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Football: TCU releases full 2024 schedule

The new-look Big 12 released its official complete schedule on Tuesday; the Horned Frogs open conference play vs. UCF in Fort Worth

BYU v TCU Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

You may now begin planning your fall. The Big 12 revealed its full 2024 conference schedule on Tuesday, welcoming new members Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah for the first season as a 16-team conference. After a disappointing 2023 campaign that saw the Horned Frogs miss a bowl game just a season removed from playing in the National Championship game, TCU is looking for a big bounce back in 2024. Here is how the 2024 schedule looks for the Horned Frogs:

TCU Horned Frogs 2024 Football Schedule

Week 1: Fri. Aug. 30 at Stanford Cardinal, Stanford, CA

Nothing says “Atlantic Coast Conference” like a trip to the Pacific time zone. The Cardinal will open its first season as a member of the ACC with this weeknight home showdown with the Frogs. It was a tough first season in Palo Alto for head coach Troy Taylor as the Cardinal finished 3-9 in 2023 including a loss to his former team FCS Sacramento State. TCU is 3-0 all-time vs. Stanford including wins over the Jim Harbaugh-coached teams in 2007 & 2008 and the Alamo Bowl thriller in 2017.

Week 2: Sat. Sept. 7 vs. Long Island Sharks, Fort Worth, TX

The Sharks are a relative newcomer to the Division I FCS ranks, only making the leap from Division II in 2019. Last season LIU lost both of its games versus FBS opponents, falling at Ohio and Baylor by a combined score of 57-17 en route to a 4-7 overall record. LIU ranked last in the Northeast Conference in first downs and time of possession, while ranking bottom-3 in scoring and total offensive yardage. It goes without saying, but this is a game the TCU Defense and new Coordinator Andy Avalos must dominate.

Week 3: Sat. Sept. 14 vs. UCF Knights, Fort Worth, TX

TCU opens Big 12 play with its first ever match up with the UCF Knights. UCF brought in Arkansas transfer QB KJ Jefferson to pair with star RB RJ Harvey and a dynamic offense that ranks as the top returning Big 12 squad in total offense from 2023, finishing behind only Oklahoma. UCF gets to focus full attention on this game as it is sandwiched between a home contest vs. newly-FBS Sam Houston and the Bye week, while the Horned Frogs have to avoid looking ahead to the cross-metroplex rival the next week.

Week 4: Sat. Sept. 21 at SMU Mustangs, Dallas, TX

It’s the first Battle for the Iron Skillet with the Ponies being members of the ACC and the last officially scheduled game between Metroplex rivals to take place at Dallas’ Gerald J. Ford Stadium. SMU has not won the Battle in Dallas since 2005 and has won the Iron Skillet just four times this millennium. In the NIL transfer portal era, the Mustangs are making efforts to get back to its Pony Excess Gold Trans Am ways, and while it took a big stride forward in 2023 once many of the top teams departed the AAC, SMU did lose to all its Power Conference opponents last season, falling to Boston College, Oklahoma, and TCU by a combined score of 42-85. While SMU is getting thrown into the fire of a “Power” league, it does return some star players, including QB Preston Stone, and brought in some top portal talent to set up a potential high level debut in its new league.

Week 5: Sat. Sept. 28 at Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas City, MO

In what is surely the biggest news this week for teams associated with Arrowhead Stadium, as KU renovates its home stadium in Lawrence, it will play “home” games in the Chiefs stadium this season. Kansas very well may be undefeated at this point despite a pair of road games (at Illinois & WVU), ranked easily in the Top 25, and a player on the national stage. With 2023 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year QB Jalon Daniels and Second Team All-Big 12 RB Devin Neal returning, Lance Leipold’s squad is sure to present problems for opponents in 2024. TCU’s last two games vs. the Jayhawks were both Frogs wins, but were decided by a combined 10 points, including a thriller in 2022 with College GameDay in Lawrence.

Week 6: Date TBD vs. Houston Cougars, Fort Worth, TX

It has been two decades since the Coogs visited Amon G. Carter Stadium to take on the Frogs. TCU is looking to push its win streak in the series to double digits while breaking the 13-13 tie in the all-time series. Houston got hit pretty hard in the transfer portal, headlined by WR and All-Big 12 return specialist Matthew Golden to the Texas Longhorns. This game is flexed to be played either Friday October 4 or Saturday the 5th, likely giving flexibility to the TV partners to select a preferred time slot. If the game does fall on Friday, that gives one extra day into TCU’s Bye in Week 7.

Week 7: BYE WEEK

With the way the calendar falls in 2024, every team was going to get two Byes, and this is about as ideal as you could have drawn it up for the Horned Frogs. Coming at the halfway mark of the season, following a challenging but manageable opening six games and ahead of what has to be considered its most difficult game that kicks off the most difficult stretch of TCU’s season. Rest up, get healthy, and prepare to renew a rivalry the following week.

Week 8: Sat. Oct. 19 at Utah Utes, Salt Lake City, UT

The rivalry renewed! Although short-lived as conference mates in the Mountain West, this was a rivalry that burned white hot on the field. The devastation of 2008 to be followed by jubilation in 2009 and domination in 2010; there aren’t many consecutive three-game stretches in TCU history with more emotion outside of the Revivalry. Utah is coming into the Big 12 with puffed chests and bloated egos, telling anyone who will listen that they wish they were anywhere else. The Utes have a road trip to Stillwater in Week 4, but should otherwise be favored to be undefeated into this one. With QB Cam Rising returning for his sixth collegiate season and the inbound transfer of former USC & Arizona WR Dorian Singer, the Utes have every reason to believe they’ll be competing atop the new conference. Can TCU be the team to bring them down a peg?

