Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

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GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Sonny Dykes of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

While Georgia attempts to make history by winning back-to-back College Football National Championships, their opponent, Texas Christian University, or TCU, may be football’s Cinderella Story.

Then again, maybe not.

First of all, let’s define Cinderella. In regards to basketball, Cinderella is defined as a small, lesser-known college or university that upsets a powerhouse or blue blood along the way during the March Madness field of 68 tournament.

We used to consider a small school like Gonzaga a Cinderella as far back as 1998-99. But Mark Few has led this school deep into the tournament so many times that we cannot include them on our list anymore. Some of the greatest Cinderella’s might be Shaka Smart’s VCU run in 2011.   St. Peter’s run last year which included wins over Kentucky and Purdue before losing to North Carolina in the Elite Eight was surely Cinderella.

But this is football! Does football have a Cinderella? It’s hard to include a Power 5 school in the class of Cinderella’s.  But it is refreshing when thinking about the Horned Frogs fighting for a national championship. College football had reached a place where the same five or six teams were the only one’s good enough to win a natty. Every preseason led to a post season that seemed to include Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and maybe Notre Dame.

Overall, I don’t think we can say TCU is football’s Cinderella .  They are too big of an institution with all the benefits that come along with that. But it is refreshing to see some new blood take on the blue bloods.

Craig Shemon

ESPN Southwest Florida