Has TCU football ever won a national championship?


With the TCU football team making it to the College Football Playoff, the Horned Frogs have a real chance to compete for a national championship this season.

The TCU Horned Frogs football program isn’t exactly a college football blue blood. Generally, the Horned Frogs have been in less prestigious conferences and are often overlooked, so even a lot of the program’s success has been glanced over by folks outside of Fort Worth.

With TCU making it to the College Football Playoffs this season, the Horned Frogs have a real chance to go compete for a national title this year.

But, would this be TCU’s first shot at a national title? Not quite. So, have the Horned Frogs ever won a championship before?

The short answer is yes, as much as any program won a national title before things were formalized with true national championship games. As should be expected with college football national championships that happened generations ago, it’s a little complicated, but the Horned Frogs are able to hang their hats on two national championships officially.

The first of TCU’s two national titles comes in 1935 when the Horned Frogs finished their season at 12-1 after besting the LSU Tigers in the Sugar Bowl. The Williamson System dubbed the Horned Frogs the champs, but it also ended up choosing the Tigers to be their co-champs.

Other teams named champions during the 1935 season by various systems include Minnesota, SMU, and Princeton.

TCU’s second national title is a little more widely accepted as the AP Poll gave the Horned Frogs the distinction of being the national champ that season. However, there are some who say the Tennessee Vols are that season’s true national champs.

College football is phenomenal and has always been bizarre. We should always embrace the spirit of a sport that, for decades, didn’t agree upon who actually won a national championship.

But wait! There’s one more TCU team we need to talk about.

Now, the university doesn’t officially claim this as a national title, but the Horned Frogs were named the No. 1 team in the country following the end of the 2010 college football season. TCU didn’t get to play in the BCS National Title Game, but the Congrove Computer Rankings still placed the Horned Frogs above the Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks following TCU’s Rose Bowl win.

That’s not enough to actually claim a national championship, though it does seem likely that some TCU fan somewhere that does have some fun bragging about how that team was the real national title winner in 2010.

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