The clock may have struck midnight on 2022, but Cinderella is still dancing. TCU football continued its magical season on New Year’s Eve, defeating Michigan 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl. Few pundits gave the Horned Frogs a chance against the Wolverines, who came into the game as 7.5-point favorites, but they proved that they are no fluke.

Despite TCU’s landmark win, some are still not giving the Horned Frogs the respect they deserve. Even just hours before kickoff, as Alabama won the Sugar Bowl over Kansas State, whom TCU lost to in the Big 12 Championship Game, certain fans claimed that TCU was still not worthy of making the College Football Playoff. The disrespect continued even after the Horned Frogs’ victory, as they opened as 13-point underdogs in the National Championship Game.

The Horned Frogs have proven people wrong at every turn this season, yet some still can’t accept it. TCU is now playing on college football’s biggest stage, and it’s time the disrespect ends. Here’s why it’s time to finally put some respect on TCU’s name.

3. TCU has defied the odds all season

Everyone knows how much of an underdog TCU is, but it still bears repeating. Before the season, literally no one gave TCU a chance in 2022. The Horned Frogs weren’t just unranked in the preseason AP rankings, they didn’t even receive a single vote. Vegas didn’t believe in them either and still seems to underestimate them.

Despite all the odds being against them, the Horned Frogs have become college football’s greatest Cinderella story. They have passed nearly every test with flying colors, and now have a chance to become immortal with just one more win. If the Horned Frogs have defied the odds all season, they can certainly do it one more time.

2. TCU can keep up with anyone

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There seems to be a perception that TCU football had a “easy” road to the playoff because it plays in the Big 12. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as the Horned Frogs played the 32nd-toughest schedule in the country this season. That may not sound that impressive, but that ranking is higher than all three of the other playoff teams, as well as other highly ranked teams such as USC and Penn State.

To add to that point, TCU has now beaten six ranked teams at the time of the game. Yes, some teams such as Kansas and the two Oklahoma schools fell off after the game, but they are still very impressive wins, regardless. Few, if any, teams in the country can claim they have done the same.

Then in the Fiesta Bowl, TCU proved their resolve. The Horned Frogs never trailed in the game, and they made the Wolverines pay for every mistake they made. The National Championship against Georgia will be the Horned Frogs’ toughest test yet, but they’ve proven they are ready for anything.

1. TCU football may not be a blue blood, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great

This point needs repeating until every college football fan gets it, particularly fans of blue-blood teams. Yes, TCU doesn’t have the great history of the other playoff teams, only joining the Power Five a decade ago. However, that doesn’t mean that the Horned Frogs aren’t a great team, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s OK to throw such disrespect their way.

TCU entered the College Football Playoff with three of the most-storied programs in the sport. Michigan and Ohio State are in the top three winningest programs ever, while Georgia is on the verge of becoming a modern dynasty. Guess what happened? Those two blue bloods lost and TCU is one of the teams still dancing.

When it comes to the current season, history doesn’t matter. Anyone using the Horned Frogs’ lack of history as a point against them is a fool, plain and simple. They don’t mind, though, because they’ll continue proving everyone wrong like they have all year.