FORT WORTH, Texas — Bring on any opponent for Texas Christian. The undefeated Horned Frogs are going to bust into the BCS for the first time. The only questions are where they will go and who will they play.
"We can play with anybody," coach Gary Patterson said after TCU finished its first unbeaten regular season in 71 years. "We’re going to look forward to the challenge, we’ll find out what that’s going to be and we’re going to get ready for it. … This team can play with a lot of people, and not just this year."
It was hard to argue after the No. 4 Horned Frogs improved to 12-0 with a 51-10 victory over New Mexico on Saturday, their seventh straight win by at least 27 points — a stretch including Brigham Young and Utah.
TCU, which won the outright Mountain West Conference title with an 8-0 record, must wait a week to make travel plans for the Bowl Championship Series.
Representatives from the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar bowls were in attendance.
"They’re sure way up there," said Alan Young, the Fiesta Bowl board chairman. "TCU is right in the middle of our mix."
Junior Andy Dalton matched a career high with four touchdown passes, two to Antoine Hicks in a 12-second span that put the Horned Frogs up 30-0 early in the second quarter. Dalton had already run for a score.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, fans chanted "B-C-S! B-C-S!" They then stormed the field to celebrate.
The Frogs are certain to play in a BCS game, though the teams ahead of them will have to slip for a chance to achieve their loftiest goal: a national championship. No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama play each other in the Southeastern Championship Game next week, and No. 3 Texas meets Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game.
"Of course we’re going to root for the upset and all of that," Dalton said. "Now that we’ve done everything that we can do, there’s that relief."TCU — 51
NEW MEXICO — 10
Andy Dalton threw four TD passes, including two to Antoine Hicks in a 12-second span to give the Horned Frogs a 30-0 lead early in the second quarter.