Sound the alarms. Get the women and children off the streets. Prepare the white flags.
The bullies are coming to town.
You heard right.
The big, bad Horned Frogs are on their way to Austin, and to make matters worse, they’re fighting mad.
Make no mistake. They have ugly intentions.
First, a history lesson.
After inviting wayward TCU to join the Big 12 a few years back, this is the thanks Texas gets. The ungrateful Frogs had wandered in the wilderness for so long, they mostly subsisted on manna. They were in so many conferences they lost count. They were in the Big East for a minute just for the heck of it during an airport layover but didn’t bother to stick around long enough to even play a single game. Ah, the memories.
So what happens?
Texas, out of the goodness of its heart, along with some other well-meaning friends in Waco and Lubbock and elsewhere, invited TCU to sit at the Big 12 table and break bread. Instead, they broke heads.
Little did anyone know the Frogs would traipse in with muddy footprints all over the carpet, leave their dirty underwear on the floor and clean out the refrigerator. Ever since they got here, they’ve just flat out embarrassed everyone in this state. Not Oklahoma, mind you, which makes you wonder about TCU’s intentions since they’re so nice to the Sooners, but everyone else in the league, they’ve dominated.
Since joining our little league, the Horned Frogs have romped and stomped and made the Longhorns their very own whipping boys. Five times in six meetings, TCU has gotten the best of little ol’ Texas. Five out of six. Four in a row. Three straight at DKR. How’s that for gratitude?
Gary Patterson, the best coach in the Big 12 (sorry, Lincoln, you got to be here more than 17 games), explained to me, “They’ve had new coaches in there. They’ve had change. It always takes head coaches two to three years to catch up.”
I mean, GameDay even showed up for a TCU game. Seems like the last time GameDay was around these parts, some guy named Vince was running wild.
Hell, TCU’s even won a Rose Bowl. Texas used to win Rose Bowls.
So Texas did what any other self-respecting school would do.
It’s fighting back.
And this time, Texas means business. No Mr. Nice Guys any more. Why, Tim Beck, Tom Herman’s offensive coordinator and part-time play-caller, said of Saturday’s showdown, “This thing is gonna be rated R.”
I assume he meant Revenge. Unless he was going all Bret Bielema and had his mind somewhere else.
Little by little, Texas is borrowing a page — or entire book — from TCU. So how have the Horns been copycats?
First, Texas stole TCU’s athletic director. That’s right. In broad daylight, one day in December, Texas swooped in and airlifted Chris Del Conte out of Fort Worth before TCU knew what hit ‘em.
Then, Del Conte brought in another TCU front office type, Drew Martin, for good measure.
Texas briefly considered plucking TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle until it landed David Pierce. (Our guy made it to this year’s CWS. Schloss did not.)
A while back, Texas borrowed TCU men’s tennis coach Michael Center. But it’s not giving him back.
I think Del Conte’s talking to TCU’s head custodian, but that’s on the down low, so keep it between us.
It didn’t stop there.
Texas swiped TCU poet laureate Dan Jenkins and his papers and manuscripts. And it’s holding a dinner party in honor of the best sportswriter who ever lived inside DKR on Friday night. Probably serving frog legs. Hey, when you only got writer alums like Finger and Bohls, Davis and Cowlishaw, you’re desperate.
Now Texas has up and ripped off TCU’s game-day playbook and created Bevo Boulevard. Del Conte confiscated the blueprint right out of Page 2 from Frog Alley. (I’m wondering if Del Conte took any pens and paper clips before he bailed.)
Texas even tried like hell to lure offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie away from Amon Carter. “Yes, they did,” Patterson said.
I’m still waiting for Texas to confiscate the big Train Horn that TCU’s purple Zamboni-like machine blows after every touchdown.
Of course, Coach P started all this thievery. He stole his wife Kelsey from Texas, luring DeLoss Dodds’ former right-hand aide out of his office, proving all’s fair in love and war.
Hey, Texas has had to do something. Nothing else has worked.
After all, TCU might as well be the new flagship program of the state.
But why not? TCU’s got every stinking advantage in the world. Location in the heavily populated Metroplex where Patterson can find a two-star recruit/future NFL star under every rock in Arlington. And now he’s sneaking in a four or five-star, too. How fair is that? We’re onto you, Coach P. Fort Worth’s also got easy access to a major aiport. Even a statue of their coach for inspiration.
You don’t see a statue of Tom Herman on the Forty Acres yet.
Asked how many of his players were even offered scholarships by the Horns, Patterson paused and said, “We’ve got a lot of good players here.”
Trust me. He’s right.
But I’m here offering sunshine through all these clouds.
TCU’s already got a loss this year, same as Texas. Both lost to teams out of the same conference. Hey, TCU, you play your Big Ten rival, and the Horns will play theirs.
Now the Frogs are here once again to pick on helpless, itty bitty Texas. Not sure how Texas has a chance. Patterson’s won 162 games at TCU. Herman’s won nine here.
It’s tough for the Horns. After all, what advantage does Texas possibly have?
Snarled traffic. You can’t drive two blocks without hitting someone on a scooter. Hell, soon both Threadgills and Hill’s Cafe will be gone. What’s next? Scholz’s? A massive stadium to try to fill up. Texas is so far behind in facilities, when Del Conte greets well-heeled boosters in his luxury box, he lifts them by their heels and shakes them down for coins to raise money for renovations. You have any idea of the cost of upkeep on those pricey lockers?
Darrell Royal once referred to the Horned Frogs as cockroaches a long, long time ago. It’s not what they haul off and eat, he said. It’s what they fall into and spoil.
Well, TCU has spoiled a helluva lot for Texas. Maybe Texas can return the favor and spoil TCU’s party.
TCU, of course, has it coming. Besides, if the Frogs aren’t careful, we’ll send ‘em back to whatever hell dinky conference they came from. The Mountain Western or some such. Damn cockroaches.
But, hey, we do have one thing over TCU. We’ve got the Longhorn Network. Oh, wait.