The football series between Texas Tech and TCU is long, momentous, and relatively even. Tech holds the overall edge 30-24-3, with the Frogs having the upper hand in the early days, and the Red Raiders fairly well dominating the later years. Hence, TCU won the first five meetings between the two schools (the first game was in 1926), and as of 1972, held an 18-11 advantage in the series. From 1973 to the present, however, the Red Raiders own a 19-6-3 mark against the worthies from Fort Worth.
Interestingly enough, neither program has been able to exert prolonged mastery of the other. TCU’s five-game win streak to start the series is the longing winning streak the Frogs have enjoyed against Tech, while the best the Red Raiders have been able to do is two six-game win streaks, from 1973 through 1978, and from 1985 through 1990. On the whole, the series has had steady ebbs and flows.
One oddity in the series is that all three of its tied games came in consecutive games in Lubbock, with the Frogs and Red Raiders knotted at 3-3 in 1979, 39-39 in 1981, and 10-10 in 1983.
Freshman quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver put paid to that streak with a vengeance in 1985 as he led the Red Raiders to a 63-7 demolition of TCU, which still stands as the largest margin of victory for either team in the series. Tolliver threw for 422 yards and five touchdowns, numbers which in 1985 were practically unheard of.
In 2004 Tech fell behind 21-0 before quarterback Sonny Cumbie—now a co-offensive coordinator for TCU—went on a rampage and led the Red Raiders to a 70-35 massacre of the visiting reptiles.
That was a glorious victory for Tech, but the best of all may actually have been their first in the series, which occurred in 1936. Pete Cawthon’s Red Raiders blanked legendary “Slingin’” Sammy Baugh and the defending national champion Frogs 7-0 in Lubbock. To this day, that win may be the greatest upset in Tech football history.
But the Horned Frogs have dealt the Red Raiders some brutal losses, too. In 1972 the 4-3 Frogs, and bearers of a two-game losing skid, destroyed a 7-1 Tech club 31-7 in Lubbock. The Red Raiders spiraled downward after that loss and finished 8-4.
In 1994 all Tech had to do to win the Southwest Conference championship outright was defeat a 6-4 TCU team in Fort Worth. Instead the Red Raiders spit the bit, losing 24-17, and sharing the conference title. Tech went to the Cotton Bowl and was duly mauled by Southern Cal 55-14.
Then, of course, there was the 2014 game in which the Red Raiders surrendered a school record 82 points en route to an 82-27 drubbing at the hands of Gary Patterson’s club.
Suffice it to say that this latter debacle is uppermost in Red Raider minds as the two teams prepare to square off in the 58th renewal of the series in Jones AT&T Stadium this Saturday.