Recruited For College Career At Tcu
In 1933, Meyer recruited Baugh to TCU to play baseball. When Meyer became the TCU football coach in 1934, he recruited Baugh to play as a single-wing tail-back. By the end of the season, which TCU finished 8-4, Meyer saw Baugh's leadership with the team and moved him to a T-formation quarterback. College quarterbacks handed the ball to running backs who advanced the ball. In 1935, TCU went 12-1 and captured the national championship.
According to folk lore, sports writer Pop Boone of the Fort Worth Press named him "Slingin" Sammy. Baugh became the first great passer in college history. In his three seasons at TCU (1934-1936) he completed 285 passes (out of 597) for 3,471 yards. He scored thirty-nine career Horn Frog touchdowns.
Sports Illustrated writer and novelist, Dan Jenkins, recalled Baugh's powerful arm and intensity of play. "In Sam's three seasons at TCU, he beat at least seven teams that were ranked in the nation's top 10 at the time—Rice in 1934; Baylor, Rice and LSU (in the Sugar Bowl) in 1935; Arkansas, Santa Clara and Marquette (in the Cotton Bowl) in 1936." Jenkins was only seven years old when he first saw Baugh play in Fort Worth.
Baugh did more than just lead the team on offense. He was also an outstanding TCU defensive back and punter. Dutch Meyer called him "the greatest athlete I ever saw." As a punter, he averaged 40.9 yards for 198 tries. One punt went eighty-five yards.