Mac Engel

TCU proves it’s OK to mess with Texas

TCU’s Ross Blacklock sacks Texas quarterback Shane Buechele, one of seven the Horned Frogs recorded.
TCU’s Ross Blacklock sacks Texas quarterback Shane Buechele, one of seven the Horned Frogs recorded. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Bevo, Reveille and Raider Red walk into a bar. They all lose.

There’s no joke.

This actually happened. On Saturday. All in Texas.

Forget just for a moment that TCU is clearly the best team in Texas, it’s the continued manner in which the wealthiest programs in our football-drunk state can only excel in spending money like a drunken sailor with their parent’s credit card on leave.

The SwagCopter has officially crashed in College Station. Coach Bro’ is unofficially kicked out of the NeedsToWinAGame Frathouse in Lubbuck. And Fairy Dust Herman is doing Charlie Strong things on Sixth Street.

Despite the “progress” in Austin, there is no greater embarrassment in Texas than Texas football. Rick Perry, you’re off the hook.

Fairy Dust, enjoy the ride, you’re on it. Your team stinks.

There is no greater source of football pride in Texas than TCU.

“We’re not going to do down with the ‘Hook ’em Horns,’” TCU coach Gary Patterson said after his team defeated Texas 24-7. “We’re TCU.”

At this point, that’s enough.

The best development, for the sake of the Big 12, was not the game in Stillwater between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State but rather the one-sided bar fight that went down on Stadium Drive in Fort Worth between Texas and TCU.

TCU’s win over Texas on Saturday night was a beautiful development for the Frogs in their ownership of the flagship school of our great state, a league that needs to get serious about defense and a troubling state of things for Herman.

The outcome sets up TCU’s game at Oklahoma on Saturday that will be the biggest contrast of styles in this league: A real defense versus a real offense.

“It’s what you wanted. ... You gotta love it,” Patterson said.

Indeed. The nation will be watching.

“Next week we’re going to have to score points. We’re going to have to move the football,” GP said. “You just want to be a part of it.”

Watching Oklahoma and Oklahoma State combine to score 114 points in Stillwater was fun — and frightening. The Big 12 is not going to be a player nationally with PlayStation3 offenses.

The Big 12 is only going to return to the College Football Playoff with a real defense, and the best one in is in Fort Worth.

Not that anyone is counting at home, but this is now four straight wins for Patterson and TCU over Texas. The last time that happened was before World War II, when guys like O’Brien and Baugh were the Horned Frogs quarterbacks.

Expect this stat to be displayed routinely over the next year: TCU has outscored Texas by the combined total of 153-33. Call Saturday real progress for Texas in this series; the 17-point loss is the closest in this four-game stretch.

Herman has had his share of challenges on the offensive line, but by now we in Texas are numb to this type of season the Longhorns are “enjoying.”

The Horns are 4-5, and Bevo-slayer Kansas is still on the schedule. (Friendly reminder: The Jayhawks are on a one-game winning streak against Texas.)

The Horns have three games remaining, and with KU, West Virginia and Texas Tech the remaining opponents, UT should reach six wins for bowl eligibility.

That’s where the state of the UT program exists: Qualifying for a trip to the Heart of Fargo Bowl is a high point.

Texas was not supposed to contend for a national title this season, but it should be better than another Bevo pile. No team routinely oversells and underdelivers quite as effectively and consistently as Texas, although the Aggies give them a good push in this category.

As witnessed against TCU on Saturday night, the Longhorns have some players all over defense. They have the defense Charlie Strong always wanted and tried to build, and the type defense TCU has.

What Herman doesn’t have is an offense.

All TCU had to do was play its defense, which is one of the best in the nation, and it did not matter how quarterback Kenny Hill and the offense played.

TCU sacked and hit poor Shane Buechele so often on Saturday night it would be perfectly reasonable if he would’ve quit the sport in the fourth quarter. The second-year quarterback from Arlington Lamar was sacked seven times, and hit countless other times.

Texas finished with only 263 yards, and only because it completed a pair of consecutive long passes in the first half was it not shut out.

TCU’s offense was not particularly good against Texas, in part because of UT’s players, but it didn’t turn the ball over and it was patient enough to know that eventually a play was coming.

That’s the sign of a smart, well-coached team.

A team that has now played itself into a position where Saturday in Norman will be the game of the year in the Big 12. Offense versus defense.

It’s what we wanted, and the Big 12 needs.

The best team in Texas is again TCU, and now it’s playing in Norman for first place in the Big 12.

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

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