Revenge is on TCU's mind as it looks to erase the lingering memory of last year's 61–58 loss to Baylor
TCU fans will never forget the score 61–58. Baylor fans certainly haven't.
If you want insight into the burgeoning rivalry between TCU and Baylor, simply look at the box score from Baylor's victory over TCU in 2014 and the obsession both fan bases have with that game.
After taking a three-touchdown lead on the road against Baylor last year with 11:38 remaining, TCU gave up 24 unanswered points to suffer a heart-wrenching 61–58 loss. A game the Horned Frogs seemingly had sealed for a signature win turned into a gut-wrenching defeat. And that was not the worst part.
TCU fans were upset about the loss, but what they hated more was being reminded of it day after day. If a team wins a rivalry game, it naturally gets bragging rights for the following year. Baylor fans made liberal use of those rights, flooding social media with posts that boasted the final result.
"I don't think I've ever abstained from Twitter as long as I did during that week," TCU senior Patrick Jones said. "It was just awful. It was so bad. And one of the reasons that I do dislike the fans is because they never let it go."
Every time the playoff committee released its new rankings, which had the Frogs ranked higher than the Bears every week until the final poll of the season, there would be a new barrage of tweets saying the same things:
"Head to head!"
The loss galvanized the Frogs, who went on a 16-game winning streak afterward that spanned more than a year.
"After that game, we really just had a sense of urgency," TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin said. "Just trying to not lose again and really just try to run the table."
Baylor lost twice during that time, but the Bears were still able to cling to that win over their biggest rival. Students waved '61–58' rally towels during a game earlier this year against Rice. College GameDay has visited Waco twice in the last year, and both times the most memorable signs had nothing to do with the Bears' opponents for those weeks. They were about TCU and Frogs head coach Gary Patterson.
The endless reminders of that game have left TCU fans looking forward to Friday's game all year.
"A lot of it is just about getting revenge for last year," TCU junior Nick Ruiz said.
There are other factors at play too. Patterson has been vocal at times in his criticism of Baylor head coach Art Briles. The programs compete for many of the same recruits. Fans vandalized landmarks on one another's campuses this year.
The intensity of the rivalry, however, rekindled thanks to one of the best games in Big 12 history and the trash talk that came afterward. The rivals will go head-to-head once more Friday night. A word of advice to the loser of that matchup: Consider turning your phone off for a while.
Matt Jennings is SI's campus correspondent for TCU. Follow him on Twitter.