The numbers 61 and 58 mean something in the TCU-Baylor rivalry.
They represent the painful final score, from TCU’s perspective, in the last meeting between the teams, the margin that very likely kept the Horned Frogs out of the first College Football Playoff and became the stuff of legend in Waco.
The numbers that wound up in a team photo.
They were scrawled on a receipt.
And appeared in graffiti.
But there won’t be any sign of them in the locker rooms at Amon G. Carter Stadium. They are not part of any huddle break. They are not written onto anybody’s shoes.
Those numbers apparently are not part of the week for TCU, which meets Baylor again on Friday night for the first time since that Oct. 11, 2014 afternoon when 61 and 58 became the numbers that told the story of both teams and the Big 12.
Not anymore. Not now. There’s nothing we can change.
TCU defensive end Josh Carraway, on thinking about last year’s game against Baylor
“It’s been a long time ago,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
“Not anymore. Not now,” defensive end Josh Carraway said, asked if he still thinks about 61-58. “There’s nothing we can change.”
What the Horned Frogs can change is their record, from 9-2 to 10-2, and the course of Baylor’s season, which still can end in a Big 12 championship with a win in Fort Worth and against Texas next week, and an Oklahoma loss Saturday.
That’s what Patterson wants his team thinking about — going from 9-2 to 10-2.
Not 61 and 58.
“I’ve always found that doing something, that revenge factor, is usually very fleeting,” Patterson said. “You’ve just got to stay about right most of the time. On game day, you’ve got to play with emotion. But if you’re not careful, you use up too much energy and then you can’t finish ballgames.”
The whole thing about 61-58, let’s not talk about it. It’s just about Friday.
Baylor guard Jarell Broxton
It sounds as though Baylor agrees.
“It’s just about Friday. Last year was last year,” said Bears guard Jarell Broxton, the No. 61 in the photo. “The whole thing about 61-58, let’s not talk about it. It’s just about Friday.”
The Horned Frogs did have to crack open the 2014 Baylor film cannister this week, however. (Or rather, put the cursor on the play arrow and click).
They had to watch 61-58 again.
Last year’s victory gave Baylor a 52-51-7 edge in the all-time series. The 110 games are the most TCU has played against any opponent.
“We went back and watched it because you’ve got to see how you were attacked and how you need to change to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Patterson said.
What did he see?
“Different players. Schematically, a little bit different,” he said. “But a lot of things, they’re still doing the same.”
“Well, yeah, you got beat,” he said. “You gave up a lot of yards, and you gave up 61 points. So yeah.”
So yeah, the numbers mean something. By Friday night, maybe they won’t.
TCU vs. Baylor
6:30 p.m. Friday, ESPN
Head to head
Baylor (9-1, 6-1)
TCU (9-2, 6-2)
Points per game
Off. 3rd down conv.%
Points allowed per game
Def. 3rd down conv.%