Until recent years, Baylor and TCU were the little brothers of college football. With weak histories and little hope for improvement, they were the go-to teams to schedule if another school wanted to boost their record.
TCU claimed two national titles in 1935 and 1938, but their record was plagued with inconsistency until the beginning of Gary Patterson’s administration from 2000-present. In 2014, they had a nearly flawless season, their one loss being to Baylor, and for most of the season were a top contender for the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Prior to Art Briles’s hiring in 2008, Baylor football had a pattern of uncertainty as well, their greatest successes being during the very beginning of their program at the end of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, and during the Grant Teaff era. Under Art Briles’s guidance, they won two Big 12 championships, the second of which they shared with TCU.
As two consistently undermined programs, Baylor and TCU both have a lot to prove, and like it or not, they have a lot in common. Both private programs that want to consistently compete with renowned state schools, they’re out for blood. And that includes each other’s.
With a perfectly tied matchup record of 52-52-7, the intensity of this rivalry has ebbed and flowed just as much as their records have, but none can deny that it seems to have reached new heights in the past two seasons. 2014’s Battle on the Brazos was a game neither team will ever forget. Down 21 points in the 4th quarter, Baylor came back to win with a field goal at the very end of the game. In the 2015 matchup in Fort Worth, the two teams fought through drizzling rain and multiple injuries, and TCU prevailed 28-21.
The tension between the teams is palpable. As a Bear who was sitting on the front row of the student section during the 2014 matchup, I can personally attest to the ferocity of what has been appropriately titled “the Revivalry” (revived rivalry).
As a Baylor Bear, I will always be biased in the sense that I feel an obligation to dislike Gary Patterson and all things purple. But I can’t deny that this rivalry has done incredible things for both programs. As one of the most significant rivalries in college football, Baylor and TCU are proof that any team can pick themselves back up and start to make a new name for themselves.