TCU vs. Texas: Why Mack Brown, Longhorns Need Major Style Points Victory

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 22, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Head Coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns works the sidelines in the second half of a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Texas A&M left for the SEC and is receiving national attention with Johnny Manziel running the show. But with the move from the Big 12, it has removed the Thanksgiving rivalry game between the Texas Longhorns and the Aggies, leaving the college football world with a new matchup.

Instead, the TCU Horned Frogs will take a trip to Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to play the Longhorns in a game that will be played at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Hopefully Texas players aren't too stuffed on turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. They need to focus more than ever tonight and take care of business on a national broadcast.

This isn't the time to act giddy because it is the only college football game being played on this holiday. It's time for the Longhorns to make a statement that they are still contenders and won't end the season quietly.

Ever since Texas lost to two ranked opponents earlier in the year, the team has found itself, winning four straight games and improving to No. 16 in the latest BCS rankings. A win tonight and the Longhorns not only keep their Big 12 conference title hopes alive, but will also remain in the hunt for a BCS bowl game.

In order to have a shot to reach a BCS bowl, Texas has to finish in the Top 14 to receive a shot for an at-large bid. Simply put, if Texas struggles with TCU, a 6-4 program, the same way it did against Kansas or Texas Tech, it isn't going to impress anybody and this matchup will be viewed as a wasted attempt to sway the pollsters.

However, a victory by a wide margin could really help this team in the eyes of the computers and voters. At this point in the season it isn't really a matter of if you win, it's a matter of how you win. It's time for Texas to rack up the points, play stifling defense and stop with the barely scraping by nonsense.

A four-point victory over Kansas doesn't mean anything, but a 21-point victory over TCU tonight could make a big difference.

Although the Horned Frogs may not have the impressive record that fans would like, they do have a reputation of being a competitive team. They took Texas Tech to overtime, knocked off a ranked West Virginia squad and recently lost to Kansas State by less than 14 points. This team does not go down without a fight and has only lost one game all year by more than two possessions.

With Kansas State losing last week, it opens the possibility for Texas to make a strong run towards a BCS bowl for the first time since 2009.

Destiny is in the Longhorns' hands to make up for the last couple seasons of mediocrity. It is going to take victories in the next two games and a second-place finish in the Big 12 to nearly lockup a bid to a big-time bowl game.

Of course, none of this happens without a convincing victory tonight in the new Thanksgiving Day rivalry.