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TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
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Published May 11, 2024
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TCU and Baylor rivalry officially named the Bluebonnet Battle

The logo of the official naming of the annual rivalry game between TCU and Baylor: the Bluebonnet Battle. (Photo courtesy of: the Baylor press kit)

It only took 119 games, but the longest-standing college football rivalry in Texas finally has a name: The Bluebonnet Battle.

The student governments for TCU and Baylor, who play in the Carter on Saturday, came up with the official name.

The name is meant to represent the 90-mile stretch in between the two universities that in spring is lined with bluebonnets and the culture of Texas, as a whole, said Joe Winick, TCU’s student body president.

According to a joint press release about the name, the bluebonnet, the state flower of Texas, also symbolizes bravery and sacrifice.

Nick Madincea, Baylor’s student body president, said the naming formalizes the rivalry that’s more than 100 years old

“It will only add to the game day experience for members of the Baylor family and for TCU fans,” he said.

Wicnick added: “This is a rivalry established by students, for students, and acts as a proud tradition that will be carried on by future generations of TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears.”

Winick noted the naming comes as TCU’s 150th anniversary draws to a close.

“Our sesquicentennial year began with a National Championship appearance and ends with the Bluebonnet Battle,” he said.

The work of both student governments impressed the athletic directors and coaches, who were just as thrilled to solidify the significance of the game.

“Rivalries bring excitement, history and generations together throughout college football,” said Baylor head football coach Dave Aranda. “This annual tradition is incredibly important for both schools and we are looking forward to celebrating the Bluebonnet Battle for many years to come.”

The Big 12 will be losing a regional rivalry for several of its teams when Texas leaves for the SEC next year.

“With all the conference realignment and craziness in college football, long-standing rivalries are very critical,” said TCU head football coach Sonny Dykes. “I’m proud to be at an institution that is getting ready to play Baylor for the 119th time.”

The Big 12 football matrix shows the opponents for each team over the next four seasons. (From: https://big12sports.com)

The Horned Frogs will play the Bears every season for the next four years, being one of only four matchups that do so, according to the Big 12 schedule matrix.

“Traditional rivalries are so important, they mean so much to the fan base, to the institutions and to the student-athletes, as well.” said Dykes. “It’s great for college football.”

Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said he and TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati helped to make the future schedule. They made sure they could continue the annual tradition four more years.

“This game means a lot to the Big 12,” he said. “It’s only one of four protected games, which is really special.”

Rhoades said the rivalry between the two schools is full of respect, so “it makes it feel like you’re playing a brother.”

New hardware

Saturday’s winner will bring home the new trophy, which was completed and delivered to Baylor’s campus this morning.

The new trophy for the Bluebonnet Battle was hand-forged in steel by Baylor alumnus Bryant Stanton of Stanton Studios in Waco, Texas. (Photo courtesy of: Baylor’s press kit)

The press release describes it as “a circular shield, hand-forged in steel.” It’s 2.5 feet wide and rests in a wooden base with the lone star of Texas on it. It weighs around 45 pounds.

It includes the logos of both universities, an outline of Texas with bluebonnets on either side and dawns the new official name of the rivalry.

The year 1899 is also included, which signifies the first football game between TCU and Baylor.

TCU hosts the game against Baylor this Saturday with kickoff at 2:30 p.m.

If the Frogs win, they’ll be in possession of the shield against Baylor and the skillet, which they play SMU for every year in the Battle for the Iron Skillet.

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