Sure, TCU Could Make The Playoff. But More Importantly, It Earned Texas Football Bragging Rights.

Bragging rights are the lifeblood of soccer, and maybe no state is extra enthusiastic about that truth than Texas. You could have heard that the state has a specific fondness for the game, to the purpose that nobody can appear to tell apart whether or not it is the highschool or school classification — or just the Dallas Cowboys — that operates because the state’s de facto faith. So when the TCU Horned Frogs and Texas Longhorns squared off on Saturday, it wasn’t simply one other recreation — it was a battle to be unofficially topped king of soccer within the recreation’s most avid habitat.

“In the state of Texas, you wish to be No. 1,” Drew Hogan, a TCU fan, advised ESPN earlier this season. “It would not matter what recreation it’s, who it’s, you wish to win for bragging rights at dinner.”

And after this previous weekend, these rights went to the psychedelic frogs from Fort Worth, whose 17-10 win over the Longhorns punched TCU’s ticket to the Big 12 championship recreation and stored their College Football Playoff hopes alive. Most importantly, the victory means TCU has climbed atop Texas’ heap of 12 Football Bowl Subdivision packages,1 extending a current renaissance for a program that had gone greater than 50 years with out being the state’s finest workforce till the 2010s.

To determine which workforce was the King of Texas (KoT) in every of the 121 seasons performed since 1902, we turned to eSRS, a Simple Rating System-like analysis that adjusts a workforce’s factors per recreation margin for home-field benefit and the standard of its opponents based mostly on their Elo scores.

To the shock of few, the University of Texas reigns supreme general, incomes KoT honors a whopping 51 instances, together with each season from 1999 by 2006. With 4 of the state’s six nationwide championships to its credit score, the Longhorns have set the usual within the state for greater than a century. However, UT has fallen on comparatively arduous instances lately. Over the course of 120 seasons, Texas has failed to provide a profitable marketing campaign simply 17 instances, however 5 of these situations have occurred since 2010.

In 2015, Texas was thought of by eSRS to be simply the sixth-best workforce within the state and it solely improved to fifth-best in 2016. In 2021, Steve Sarkisian’s first season as head coach, the Longhorns ranked fourth within the state and skilled the workforce’s longest shedding streak in 65 years. This yr, they’ll in all probability rank second (partially as a consequence of a excessive energy of schedule ranking), however that in all probability says extra about the remainder of the state — TCU excluded — than the rest.

Longhorns archrival Texas A&M earned KoT honors in 32 seasons, together with seven instances within the Nineties. Following the Aggies, TCU ranks third all time with 13 KoT honors (together with 2022), almost 1 / 4 of which have come because the workforce moved to the Big 12 in 2012. After a half-century drought, the Horned Frogs are on tempo to earn high billing within the state for a 3rd time because the playoff was launched in 2014. SMU (7), Baylor (6), Houston (6), Rice (4) and Texas Tech (2) spherical out the remainder of the KoT leaderboard

UT is traditionally the King of Texas, however others are gaining

Most instances rating as school soccer’s “King of Texas” (having the best schedule-adjusted points-per-game differential amongst Texas colleges in a season), since 1902

Team Pre-1980 ’80s ’90s 2000s ’10s ’20s complete
University of Texas 37 2 3 9 . . 51
Texas A&M 18 3 7 . 3 1 32
TCU 9 . . . 3 1 13
SMU 4 3 . . . . 7
Baylor 2 . . . 3 1 6
Houston 3 2 . . 1 . 6
Rice 4 . . . . . 4
Texas Tech 1 . . 1 . . 2


The story of school soccer cannot be written with out the state of Texas, which has produced eight Heisman Trophy winners from six completely different colleges — together with Davey O’Brien and Doak Walker, who’ve awards named after them. But the state is within the midst of a quiet interval for its marquee sights. For instance, Baylor has claimed no less than a share of the Big 12 championship thrice since 2013 — as many instances as UT and Texas A&M have mixed to win since 1998.2 In 2016, the state earned three wins in opposition to Top 25 opponents over Labor Day weekend, profitable the primary week of school soccer (in line with Texas Monthly). That season ended with out a single Texas workforce within the AP postseason Top 25, the primary occasion in 49 years.

All advised, the state of Texas has not skilled a nationwide championship since 2005, a stretch that has seen six different states declare titles (together with Alabama, which has gained a whopping seven).

When the 2022 season started, there have been three Texas-based groups within the Preseason AP Top 25.3 But six weeks later, every had fallen off — most notably the Texas A&M Aggies, a well-liked playoff candidate within the offseason that lately earned the distinction of being the primary program to guide a No. 1 recruiting class to a shedding season. While solely three groups from the Lone Star State at the moment have shedding information, simply considered one of them is ranked.4

That lone ranked workforce from the Lone Star State? None apart from the No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs. They are this season’s Kings of Texas — and with the state’s near-pathological curiosity within the sport, they will not lack for help the remainder of the best way.

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