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TCU hoping to finish first year in Big 12 strong

A win over Texas or OU in their last two weeks would give the Frogs a ton of momentum headed into their second year in the Big 12.

Tom Pennington

Ever since Gary Patterson took the helm in Fort Worth in 2001, TCU has been building towards a return to the top levels of college football, moving from Conference USA to the Mountain West to the Big East (although they never actually made it there), before finally getting the call to the Big 12 last year.

However, their return to playing many of their old SWC rivals has been colored by a turbulent off-season, which put the program in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as well as the suspension of star quarterback Casey Pachall, who left the team to enter a rehab facility.

Combine those difficulties with a dramatic step up in terms of competition and TCU's 6-4 record so far this season shouldn't be too discouraging, even though they've won at least 10 games in eight of Patterson's first 11 seasons in Fort Worth.

Now, with games against Texas and Oklahoma in their last two weeks, the Frogs have a golden chance to make a statement on national TV. A win would not only help legitimize them in the Big 12, but it could set up a young team with a high pre-season ranking in 2013, when they could have a chance to contend for a conference title.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.