There have been a lot of big games in the Gary Patterson era. The 2003 game against Southern Miss to see if TCU would be the first ever BCS buster. The 2008 game against Utah with the Mountain West championship and another BCS bid on the line. The 2009 BYU and Utah games, which led us to the Fiesta Bowl (another big one). The 2010 Utah game. The Rose Bowl. As big as all of those games were, the implications of this game could be much bigger than any of them- this is a game that would go a long way to TCU securing its first Big 12 championship, and put TCU in a very enviable position to claim a slot in the first playoff field in college football history. I'm not overlooking the rest of TCU's schedule at all, any of those games could scuttle the dream just as thoroughly as this one if TCU is on the wrong side, but tonight- against the #7 team in the nation- is the game that puts those dreams firmly on the table.
The opponent is the lone remaining team that TCU has never beaten in Big 12 play, and coach Patterson's alma mater to boot- it would be hard to imagine a more fitting opponent for a game of this stature. They play hard, disciplined football, have a stout defense and, like TCU, they have a Maxwell award semifinalist behind center. TCU is going to have to play a complete game to win this one, which means a big performance from our Heisman hopeful, a stout (and hopefully turnover forcing) performance from our defense and Jaden Oberkrom continuing his second half surge.
It's blackout time.