Thursday-night, Texas Christian played host to potential BCS buster BYU. BYU carried a 16 game win streak, and an 18 game conference win streak, into last nights game. BYU was ranked ninth in the nation by polls, but many fans of other conferences said they were overrated. If BYU had a definitive game on their schedule to prove themselves, it was TCU.
TCU has finished in the top 25, four times in the past seven years since Gary Patterson took over the program. Under Patterson the Horned Frogs have compiled a 69-25 record, and a 42-17 conference record.
Bronco Mendenhall has worked wonders with a struggling BYU program.He replaced Gary Crowton in 2005.In the three years before Mendenhall became head coach, BYU had a losing record in all three seasons. Since Mendenhall became head coach the Cougars are 34-10(23-3 MWC).
Under Lavell Edwards, BYU was a powerhouse in the WAC, and BYU won the conference championship in the MWCs inaugural season, since then, BYU has struggled, at least until Mendenhall's arrival.
Clearly these two programs are on equal footing. The polls may show BYU to be head and shoulders above TCU, but past records and performances show different.
BYU, who was heavily favored, entering Thursday's game, but some one must have forgot to tell TCU they were supposed to roll over and play dead. BYU's defense, hasn't been rock solid, allowing on average over 300 yards per game, was even more porous, allowing TCU to rack up over 410 yards.
TCU seemed to relish being the underdog. They not only beat BYU, but hammered them 32-7.
Both BYU and TCU still have much of the season ahead of them, and BYU will face undefeated instate opponent Utah to end the season. Nothing now, will mean more to BYU than beating Utah and silencing their in-state rival who are sure to have celebrated at BYU's fall Thursday night.
The massacre, courtesy of TCU, will have polls wondering what to do with BYU. The Cougars do not play another credible opponent this season unless Utah is still undefeated, or has just one loss going into the final game. BYU has played great football this season with the exception on the TCU game.
It is a shame that BYU didn't play any respectable teams before TCU, and don't play any respectable teams again until they play Utah who still has not earned the respect of the college football world.
Excluding fans of Utah and MWC fans, the vast majority of fans, coaches and teams still discount Utah. Even if Utah does go undefeated until the BYU game, and BYU beats them, BYU will still been out of contention for a BCS bid.
TCU, is still in control of their own destiny in the MWC. Their only loss is to Oklahoma, who was undefeated until last week when they lost to Texas. TCU could win out, but they still won't go to a BCS bowl. Mainly because they aren't ranked currently and they don't have enough time to climb high enough in the polls, and because no one loss team from a non BCS conference will go to a BCS bowl if their is any way to keep them out.
More than anything, BYU's loss to TCU proves that when you are a mid-major program, there is no room for error.