2011 Rose Bowl: Why TCU's Win Is a Nightmare for Oregon and Auburn!

Phil CaldwellCorrespondent IIIJanuary 2, 2011

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks on against the Wisconsin Badgers during the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

As the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers pat themselves on the back for how wonderful their football teams are, back at the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, their worst nightmare was coming true.

The only other undefeated major college team was staking their legitimate claim for a piece of the title.

All year long Texas Christian fans have tolerated pinheads from rival conferences mouthing off about how weak the Horned Frog’s schedule has been. As if any would know how difficult the competition is in the Mountain West, or any other conference other than their own.

Let’s face it folks. Football fans are homers. No matter what conference your team is a part of, we all see other conferences as inferior.

There’s certainly nothing scientific about this. It’s like a groom reacting to some punk making moves on your bride during your honeymoon. This is the one you love and thus this is the one you defend.

Nor is any of this a new concept. Throughout history civilizations have always seen themselves as highly sophisticated while all others are barbarians. So the tendency to self- worship is long ingrained into our human pea brains.

This is what we do. It is what ALL of us do.

All these are reasons why the vastly over-hyped Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers will undoubtedly blow off TCU’s win at the Rose Bowl as nothing special. 

But it was special, and it should have both teams gnashing teeth and tearing clothes. Now they can't claim a solo title without every other college football fan laughing and scoffing at them.

Why?  Because Texas Christian has as much claim to the title as they do. Regardless of which team wins at Glendale next week, there will still be two undefeated teams in the country once the season concludes. Both teams will have played and beaten major conference champions.

With Texas Christian beating Wisconsin this afternoon, they looked every bit the champion as Oregon or Auburn. Thus the argument that they haven’t played anyone good enough no longer works. The Big10 is a major football conference with big huge stadiums filled by hundreds of thousands of crazed football  fans.

Wisconsin won that conference fair and square, or co-won it, and the Horned Frogs beat the Badgers. 

What else is there to say?

Granted most of us have difficulty saying the name “Horned Frogs” while keeping a straight face, none of us can claim these guys didn’t do what they had to do and what we asked them to do. 

When you win thirteen straight games in one college season, you can call yourself the Horned Frogs or the Green Horny Toads if you want to, and show up dressed in pink leotards. Who are we to argue?

The fact is that they are one of only two teams in the country that have won 13 games this year with zero defeats, so far, which gives them the right to claim at least half of the title.

Is there a precedent? Absolutely. There are many.

In 1984 the #3 University of Washington Huskies beat the #2 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl, but they were still denied any part of the title. Because a BYU Cougar team that barely managed to limp by a 6-5 Michigan Wolverine team was still undefeated after all games had been played. 

Like they did this year against TCU and Boise State, every major program screamed and carried on, about how weak their schedule had been and how BYU didn’t deserve the title.

BYU was awarded the national title nonetheless, on the grounds that they had done everything asked of them. Just exactly what TCU did this year.

The fact is that TCU is 36-3 over the past three years. What other program in the country can claim that?  Neither of their two title rivals can!

Oregon ran up the score in nearly every game they played this season, piling on points long after the other teams had stopped playing against their gimmicky no-huddle offense.  Plus they wear uniforms with colors that have melted steel and blinded rodents.

If anything, Oregon should be disqualified on the grounds of how obnoxious their fans are and how they are privately funded like no other program in the country.

On the other hand, if Auburn manages to beat Oregon (and that's a big "if"), they almost have less a claim on a solo title than TCU does! Of Auburn's 12 wins, three were by a scant three points; one in overtime over a mediocre 6-7 Clemson, another over a 6-6 Kentucky team, and one over a 9-4 Mississippi State.

Two others were by one touchdown, and one by one by a single point.

Compare that to what TCU has done, averaging 48 points in offense and routing every team they played by at least three touchdowns!  Eight teams scored 10 or less points. In fact today's Rose Bowl was by far the closest game they played!

Auburn cannot come close to claiming a record like this. And thus the argument begins before their game with Oregon is played. Plus you can't argue that Auburn should get the title because the BCS dictates it, because TCU fans have been screaming about how unfair the BCS is for five years now!

TCU fans have little use for the BCS, as do a vast many other fans and writers in this country.

Whomever wins the BCS championship game on January 10th can legitimately claim HALF the title.  But they certainly have no right to claim the other half!  Not when there’s another undefeated team ready and willing to deal them a crippling blow.

Until they prove that they can beat the other undefeated team, the title should be split. Whether they can or not is hardly the issue. The issue is two teams being undefeated.

That is how it has always been, and if it doesn’t remain that way this year, then every other undefeated or better school forced to split a title needs to be compensated. Each deserves recognition as solo national champions today!

And look, don’t shoot the messenger here. I’m only regurgitating the college football tradition that is older than any of us are. It's the unwritten law in college football!

When two teams are undefeated at the end of the season, and there is no playoff, they split the title.



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