While TCU was winning all those conference championships and busting the BCS, the Horned Frogs were knocked for playing a weak schedule.
A middle-of-the-pack finish in their first season in the Big 12 seems to have changed perceptions.
Even though his team lost four of its final six games, TCU coach Gary Patterson said the Horned Frogs earned more respect going 7-5 in the Big 12 than it did finishing 11-2 as a member of the Mountain West last season.
Their next test will be Saturday night in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Michigan State in what should be a defensive-dominated game.
The Spartans had the nation's fourth-best defense and were 10th in scoring, while the Horned Frogs were 10th against the run.