Halfway through the fourth quarter, I had a good feeling. I even started writing my next story in my head. I had several paragraphs ready to go. My entire lead was going to revolve around TCU's long break before hosting Air Force. I was sure the Horned Frogs would be playing for the Mountain West title and a shot at the BCS.
The Frogs couldn't keep Utah out of the end zone on the most crucial drive, and their BSC hopes faded away. They still had an outside shot at the MWC championship, but BYU needed to do what TCU couldn't…upset the Utes in Utah's stadium.
The loss to Utah could have deflated a great TCU team. I was curious to see how TCU would come out against Air Force. On Saturday, the Frogs answered all of my questions, routing the Falcons to finish the season on a high note. At no point did it seem Air Force was in the game.
BYU flopped at Utah, and the Utes clinched the conference title. They will most likely play in a BCS game as well. Utah will get all of the Mountain West glory this season, but TCU put up one of its best seasons in history. The Frogs might not be invited to a high-profile bowl game, but they have impressed all season.
TCU reached 10 wins for the third time in four years behind the nation's best defensive team. The Frogs shut down their opponents' rushing game all year, including holding the potent Air Force attack to 161 total yards, their season low.
The TCU offense set records as well, scoring 420 points this year, an all-time high. TCU didn't lose a home game this season, and the graduating seniors finished with a 21-2 home record in four seasons.
So, maybe TCU won't play in January. But the Frogs put together one of the best seasons in program history. Their two losses were to teams that will be BCS bowling, and they were a few plays from playing in one themselves.
Over the past few years, TCU has established a reputation for having one of the best defenses in the nation. This season, the offense made great strides. The Frogs have a great nucleus of players returning, and next year should bring another exciting season.
The seniors can be proud of their accomplishments as one of the best teams in history. For the rest of the players, they had a taste of success, and hopefully they will be hungry for more next year.