Rose Bowl 2011: Meet the TCU Dance Team
Rose Bowl 2011 welcomes a brand new program, school, and conference to the once Pac-10/Big Ten-only game—from 1946 to 2002 those conferences were the game sole competitors.
The Texas Christian Horned Frogs have never played in the "Granddaddy of them All" and neither has any other Mountain West Conference school.
Along with head coach Gary Patterson, quarterback Andy Dalton and the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation, that TCU Dance Team will be on the field when the Horned Frogs take on Big Ten co-champion Wisconsin at the Rose Bowl later today.
Let's say hello to some of them...
Go Horned Frogs!
Anyone who asks, "what is a Horned Frog?" won't really care when these ladies wave the purple and silver in their face.
Top Defense in the Nation
TCU's dance team has had plenty of opportunities to celebrate this year, especially while watching the team's defense play.
The Horned Frogs allow the fewest points in the nation at 11.4 points per game. In the month of October (five games) they allowed a grand total of two touchdowns.
Try telling this member of the dance team that the Horned Frogs are a second-tier program: they've won 26 of their last 27 games including wins over Boise State (2008 Poinsettia Bowl), Virginia, Clemson, Oregon State and two victories over ranked Utah, by a combined score of 102-35.
The Offense Aint Bad Either
Although the defense is tops in the nation, the Horned Frogs offense is pulling its weight as well. It is averaging 43.3 points per game, and, ironically tied with Rose Bowl opponent, Wisconsin, for fourth in the nation.
Saluting Andy Dalton
Quarterback Andy Dalton will play his last game the Horned Frogs today.
The senior had an outstanding final year, tossing 26 touchdowns and only six interceptions, while completing two-thirds of his attempts for 2,638 yards.
During his four years as the Horned Frogs starter, he has 70 touchdown passes (against just 30 interceptions) and has led TCU to 41 victories.
Gary Patterson's Good Luck Charm?
With the TCU Dance Team cheering him on, head coach Gary Patterson has led the Horned Frogs to an outstanding decade of football.
In 10 full seasons, Patterson has posted a 97-28 record, four conference titles and five bowl victories.
Best In Texas
Although there are a handful of fine college programs in the Lone Star State, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech, SMU, and UTEP, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs were the best around and the only such Texas team to reach a BCS bowl this year.
Sammy Baugh and LaDainian Tomlinson Would Be Proud
Andy Dalton and offensive guard Marcus Cannon are fine pro prospects and will try to improve their draft status today against a top notch team in Wisconsin.
Once they suit up next fall, they will join an outstanding list of former Horned Frogs to star in the NFL.
Aside from Hall of Famers Sammy Baugh and LaDainian Tomlinson, the program produced Cowboys all-time great Bob Lilly, Super Bowl XXX MVP Larry Brown, and dozens of more NFL players.
A win in today's Rose Bowl would complete the school's first undefeated, untied seasons since 1938 and guaranteed the Horned Frogs at least a second or third ranking in the national polls.
Since Gary Patterson's squad finished sixth last year and seventh the year before, that would mean three consecutive seasons finishing in the Top 10, a record few schools in any conference can boast.
Rose Bowl Prediction
Limiting Wisconsin and their potent rushing attack to 11 points (the total the Horned Frogs defense averages per game) is a tall order.
The Badgers and their three-headed backfield, along with quarterback Ryan Tolzian, will have success against TCU.
So it will be up to Andy Dalton and the Horned Frogs offense to keep pace. They have shown an ability to do that.
Because both teams boast fine defenses, the 2011 Rose Bowl won't turn into a shoot-out, but points will be scored.
A late touchdown pass from Dalton will give the Horned Frogs a narrow win and complete a historic undefeated year.
Final Score: TCU 27, Wisconsin 21