TCU's first season as a member of the Big XII Conference has delivered plenty of excitement to college football fans in DFW. A quick glance through the 2011 home schedule featured victories over opponents such as Portland St. (55-13), New Mexico (69-0) and UNLV (56-9). This season painted an entirely different picture as the Frogs hosted a much tougher schedule including Kansas St., Texas Tech and Oklahoma in its beautifully renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium.
We arrived around 9 am for the season finale with the expectation of a huge tailgating scene prior to the game against the Oklahoma Sooners. TCU was coming off a Thanksgiving Day 20-13 victory over the Texas Longhorns and OU was fresh off a 51-48 victory over Oklahoma St., but the parking lots were practically empty just two hours before the 11 am kickoff.
We encountered big bowls of chili, Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets trays and an 'adult-sized' Connect Four, but even our reliable Lot 4 was tame by the standards set during Homecoming weekend when the Texas Tech Red Raiders came to town. Several people I spoke with all agreed that the early kickoff time to accommodate the ESPN schedule dampened the pre-game atmosphere, but they were all excited to see the Horned Frogs take on the Sooners.
By the time the action got under way, a sellout crowd of 47,501 packed Amon G. Carter Stadium for what eventually was a 24-17 victory for No. 11 Oklahoma over TCU.After trailing 21-7, the Horned Frogs charged back and had a chance to win at the end when quarterback Trevone Boykin's pass to Josh Boyce on fourth and 13 was broken up in the end zone. The potential touchdown-pass play with 25 seconds remaining would have put TCU within an extra point of tying the game.
OU's victory gave them a share of the Big XII Conference title along with Kansas St., who defeated Texas 42-24 on Saturday night. TCU finished its first Big XII campaign 7-5 (4-5 in conference), but went 0-4 in home conference games. On Sunday night, it was announced that TCU would play Michigan St. on Dec. 29 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.
Oklahoma will play Texas A&M and their star QB Johnny Manzeil in the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on Jan. 4.
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