Too much hyperbole. Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least four games that were as big or bigger than this upcoming one.
In 1935 both TCU and SMU were sitting at 10-0, both vying to cement a #1 ranking as they faced off in the last game of the regular season, billed as "The Game of the Century." There was no playoff or championship game then. Mythical national champion titles were conferred willy-nilly by a hoard of mathematical ranking systems, sportswriters, and athletic foundations. SMU beat TCU by a field goal and went on to the Rose Bowl to face Stanford, while TCU went to the Sugar Bowl against Tulane.
Following the SMU win over TCU in the final regular-season game, the bulk of the rankings morass proclaimed SMU #1. A few named Minnesota or Princeton #1, but they were voices in the wilderness. However, there was a fly in the ointment. These rankings covered only the regular season without taking in account any bowl results. After these rankings were issued, SMU lost the Rose Bowl while TCU won the Sugar Bowl. Following the bowls, the only post-bowl ranking -- Williamson -- proclaimed TCU national champions and named LSU as #2. The Sugar Bowl win cemented that championship.
In 1938, the Frogs were 9-0, vying for another national championship, and again facing SMU in the final game of the regular season. It was at Ownby Field in Dallas, and though the Ponies were not in the national champion picture that year, they were amped to spoil TCU's perfect record. The Frogs won handily, going on to defeat Carnegie Tech in the Sugar Bowl. This time there was no post-season rankings fire drill because in 1936, the NCAA had adopted the AP poll as the sole official ranking. The Frogs were their consensus choice in 1938. TCU had once again won a national championship at the Sugar Bowl.
TCU's 7-5 regular season in 1998 followed a 1-10 season in which the Frogs had barely avoided going winless by defeating hapless SMU in the very last game. It was a notable comeback, but was discounted by many as the product of a soft WAC schedule. Nobody (including TCU fans) thought it was an indicator that TCU was on the verge of something big. Due to WAC political rivalries over the impending 1999 departure of eight schools for the newly formed MWC, the Frogs received a totally unexpected berth in the Sun Bowl, where virtually no one gave them a prayer of defeating 8-5 USC from the PAC 10.
The Frog victory defied all expectations, serving notice that TCU was bent on returning more or less permanently to relevance in the national panorama of college football. Considering the string of successful TCU seasons that followed, the 1998 Sun Bowl was dubbed by many as the birth of the Great TCU Football Turnaround.
In the wake of the Turnaround, TCU reeled off a string seven double-digit winning seasons interspersed with some rebuilding years, several of which were still winning seasons. But while the Frogs became a consistent resident in the Top 25 and Top 10, their post-season bowl record was still a mediocre 6-5. They had clawed their way back from college football's wasteland, but had yet to make a place among its upper echelon. That opportunity came in 2010, when the MWC-champion Frogs finished the regular season at 12-0, were positioned at #3 in every national ranking (including the BCS), and had an appointment with destiny at the Rose Bowl against 11-1, Big 10 co-champion, #5 Wisconsin.
Once again, despite having a better W-L record and higher national ranking, the Frogs were cast as a "weak" Mountain West underdog facing an elite Big 10 powerhouse. The ramifications of the TCU win can't easily be overstated. Texas A&M and Missouri had announced they were bailing on the Big 12 for the SEC, and TCU was among 5-6 teams being casually considered as potential replacements. The Rose Bowl victory elevated TCU to the top choice, making the Frogs a virtual lock for Big 12 membership. It ended TCU's 16-year absence from the national power conferences.
Equally importantly, the Frogs' Rose Bowl win was considered by a host of national sports pundits as TCU's "arrival" among the upper echelon of college football. In subsequent seasons, TCU would again factor into the national picture in 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2017. The four-year "drought" that characterized Gay Patterson's final years tarnished that image, but didn't entirely dispel it.
And now, in 2022, here we are again.