a fun one. Two weeks after Casey Pachall’s DUI arrest and one week after a shocking loss to Iowa State, Boykin lead TCU to a 49-21 whopping in their reignited rivalry against the Bears. Boykin looked incredible in that game, completing 22 of his 30 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns. His versatility and speed were also on display as he rushed for 56 yards and one touchdown. But it wasn't so much the stats that were impressive. It was his overall demeanor. He was confident, poised, and dominant. His only rushing score looked like something out of the Johnny Manziel playbook as he completely demolished the Baylor defender. Boykin looked fluid, confident, and had the poise of a guy who'd been starting for two or three years. If this is the real Trevone Boykin, the possibilities are near limitless.

We’ll get to 2014 below.

Trevone Boykin vs. Bryce Petty

Melissa had a really great piece yesterday. But seriously. Why all the love for Petty and none for Boykin. FOX Sports’ David Ubben was surprisingly the first person to point this out. It’s surprising because Ubben has been a semi-homer for Petty and to some degree, Baylor. Ubben went to Mizzou, but he called Petty before anyone else did. While Petty has sat out for many 4th quarters this season, his stats against Texas might be indicative of who’s the better quarterback at this point in the season. To his credit, Petty’s still coming off of an injury. But even a fully healed Petty would have to be at his best to go toe-to-toe against the new and improved Trevone Boykin.

Art Briles vs. Gary Patterson

This is the most exciting talking point about the game, because it’s one that’s going to live on for quite some time. To say there’s bad blood is quite an understatement. It’s more like that YouTube video in which snake venom is plopped out of an eyedropper--simply toxic. I buy that they have a mutual respect. But I don’t buy their knee-jerk reaction assuring a civil relationship, and I’m almost certain that they hate each other. Will they admit that? No. And why would they? As we pointed above, the Briles vs. Patterson era at their current schools began in 2010. Both coaches bring out the worst in each other--Briles turns Patterson’s Hyde into Jekyll whereas Patterson intensifies Briles’ West Texas cocksurness.  In an ESPN Insider article from last week, Travis Haney--whilst saying TCU would win one, if not both matchups against Oklahoma and Baylor--pointed out that Saturday’s game was the only one circled on Patterson’s calendar. And judging by Baylor’s lowly performance against a lowly Texas, it can be said they’re looking forward to this game too.

It makes sense that they’re enemies. They’re polar opposites in their football idealism. They’re polar opposites personally. Using Haney’s words, Patterson is "understated" while Briles can be "brash" and "cocky". Neither were intended as in insult, and I’d be surprised if either coaches disagreed with those words. They’re also masterminds on their respective sides of the ball. Patterson is the defensive guru who modified Bill Belichick's NFL defense into the masterful 4-2-5 TCU fans know and love. Both coaches pulled their schools out of the gutter and made them Nationally relevant. In the process, both schools have been able to build new football cathedrals because of them. They’re two men, who when it’s all said and done, will have fields, if not stadiums, named after them. Carter-Patterson Stadium has a lovely little ring to it.

The two have always been a little salty, but it took to new heights when Ahmad Dixon targeted Trevone Boykin in last year’s final game. A win wouldn’t have made up for a 4-8 season--potentially 5-7--but it would’ve ended on a high-note. Instead, it ended with Patterson in a semi-manic, uncharacteristic frenzy. From an outsiders perspective, it could easily seem like Patterson, hoarse as can be, was simply whining. But given what the general public knows about Dixon now, it’s hard to refute that it wasn’t a cheap shot, and the very worst of Dixon. He said it’s the way he plays football. But that’s a pretty dirty standard to live by. Everyone involved, minus Boykin, is a little at fault. It should’ve been left on the field. But it’s a helluva lot more fun for us now.

Last week was a huge stepping stone. But this is the biggest game for TCU since joining the Big 12. Should they win, they are in dominating control of their destiny to the playoff.