Frogs use history, common sense in turning down Wisconsin

Frogs use history, common sense in turning down Wisconsin

Published Feb. 11, 2011 1:56 p.m. ET


Feb. 11, 2011

The rise of TCU football from the barren wasteland of mid-major mediocrity to future Big East powerhouse seems like it came overnight . . . at least, to outsiders. Frog fans of long ago remember the names: Jim Shofner, F.A. Dry, Jim Wacker, Pat Sullivan. In between glimmers of hope was an expansive darkness that consumed most of TCU's history between 1970 and 1998. In that time, the Frogs only managed to appear in two bowl games. Crippled by probation in the 1980s and utter irrelevance in the 1990s, many wondered whether the Frogs would ever find their footing, especially after the collapse of the Southwest Conference.

Then the Sun Bowl happened. Dennis Franchione's team took down mighty USC, 28-19, in El Paso. The next year launched the stellar career of tailback LaDainian Tomlinson and began a winding road for the Frogs' head coach. Coach Fran headed for greener pastures in Tuscaloosa, and the reigns were suddenly handed over to Gary Patterson.

It was on that day