The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs will have a shot at immortality on Monday when meeting the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. A victory at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, would earn the program its first national title since 1938 and would also return the Big 12 to the top of the sport for the first time in nearly two decades.
The last time a Big 12 team won the national championship was during the 2005-06 season, where the Texas Longhorns stood atop the sport with a perfect 13-0 record. That year’s BCS National Championship Game saw them took down the USC Trojans in an exciting 41-38 victory in the Rose Bowl, a thriller that has since been cited as possibly the greatest college football game ever played.
Going up against a loaded USC team led by Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, UT quarterback Vince Young put on a masterclass performance and scrambled to the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 19 seconds left. The Longhorns denied the Trojans a shot at claiming a third straight national championship and their win has been immortalized in the history of the sport. Just turn on Texas’ own Longhorn Network at any given time of the day and there’s a chance they’ll be airing a re-run of the 2006 Rose Bowl.
Since that historic game, the Big 12 has sent a team to just two national championship games. Oklahoma would fall to Florida in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game before Texas fell to Alabama the following year. TCU’s inclusion in this year’s title game is the first time the league will go for a natty during the College Football Playoff era.