Tomorrow, the Frogs tee it up with SMU for the 91st time. Some call it a rivalry and some shrug.
For those who shrug, I suggest taking the following to heart and extending your passion to field level tomorrow. It’s a game that you can feel from the stands if you’ll just pay attention.
The Frogs and Mustangs first met in 1915. Along the way there have been some great games and some interesting stories. Consider the following:
- TCU lost the 1918 game by forfeit (official score was 1-0) as the TCU bus got stuck in the mud in Grand Prairie following heavy rains in the area.
- The 1935 Game – at the time called the “Game of the Century,” played at TCU. SMU beat TCU, 20-14, with a late fake punt that turned into an SMU touchdown. SMU went to the Rose Bowl and lost. Frogs went to the Sugar Bowl and won. TCU eventually won the 1935 National Championship.
- 1948 – Frogs defense contains SMU’s Doak Walker, the 1948 Heisman Trophy winner, and battle to a 7-7 tie.
- 1951- Frogs down SMU 13-2 to lock up the SWC championship.
- 1966- SMU’s Jerry Levias breaks the color barrier as the first African-American scholarship athlete in the SWC as SMU cruises 21-0.
In the early 1980s, I played against SMU four times and they were all battles:
- 1981 – The Pony Express was in its third year and in high gear. SMU’s massive offensive line prevails at Amon G. Carter Stadium, 21-9.
- 1982 – One of the greatest games of the 1980s and one of the best I ever played in. A late SMU field goal lifts the Mustangs, 16-13.
- 1983 – A game that still hurts. SMU’s defense, led by Michael Carter stuffs the Frogs on four straight plays from the SMU 3-yard-line on a late goal line stand. SMU 21, TCU 17. I cried in my father’s arms after the game.
- 1984 – The battle of two ranked teams at Texas Stadium in front of one of the largest SMU home crowds ever. TCU carries a lead late into the 4th quarter before SMU’s Reggie Dupard gets loose on a draw play for the game winner. SMU, 26-17.
Other series games of note:
- The strange hole in the schedule in 1987 and 1988 with no SMU game while the Mustangs worked through the NCAA’s “Death Penalty."
- 1990 - The odd specter of old Ownby Stadium on the SMU campus when TCU traveled to Dallas to play the Mustangs for the first time after the death penalty. It’s amazing when I think back of that “make-do” stadium environment that said all you needed to know about the condition of the SMU program at the time.
- 1992 – A skinny, blond-haired quarterback named Dan Freiburger, threw two touchdown passes as the Mustangs ended six years of frustration and a 25-game Southwest Conference losing streak, beating TCU, 21-9.
- 1997 - A Freshman running back named LaDainian Tomlinson has a breakout game and leads the Frogs to their only win, 21-18, knocking SMU out of what would have been their first bowl game after the death penalty.
What’s your favorite memory? It might happen tomorrow.
Get into this game and pay attention.
PREDICTION? Both of these teams deserve your attention.
Kick ‘Em High!