If you’re a college football fan, by now, you either saw or heard about TCU’s dramatic come from behind victory over the Oregon Ducks in this year’s Valero Alamo Bowl. Most have considered the Alamo Bowl to be the highlight of an otherwise disappointing bowl season. TCU’s victory over Oregon finished with a crescendo, ultimately providing encouragement for anyone that has ever wanted to overcome the odds to finish strong in football or in life.
This season began on a high note for a TCU team that fell just short of lofty expectations and a Big 12 title due to multiple key injuries. Many of us fans would say this season did not go as planned. But the victory for the Frogs is a storybook finish for a resilient team who put the weight of their season on the shoulders of a backup QB in his first start. A QB who was thrust into the spotlight two days before his final game in a Horned Frog uniform due to one bad choice made worse by a star QB. The outcome of the game is not a surprise to those of those of us who love and follow TCU. This season ends as one of the finest of Head Coach Gary Patterson’s coaching career so far.
Despite the injuries and disappointments in Stillwater and Norman in November and on the River Walk a few nights before the Alamo Bowl, this season ends as one none of the players, coaches or fans will soon forget. The storyline of TCU’s 2015 season and come back finish in the final game of the year is ripe with depth and pregnant with encouragement for anyone who has ever had a season that didn’t go exactly as planned. The storyline of TCU’s final game and come-from-behind victory provides many points of encouragement to anyone that has had disappointments and setbacks in their life.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the odds; overcome them. Down 31-0 at half TCU’s win-probability bottomed out at 0.9% (courtesy ESPN Stats & Info). Adjusting their plan, and committing to the cause, TCU overcame the odds rather than be overwhelmed by them.
Who has faced overwhelming odds? Who has ever been overcome with depression, sadness, and disappointment? Who has ever felt at the end of his or her rope? Who has been counted out by everyone only to ultimately overcome the odds to victory?
Our thinking can change our outcome. What went on in the locker room at halftime of the Alamo Bowl in the purple locker room? The coaches made adjustments (to the game and the clothing), and coached up the players. Things don’t always go as we plan. Sometimes adjustments are required. That begins with our thinking. The coaches and players prepared their minds to take it one play at a time, one series at a time. They could’ve focused on the score at half; rather they focused on the goal. Eventually, they achieved what they believed: we can win this game. Who needs a coach to help you through? Who needs to make adjustments at the intermission of their life in order to finish strong and change your outcome? It begins with our thinking.
Never give up. Down by 31 points and all but considered out, the Horned Frogs could have quit. When TCU lost over 20 starters throughout the course of the season, TCU could have quit. When TCU’s All-American receiver was ruled out for the game against Oregon, TCU could have quit. When TCU’s Heisman candidate QB snuck out past curfew resulting in his eventual arrest and suspension from the game, TCU could have quit. Down 31-0 at the half, TCU could have quit. But the Frogs were not finished yet. As most now know, TCU would eventually come back to match the largest comeback in bowl history. Outscoring the Ducks 47-10 in the second half and OTs, TCU went on to defeat the Oregon Ducks 47-41 in 3 OTs behind the arm and legs of a 5th year backup QB and a team that committed to overcome the odds, change their outcome through their thinking, and never quit. Will you?
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