In retrospect, we should have seen Saturday’s shellacking by TCU coming.
BYU and TCU have plenty of history together over the last three decades. Frankly, it hasn’t been kind to BYU.
The Horned Frogs have been a thorn in the side of BYU several times. 2023 is just the latest chapter in the book of TCU raining on BYU’s parade.
In 2005, BYU had built a 34-16 lead late into the third quarter. The Horned Frogs came storming back, even taking a 44-41 lead late in the fourth before BYU tied it with a field goal as time expired.
TCU then won in overtime 51-50 after BYU missed an extra point.
That was just the beginning.
In 2008, BYU traveled to Fort Worth undefeated at 6-0 and ranked No. 9. Then an Andy Dalton-led Horned Frogs picked apart the Cougars and ended their “Quest For Perfection,” beating BYU 32-7. It snapped BYU’s 16-game winning streak, which was the longest in the country. Max Hall threw two interceptions and BYU got stuffed on virtually every carry. Their BCS hopes came crashing down that fateful day in Fort Worth.
2009 might sting even more. ESPN’s famous “College Gameday” has traveled to Provo exactly once. It was for the 2009 clash with TCU which was set up as a revenge tour for the Cougars. They came in at 6-1 and ranked No. 16. Earlier that season, they had defeated No. 3 Oklahoma and were holding onto BCS Bowl hopes once again.
After the frenzy of Gameday on campus, the game started, and all excitement was quickly extinguished.
BYU never really threatened in this game. TCU built a 21-7 lead at the half and cruised to a 38-7 thrashing with the nation watching.
That meant BYU had been outscored by TCU 70-14 over those two games, both times with BYU being top 20 in the rankings.
That stretch set off what is now a five-game losing streak to TCU.
None of them have been particularly close. The 2010 matchup saw BYU go up against arguably the best TCU team before last year’s national title runner-up. They went 13-0 and won the Rose Bowl. They trounced BYU 31-3 on the way.
Even the eventual 10-point loss to TCU at AT&T Stadium in 2011 was a mirage. BYU trailed 35-10 at one point in the third quarter.
BYU and TCU have not had a one-score finish since BYU’s last win over TCU, in 2007. That’s five straight losses to TCU in resounding fashion, after last Saturday.
Unfortunately, this has been a theme. If BYU has any notions about making noise in the Big 12 in the coming years, they will need to solve their TCU bugaboo. To this point, it remains unsolved going on 16 years.