People always say that all great things must come to an end. Whether it’s your favorite show on tv, a great vacation, or that last sip of your beer. Well, at least you can grab another beer, but you get my point. Unfortunately, that old saying is true, and TCU’s historic athletic season has finally come to an end in Omaha Nebraska at the Men’s College World Series.
But before we get to the end, let’s take a look at how the year started for TCU. Of course, we have to start with the football team. The Horned Frogs were picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 prior to the start of the 2022 season. Nobody really knew what to expect and then the unexpected happened. Max Duggan took over for Chandler Morris in the season opener and never looked back. Duggan went on to win Big 12 Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy Award, and became the first-ever player from TCU to win the Davey O’Brien award.
Not only was Max great but so was the team around him. TCU finished the regular season 12-0 heading into the Big 12 championship game. They became the first Big 12 team to go 12-0 since the 2009 Texas team. While they did fall short in that championship game to Kansas State, TCU ended up making the College Football Playoff where they would face Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl. The Frogs won a thriller of a game and went on to the National Championship game to face Georgia. We all know that the game was completely lopsided, but they were the first Big 12 team to win a playoff game and became the first Big 12 team to play in a National Championship game in over ten years. There is no doubt that the 2022 TCU football team is one of the best teams in school history.
Even TCU’s basketball team found success again this past year. Prior to Jamie Dixon’s arrival, TCU basketball was an afterthought. When Dixon came to campus, TCU’s last NCAA tournament appearance was in 1998. In the last seven seasons under Dixon, TCU has made the tournament three times and has made back-to-back tournament appearances for the first time since the 1950s. Not only did they make the tournament, but they also made it to the Round of 32 which has only happened three times over the last fifty years and two of those belong to Jamie Dixon.
TCU has had one of the best baseball programs over the years. Even after longtime head coach Jim Schlossnagle left, Kirk Saarloos picked up right where he left off by winning a Big 12 title in his first season as a head coach last year. This year, TCU started off slow. Prior to the month of May, the Horned Frogs were sitting at 23-20 and the thought of making the postseason was pretty much an afterthought at that point and time. However, the team rallied and caught fire by winning 10 out of their final 12 regular season games. They followed that up by winning the Big 12 tournament in Arlington going a perfect 4-0 and were headed to Fayetteville for a regional.
Despite having a tough road ahead of them, TCU continued their hot streak and went 3-0 in Fayetteville taking down Arkansas twice. As great as that was, the Horned Frogs got the chance to host a Super Regional against Indiana State and once again took care of business and earned themselves a trip to the College World Series. After losing the opener, TCU rallied back and won back-to-back games to avoid elimination and made it to the final four. Unfortunately, their run ended on Wednesday afternoon on a fly ball that went to the warning track.
Sure, that long fly ball may have fallen short of a homerun but look at the big picture here. TCU just had a grand slam of an athletic year. They were the only school in the entire country to make the College Football Playoff, the NCAA Tournament, and the College World Series. To me, that is one heck of an accomplishment and if I had to pick who had the best athletic program in the Big 12 Conference (on the men’s side), it would be TCU and it’s not even close. Everyone from the fans, coaches, players, and administration should be proud because they had the year of a lifetime. I think it’s safe to say that the 2022-2023 sports year will be known as the year of the Hypnotoad.