There have been 8 teams, past and present, that have won a Big 12 championship- Texas, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Baylor. An impressive list. Only three teams managed to achieve that goal in three seasons or less, though- Texas (1), Nebraska (2) and Texas A&M (3)- with Oklahoma (5), Colorado (6), Kansas State (8), Oklahoma State (16) and Baylor (18) having to wait much longer before their first chance at getting their hands on the conference championship trophy. In just three years of membership, TCU has shown not only that we belong in the Big 12, but that we will be contenders for that title- as today the Frogs can take that final step and claim something that seemed an impossible dream back when we were left to rot in the WAC- A Big 12 championship.
Standing in our way today is Iowa State, a plucky squad that has caused title contenders no end of grief in previous seasons, but one that finds itself as the last barrier between TCU and history. While others might have preferred a climactic showdown with an Oklahoma/Texas-esque dynasty program or a hated rival like Baylor or Texas Tech to close the season with, I think Iowa State is a very fitting opponent, as they were the first opponent of the Trevone Boykin era. It was an ugly game, and Boykin struggled due to only getting one practice at quarterback with the untimely suspension of Casey Pachall, but there were definitely snippets in the performance against the Cyclones that made you think "If this kid ever gets his head on straight, we may just have something here." Two years and a new offensive system later, Boykin has grown into as fine a starter as there is anywhere in the country, and Iowa State is coming back to town this last week of the season- The perfect chance for Boykin to show just how much he's grown from that first frustrating start.
It is, of course, Senior day as well, which means that this will be the final time that a few of our players will strap on a helmet and run through the tunnel into Amon Carter Stadium- and what a group it is. With a win today, this will be one of a very small number of classes in any school to have won a conference championship in two different conferences, and they'll have done it while facing great adversity and the cloud of a drug scandal- while making a huge step up in competition from the Mountain West Conference. Our thanks go out to the seniors, and I hope they will have the chance to play two more games in purple and white.
Today isn't about the playoff though, any discussion of it should be set aside for these next few hours so we can focus on the one thing we do control- winning a share of the Big 12 championship. We'll root hard for the other teams that can improve our standing later, but for now all that we need to be focused on is what we can do on the field that it seemed so unlikely that any TCU team would get the opportunity to do.
This is your game thread for live chat and analysis of TCU vs Iowa State. Enjoy it, opportunities for championships are hard to come by.