Mac Engel

TCU’s last hope for ’18 is to ruin Baylor’s season

Demand for TCU’s rival game at Baylor is so great there are thousands and thousands of tickets still available.

And then a few thousand more.

In reviewing both and Baylor’s website that sell tickets for BU games, tickets for TCU at BU range from approximately $42 to well over $100. Again, well over $100 for a game featuring two teams that are .500 or worse. To make this tasty contest even more delectable, kickoff is 11 a.m.

This version of BU and TCU will require some form of liquid refreshment ... hello, Mr. Screwdriver.

It wasn’t too long ago these teams played each other and the outcome affected the national scene. But now Texas is pretty good, Oklahoma is still great, and to the outside world all is correct with the Big 12.

This game is exactly what the founding fathers, and older fans, at both schools feared when they were elevated to a bigger conference: A throwback to the days of the Southwest Conference when both TCU and Baylor meant zero for people outside of the east side of Waco, and select parts of Fort Worth.

TCU is a two-point underdog, and if ever it was going to ruin a year for its most despised rival, this is the one. TCU’s season is shot, and the Frogs are reduced to the role of spoilers.

Because nothing would be sweeter for Baylor than to celebrate qualifying for a bowl game than by doing it against TCU at home in Waco.

The last thing TCU needs in this The Season of The Surgery is for that school 90 miles south of Fort Worth to gain some footing on them, especially at a time when Gary Patterson’s team is vulnerable.

BU is 5-5 and needs but one win to qualify for a bowl game that, for Matt Rhule, would look awfully good for a coach who took over a wrecked program in Nov. 2016 after interim Jim Grobe finished up coaching Art Briles’ team.

BU’s future with the NCAA is uncertain, and Rhule and his staff need to squeeze out any momentum it can before any potential violation is handed down. A defeat of TCU and earning a bowl is tangible momentum.

TCU is 4-6 and will need a slew of things to go just right to avoid posting its second losing record in the last three years. TCU has never had consecutive losing seasons under Patterson.

The last time TCU was in a similar position was the end of the ‘97 season, when it was 0-10 and hosted SMU. The Mustangs needed one win to qualify for its first bowl game since before it went on The Death Penalty.

TCU upset SMU and the Mustangs did not go to a bowl until 2009.

The national implications of Baylor and TCU are gone, and plenty of good seats are available for this version that feels like a throwback to the days of the Southwest Conference.

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