Andy Hodges

TCU somehow manages to keep long-time ‘cockroach’ reference alive

It was legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal nearly 60 years ago that compared TCU to a cockroach and the reference came to mind Tuesday.

Don’t blame me … it was legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal nearly 60 years ago that compared TCU to a cockroach and the reference came to mind Tuesday.

When the announcement was made early Tuesday afternoon Arkansas’ Texas Bowl matchup with the Horned Frogs was canceled, it probably shouldn’t have been surprising.

This is 2020. Nothing seems to work out the way it’s supposed to and this isn’t the first bowl game to bite the dust this year.

The part that raised eyebrows was the statement from TCU athletics director Jeremiah Donati that said in increase covid-19 positive tests, injuries and “other circumstances” left the Horned Frogs short of the Big 12’s threshold for player availability.

After Royal had a rather shocking 6-0 loss to one of Abe Martin’s salty Horned Frogs’ team in 1961, he was more than a little ticked-off and at his traditional postgame party at the Villa Capri Hotel in Austin, he delivered the infamous line:

“TCU is like a cockroach. It’s not so much what he eats and totes off, but what he falls into and messes up.”

And if you look at the official statement from the Horned Frogs, you have to wonder exactly what IS the cause of them backing out of a New Year’s Eve matchup with the Hogs.

Covid-19 we understand in this wacky year. Injuries can also be understood. What are the “other circumstances?”

It may be legitimate, but it does raise the question of exactly what that could be.

There are media reports the Hogs reached out to Iowa for a replacement. The Hawkeyes had their Music City Bowl game with Missouri canceled because of covid issues with the Tigers.

They couldn’t make it, for whatever reasons.

So, now Hogs’ football has come to an end for Sam Pittman’s first season in a year where hope for the future was revived around the entire program after a 3-7 record.

If nothing else, Pittman showed he knows how to manage the program through the unpredictable and trying times. This year was all of that and more.

Fans were ready for this bowl game. The players and coaches were excited and ready to play TCU, who may or may not have been as enthusiastic about the whole thing.

So now, all of those expectations and hopes will be placed on hold. Spring practice will likely be held in some form or fashion.

But until then, it’s just one more “what-if” for fans to have in their bucket of craziness for this year.

Which will, mercifully, end before the weekend.

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