The TCU Horned Frogs and BYU Cougars have played only 10 times, all in the past 25 years. It's been a WAC-Southwest, an all-WAC and an all-Mountain West affair, with each school switching conferences at least once. Now it's a battle between an independent and a MWC school that's in between the Big East and the Big 12 ... along with reports that BYU could join TCU in the Big 12 soon.
They're like nomads being funneled by geography through fewer and fewer forks, like strings winding around each other to form a rope. Whether it's a rivalry based on emotion and memory and close competition, or if it's just the fact that Cougars and Frogs so often stumble into new rooms and recognize only one face, all you need is familiarity.
Either way, it's definitely a rivalry. TCU blog Frogs O' War polled itself (Internet poll alert!) on whether the Frogs should maintain an annual game with BYU, conference affiliations be dam[please, sir, there are BYU fans reading]. Even with a rigorous Big 12 schedule on the way, along with a game against SMU taking up one cupcake-scheduling opportunity, the results are overwhelming:
That's a far higher number than you'd see on either side of the Mizzou-Kansas or Texas-Texas A&M series if you polled either of those fan bases right now.
Also from Frogs O' War, a personal touch on a rivalry between two teams thrown together and torn apart repeatedly by economics:
Back in 1989 I lived in Plano, Texas on a little side street, and was lucky enough to have three kids around my age living on either side of me. One boy I played video games with, the other two I played football with.
They were Alec and Jay, and they were big BYU fans. The fact that they were Mormon meant little to me at the time, other than that for some reason, their mother didn't allow them to play ball with me on Sundays.
Being raised as a devout little Frog, we would often discuss the merits of our teams. The teams had played a home-and-home in '87-'88 and split the home games, so there was no real way of defining whose program was better. TCU had two national titles to BYU's one, but BYU had one that was in our young lifetimes.
Still we argued about which school was better at least twice a week, despite my wise grandfather telling me, "If TCU and BYU played ten times, I'd bet they'd both win five," to try to end our discussion, with no success.
The series is split at five games apiece, with five home games being hosted by each team.