Week 9: Sat. Oct. 26 vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders, Fort Worth, TX

The Battle for the Saddle! The Red Raiders won this one in Lubbock last season thanks to the voodoo desert magic of a possum, just as it had defeated TCU before with a fox on the field. Lubbock’s poor animal control aside, these teams tend to engage in some great showdowns. Joey McGuire is building a highly competitive recruiting apparatus, bringing in five-star WR Micah Hudson in the 2024 class. The Horned Frogs will be looking to avoid consecutive losses to Texas Tech for the first time since 2012-13, TCU’s first seasons in the Big 12.

Week 10: Sat. Nov. 2 at Baylor Bears, Waco, TX

Bluebonnet Battle, Revivalry, Good vs. Evil, Whatever you decide to call the game, it’s going to be a banger. TCU has won eight of the last nine meetings, with the only loss coming in overtime in 2019 (Max was in). The Frogs thoroughly dominated the Bears in 2023 as both teams were destined for highly disappointing campaigns. Despite a pair of rough seasons in Waco following its Big 12 Championship in 2021, Baylor is retaining Head Coach Dave Aranda, hoping to find some of the magic it has missed of late. For the Bears, this game comes at the end of a three-game stretch between byes that sees it take on legacy Big 12 foes Texas Tech and OK State, a challenging run that likely determines how the Bears’ season will turn out. This is one of the few protected rivalries that will take place every season in the Big 12, here’s hoping it produces another classic

Week 11: Sat. Nov. 9 vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys, Fort Worth, TX

The Frogs and Cowboys avoided each other in 2023 as OSU earned its way to the Big 12 Championship Game. This will be the last chance for TCU to see the Pokes on the gridiron for a long while, especially in Fort Worth, as the two are not scheduled to play again until 2027 in Stillwater, becoming whatever the opposite is of “protected rivalry.” OK State will be closing a four game streak between byes, four of which coming on the road. Will they enter the Carter travel weary or as road warriors? Given they have 7th year QB Dr. Alan Bowman directing the offense and a superstar RB in Ollie Gordon returning, one must assume Coach Mike Gundy’s squad will be in the hunt for a return trip to Arlington.

Week 12: BYE WEEK

*Exhale* That is a pretty rough four-game stretch between byes, getting perhaps three of the top conference contenders and a huge road rivalry match. The Frogs get a brief breather to regroup for the final two games and hopefully a shot at the Big 12 Championship and a spot in the new 12-team Playoff.

Week 13: Sat. Nov. 23 vs. Arizona Wildcats, Fort Worth, TX

While these two have only faced twice on the football field, spitting them one a piece with the road team winning each, the fan bases certainly have a recent history of disdain thanks to the work on the hard court. TCU Men’s Basketball had the one-seed Wildcats on the ropes in the 2022 NCAA Tournament before a Benedict Mathurin dagger tied it and Arizona emerged with a contentious victory to advance to the Sweet 16. One thing we know for sure is that Arizona practices tackling, as the team slammed Mike Miles, Jr. to the court in the final seconds of regulation, but the officials suffered from temporary blindness. In all seriousness, Arizona should be an exciting addition to the Big 12, despite losing Head Coach Jedd Fisch to the Washington Huskies, the Wildcats return offensive superstars in QB Noah Fifita and WR Tetairoa McMillan. Coming off an Alamo Bowl win over former Big 12 member Oklahoma, the Wildcats are expected to be a dangerous force in 2024.

Week 14: Sat. Nov. 30 at Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati, OH

The Horned Frogs close the regular on the road again this season, taking on the Bearcats for the first time as members of the Big 12. The Scott Satterfield era in Cinci got off to a rocky start, going just 3-9 in its first season in the Big 12 and it remains likely that this squad is picked near the bottom of the Big 12 going into the 2024 season. That said, Nippert Stadium can be a tough place to play and the Bearcats are sure to be an improved team by the end of 2024 from where it was in 2023. TCU has never won in Cincinnati, dropping its only two games ever played there in 2002 & 2004.

Let the long seven months of anticipation begin! Horned Frogs fans have to be pretty happy with how this schedule is laid out. TCU’s only road game in a true cold-weather environment is the season finale at Cincinnati, avoiding trips to Morgantown, Provo, Ames, or Manhattan and with the games at Kansas and at Utah coming prior to Halloween. The Frogs only have one back-to-back road trip, but one of those is across the Metroplex to play SMU, followed by a neutral site game played at Arrowhead. TCU does have a very challenging four-game stretch that will make or break its season: at Utah, vs. TTU, at Baylor, vs. OK State, but that stretch is surrounded by Bye Weeks. It is especially notable that the Frogs get that Bye week ahead of perhaps its toughest game of the season, its trip to Rice-Eccles Stadium to take on the Utes. TCU will be one of the few teams nationally with 11 Power 4 games on its schedule, six of which come on the road, with two non-conference road games at ACC stadiums in addition to the nine-game Big 12 slate.

Which teams have the toughest and easiest paths to the Conference Championship game? Did the schedule makers make life especially hard on anyone in the first year of this unique conference schedule? Who will win the Big 12 in 2024?